Managing Sales commissions and Disputes at T-Mobile
T-Mobile US, Inc., provides mobile communications services in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It offers its services and products via a dealer network and its own retail stores. With approximately 275 Master Dealers, 15,000 Agents, and 25,000 employees on incentive compensation plans, T-Mobile has a complex and massive commission operation. In 2010, T-Mobile had decided to replace its in-house legacy commissions platform with Varicent, which is now acquired by IBM.
Managing the commission operations for 3 distinct types of Payees—Dealers, Agents, Employees—in an ever-evolving industry poses a huge operational challenge for both IT and Commission Operations. The incentive landscape has inherent challenges as new plan components are rolled out quarterly to keep up with the competition. SPIFFs and KSOs are rolled out and pulled back sometimes weekly. Delays in calculating the commission amount and publishing the commission statements were a risk to T-Mobile’s ability to attract and retain sales talent. Both the Commission Operations team and IT were under tremendous pressure to react fast, pay correctly and quickly.
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