Looking Back on the BDC

What comes to mind when you about the origins of the BDC? Join us for a look back at the BDC over the years! Our founder, John Traver, innovated the sales and training processes to create the first Business Development Center. Since its inception in 1991, Traver Connect has been pushing the BDC industry forward with new advancements in technology and services.

In the beginning, most BDC’s were call centers that hosted a small staff of representatives to answer all incoming inquiries.  At that time, they were not being used to support the sales staff to increase profits. Additionally, these call centers relied heavily on the use of simple spreadsheets and handwritten documentation of client information and interactions, which could potentially be unreliable and inefficient.


Sales Reimagined: The Beginning Of the BDC

In the 1980s, the sales process was not as customer-focused as it is today. The industry relied on outdated and sometimes unethical sales practices to secure a sale. Back then, customers were far less likely to purchase a vehicle on the first visit to a dealership. This had a multitude of effects including high turnover and a lack of data to predict conversions.

John Traver realized these inefficiencies and started to understand the importance of building real relationships with customers. This led to discovering how effective appointment-based selling really was. This sales model was effectively the beginning of the BDC as we know it today.

Dealerships were now able to use metrics such as appointment ratio to reasonably predict trends while building customer relationships. Once the process was established and the model was taught by John Traver at the “BDC College”, the only thing left was to create software to help support the staff and dealerships even more.


Software To Support a Changing Industry

In the year 2000, John Traver created the first software to support the new sales process – BD 360. This allowed dealerships to easily track customer information, appointment data, and multiple other metrics that previously were being missed. At this point, ADP purchased the software, along with the terms “BDC” and “BDM”.

After this, Dynamic Website was created to support e-commerce capability. With 3 of the largest auto dealers on board, it wasn’t long before ADP took notice again and purchased the software – making it the industry-standard platform for e-commerce for dealerships.

From John Traver’s perspective, the delivery of the training + software was an example of the right products being delivered at the right time.


The Effects of BDC On the Industry

The purpose of the BDC was to create a consistent, updated sales process based on the predictability of appointment-based sales. Typically, when these are converted, they gross higher than walk-ins. This creates a measurable consistency in the dealership – which is vital for sales and support staff, as well as customers.

Turnover in dealerships is lower, allowing for a more defined career path in sales. When more appointments are converted dealerships can spend less on advertising costs while still selling more each year.


BDC’s are being digitized, moved offsite or outsourced, and expanding. With Traver Connect’s development and continued innovation, the BDC is here to stay and will continue to push the industry forward.


Follow us on LinkedIn to find out more about the history of the BDC and BDC College, including pictures and stories from the alumni!