Matt Raymond, 39
Director of digital operations, Team Automotive Group
When Matt Raymond joined Team Automotive Group as director of business development in 2018, the retailer had one store with four agents working in the business development center.
Today, the Salisbury, N.C., dealership group has five stores, a sales BDC with 12 agents and a newly created service BDC with seven on staff. And the plan is to keep growing — the group aims to expand to 10 stores within 10 years.
That kind of rapid growth prompted Team Automotive Group, which sells Chevrolet and Buick vehicles, to streamline its process and improve the center's output, said Raymond, who has since been elevated to the position of director of digital operations.
One store acquired during Raymond's tenure at Team already had existing BDC operations, but the rest did not, he said. So the retailer centralized the business development center operations starting in 2019 after securing a grant to renovate a building in downtown Salisbury. With the move, the retailer implemented a standard playbook across the entire group.
"The process is identical at every single store, so the BDC only has to know one process because it works at every store," Raymond said.
Raymond worked in a BDC early in his auto retail career. He had worked for a police department in Maine but moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to his now-wife and took a job selling cars while scoping out law enforcement opportunities. That sales job led to a role as a BDC agent and then a promotion to BDC manager before he and his family relocated to North Carolina to join Team Automotive.
As the group expands, Raymond is part of a launch team that converts newly acquired stores. His role includes training oversight, with the goal of switching over all systems and getting a new store ready to open as part of Team within a day or two.
Last year Raymond set a goal to increase the number of vehicles sold with help from the business development center by 10 percent, or 100 extra vehicles. Instead, the BDC contributed to nearly 600 additional sales last year vs. 2019 — a 49 percent increase to 1,721 vehicles, Raymond said. The centralized BDC, efforts to increase contact rates, the addition of automated dialing software, stimulus checks delivered during the pandemic and the acquisition of two new stores in 2020 all played a role, he said.
"Going into 2021, we're also going for the same 10 percent," he said, "but now that bar just got that much higher."
— Lindsay VanHulle