If you’re getting ready to hire a Business Development Manager, you need to make sure it’s the right fit. Asking these questions will help you select the right candidate.
Q: If hired for this position, what is the first thing you would do?
This is a great question that will help determine the personality of your prospective BDM. Do they plan to make instant changes or will they answer with something like “The first thing I’d like to do is take a few minutes with each BDR to learn more about them and give them the chance to know me.” or “Familiarize myself with the company handbook and word guides that you have in place. I’ve already researched the company’s values, but would like to learn even more about your policies to better serve my team.”
Q: If one agent in a team of two left the position, would you: 1) Fill in and take over that agent’s leads, 2) Assign the leads to the other agent, 3) begin searching for a replacement immediately, 4) Do something else to fill the missing agent’s tasks?
The answers you get will help verify that the BDM applying for the position knows what they’re doing and will be able to work well in stressful situations. If they say that they would assign the leads to the other agent, they clearly haven’t done that line of work before and don’t know the overbearing task that they would impart on their only remaining worker.
Q: Who would you assign the commission to if a customer called in to make an appointment with Agent C after they were continuously contacted by Agent B who was out to lunch? (If assigned to Agent B, what if the agent was off that day and the customer wanted to be seen that afternoon? If Agent C, what if the customer had asked to speak to Agent B when making the appointment?)
Typically, the best solution would be to offer “assist pay bonuses” when more than one BDC agent has a direct effect on a customer’s appointment.
Q: It’s (closing time) on a Friday and Agent A is getting up to leave after having worked 40 hours that week and a notice of an online inquiry comes through. Do you a.) ask Agent A to contact the customer before leaving for the night. b.) leave the lead there for your opening agent the next morning. c.) Call, text, and email the customer yourself. d.) notify the sales manager/sales team and see if there are any sales agents who would like to assist?
Probably the worst thing you could do is pass the lead off to the sales team who has not received BDC training. Everyone has a part to play inside of the dealership. The sales team specializes in face-to-face interactions, the sales manager specializes in pricing, the BDC agents specialize in telecommunications, and the BDM specializes in monitoring BDC interactions, taking T/Os and teaching the word guides to their staff. There are a lot of scripts BDC agents should know, and the BDM has to know them all, too.
Q: How long do you think it should take for a BDC agent to know their scripts and read with tone?
The time it takes for an agent to know their script will vary depending on a few factors, like whether or not they are permitted to take their scripts home and how much time they dedicate to role playing the script. Believe it or not, reading the script aloud and reading it silently is very different. It is important that agents practice reading out loud.
Q: How important do you think it is for each script to be memorized? Do you think it’s okay for an agent to take and make calls before they memorize the script?
It is actually really important that agents are familiar with their scripts. Knowing their scripts will allow agents to feel more confident in the message they deliver, allow them to locate any rebuttals or make transitions (tag games) in their conversations more seamlessly, and it will allow agents to focus on their tone of voice rather than fixating on each word they say. An agent may not have to know each script word for word, but they should not take or make a call that would use a script they are not comfortable with.
Q: What would you do if an agent needed much more time to learn their scripts?
Agents will learn at their own pace. As long as you’ve done a good job finding the right BDRs, it is worth the time investment. Make sure your BDR has familiarized themselves with one script before moving on to another.
Q: How often should a BDR contact a lead?
It is important for BDRs to follow a call schedule for their leads. An experienced BDM or former BDR should already be familiar with this schedule.
Q: Say we were able to hire an assistant BDC manager and two BDRs on your team wanted to be considered. Agent A has been with the company for four years, but only one year in the BDC and Agent B has been in the BDC for two and a half years, which of the two agents would you hire, or would you hire outside the company?
This question helps determine two things: 1. Will your BDM put more stock in seniority or will they ask about the BDR’s production rates? 2. How does your BDM feel about outside hires? A lot of managers like outside hours so no-one’s feelings are hurt, however, selecting an outside hire for a promotional/management position can signal to your employees that there is no room for them to grow.
Q: What do you think is fair pay for a BDR?
Even if your company already has a BDR pay plan, this question will help determine how much respect your BDM will have for their team and how they will lead them.