How to create a BDC pay plan

Sep 27, 2022Tips & Tricks


Developing a cleverly thought out BDC pay plan is critical to the success of your dealership. After all, if you’re not careful, you could find yourself paying out thousands of dollars for commissions that haven’t brought in a substantial return on investment. And we all know that ensuring your dealership is making a profit is more important than ever, which means it’s time to stop treating your BDC pay plan as an afterthought. Instead, it’s time to revisit your BDC and transform your pay plan to ensure it’s reaching its maximum potential.

First of all, it’s important to recognize that there are many ways you can go about creating a BDC pay plan – and that all depends on your dealership’s individual goals, income stream, and where most of your sales come from.

However, what seems to be a common frustration felt by many dealerships is that they end up paying the same amount of commission to all successful appointments and sales – which means you shedding out the same about cash to the person who booked an oil change, as the agent who helped complete a vehicle sale. Both require a different amount of effort, yet you end up rewarding both agents the same. It makes no sense and ultimately, it will be you who’s out of pocket at the end of the day.

Ideally, you want to offer additional financial rewards for agents who make specific appointments, and better still, work hard and deliver exceptional customer service. But how do you create a BDC pay plan that reflects this ethos? The team at SnapCell is here to help you create an efficient BDC pay plan that really motivates your team.

What is a BDC?

In general, a customer’s vehicle buying journey at your dealership might see them liaising with the likes of a salesperson, an assistant sales manager, a sales manager, and even your general manager. Think of the BDC – otherwise known as a Business Development Centre – as an extension of your dealership’s sales team, supporting your employees with day-to-day tasks and follow-ups.

And, if managed correctly, the BDC will enhance your sales process. How? BDC agents work specifically with making appointments, retaining customers, and completing satisfaction surveys while handling call volume – so your floor sales team doesn’t have to. BDC agents work with potential leads to set sales and make appointments, but also to maintain existing relationships with shoppers. Ultimately, the BDC will help your dealership by simply giving your sales team more time and energy on making the sale.

A BDC pay plan

Generally speaking, a BDC pay plan will typically combine a competitive hourly wage with bonus rewards for making appointments and further financial bonuses for completed sales.

A good BDC plan will exist to drive the agents to do better. It will encourage quality, effectiveness, and efficiency – because the rewards your agents receive will be directly influenced by their own positive actions. Simply put, if you get your BDC plan working for you, you’ll be driving a better ROI in no time.

Our advice is to create a basic BDC pay plan for all agents working on behalf of your dealership while offering additional incentives for quality, effectiveness, and attendance.

Basic BDC pay plan

First, you need to set agents a reasonable hourly wage – now this will depend highly on where the agent is located. The average BDC worker will receive between $10 to $12 hourly wage, but if you’re located in any of the Midwest states, you might be looking at nearer $8 or so, with some wealthier states paying up to $18. It’s up to you whether you decide to offer significant wage gaps between your BDC agents – just remember, BDC agents talk, so don’t expect individual pay to be kept secret for long.

When it comes to commission, it’s time to look at your lead count and the quality of those leads. Generally, you could expect to pay $15 for an appointment show on time (anything up until 45 minutes after their allocated time) and then $10 for a sale.

You might be wondering why the appointment bonus is higher than the completed sale. Well, we like to focus more on the appointment show rather than the sale – as completing the sale is really out of their hands, and more down to your dealership’s sales team. Really, you don’t want the BDC agent to be involved in the final sale – remember, their job is to instigate sales and book appointments only.

However, for this plan to work effectively, it’s important that you ensure each lead is fully-tracked. This means that the member of your sales team handling the customer needs to ask what made them visit the dealership – you don’t want the hard work of the BDC agent to be forgotten about.

BDC managers

The role of a BDC manager is to lead the BDC team. With this in mind, we would suggest the BDC manager gets a higher hourly rate, but with a similar commission pay on top. The money your BDC manager goes home with should be similar to that of your sales manager or sales lead.

Additional incentives

Above, we’ve outlined the basic pay rates. However, to really boost effectiveness and drive efficiency of the BDC team, you want to be offering additional incentives. Extra financial bonuses should reflect a number of metrics, each of which can be directly influenced by your BDC agents:

The quality of your BDC agents refers to how well your agents handle incoming and outgoing engagement with potential customers. After all, the quality of this communication plays a crucial role in whether an appointment is actually secured or not. Remember, BDC agents are directly liaising with customers here, and they are representing your dealership – so you need them to get this right. Ultimately, poor engagement could result in your dealership losing a customer and thus, losing a sale. After all, all it takes is one bad phone call experience to be shared by potential customers, to cause catastrophic damage to your reputation.
Evaluating their quality isn’t necessarily about financial gain for the BDC agent, but about offering additional training. It’s not so much about penalizing agents if their calls aren’t up to scratch but more about improving their technique. It might be that you spend time listening back to calls or reviewing online chat so you can identify ways to help the agent.

It’s important to remember that what really matters is that an appointment gets made at the end of the engagement between BDC and customer. With this in mind, you should be looking at how effective the outbound phone calls and chats to customers are. In effect, BDC agents are cold-calling potential leads – it’s a hard job. After all, they’re interrupting their day and trying to sell them your business, getting it right can be a challenge. How effective are the phone calls your BDC agents are making?
This is a really easy metric to measure and reward – it’s all in the numbers. Encourage your agents to compete to get the best numbers – the person who makes the most successful sales at the end of each week or month gets a gift card or voucher.

Are your BDC agents spending too long making calls and chatting with customers? Simply put, you don’t want your agents spending a huge amount of time on one phone call, with that conversation ultimately leading to nothing. In essence, the more efficient, the more calls they can take – the more chance of your dealership making a sale. Again, the most efficient agent gets a gift card or voucher.

Don’t lose sight of how important it is for you to focus on attendance. Working as a BDC agent can be hard, so it’s unsurprising that the average turnover of the role is around 40 percent each year. With that in mind, why not offer an extra incentive for those agents with perfect attendance each month?

Random bonuses
Has one of your BDC agents performed exceptionally well? Use random bonuses and financial rewards to keep motivation at an all-time high. Nothing makes BDC agents work harder than being told they’ve done a great job and being rewarded for it.

Note, you might decide to create a BDC pay plan entirely round commission, or include a base pay too – it depends on your individual dealership. And don’t worry about shaking things up too, by frequently re-visiting your pay plan. If it’s not working for your dealership, just paying agents commission, then it might be worth introducing an hourly salary.

Using the right tools

It’s all very well encouraging agents to book appointments, but are you giving them the right tools to do it? SnapCell, an industry-leading and award-winning video generation tool, can help enhance the work of your BDC team – especially because almost 65 percent of customers say that watching a video makes them more likely to buy.

The SnapCell app makes it easier than ever for BDC agents to bring your dealership to life and create personalized communications with potential customers. How can SnapCell help your BDC agents?

The BDC agent receives an inquiry
The BDC agent requests a video from your sales team to make a video
The customized video is sent to the BDC agent
The BDC agent sends on to the customer via email or SMS, along with the name of your sales team
The customer is engaged and continues to communicate with your sales team
The sale is complete

Weaving SnapCell into your BDC sales strategy is fundamental to helping agents deliver and ultimately increase sales at your dealership. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time you became a SnapCell customer. Schedule your free demo today.

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