The dynamic nature of the telecommunications industry presents special challenges and opportunities for those who manage compensation for its employees and sales networks. The agile use of compensation in the telco industry provides useful insights for companies in any industry that seek to use compensation strategically in a complex and competitive environment.
Few industries deal with as much change as telco, or have more sophisticated compensation requirements. With products and services changing on a daily basis, fierce competition for market share, multi-channel strategies, complex distribution networks, and multinational markets, using rewards strategically is critical—and challenging. Effective management of rewards can be the competitive differentiator that creates a motivated workforce and drives market share.
Let’s look at how that can be accomplished.
Incentive plans need to flex to adapt to strategy and market
With sales incentives playing such a huge role in driving the business, in both the B2B and B2C sectors, it is critical to have incentive plans that fully support company strategy on a daily basis..
Sales plans need to frequently adapt to support a proliferation of offerings, frequent launches of new services, and special promotions. Offerings vary widely: Voice Over IP, fixed-line phone cards, B2B, 3G/4G/5G broadband access, payments via SMS, triple-play packages (internet, phone, TV), etc.
Meanwhile, customer churn in telco is legendary. Fierce competition and mobile number portability make it easy to switch brands. Both the sales and post-sales teams need to be engaged and motivated to gain and retain customers. For these reasons—and more—successful rewards programs need to be as flexible as the environment in which they operate.
Payments must be timely, accurate, and transparent
The salesforce needs to see its sales results—and the resulting compensation—on a daily basis. This can require massive processing of data to analyze contracts, correctly credit sales to the sales team based on their roles in each transaction, and perform complex calculations with hundreds of indicators and rules to determine commissions and other incentive payments.
On the services side, the right incentives are needed to drive efficient yet effective customer service, to satisfy, retain, and upsell customers. These plans likewise can involve many key performance indicators and sophisticated calculations to drive the desired behaviors and deliver on company goals.
Incentives are effective only when employees and sales partners see and understand them. This requires transparency into how incentives were calculated, tracing payments back to the individual transaction level. Not only does such transparency inspire trust and loyalty, it greatly eliminates the burden on the compensation team to resolve pay disputes.
It may sound complex, but this is what it takes to implement a global rewards strategy that drives sales, customer satisfaction, and overall performance. Accurate payments, on time, clearly communicated with supporting detail, are critical to ensure the proper alignment and motivation of internal and external sales channels.
Rewards must keep the whole company aligned, globally
Beyond sales incentives, total compensation also should be leveraged to keep the company aligned. Broad-based HR compensation such as salaries, bonus plans, and long term incentives for employees need to be linked to company strategy. They need to be consistent across the organization, yet adapted for local markets.
Both Sales and HR compensation plans need to be flexible to handle complexity, and so require a delivery platform that can ensure the plans are executed effectively, with visibility to all stakeholders. And since plans may change frequently to adapt to shifting conditions or strategies, the platform must support fast and easy plan changes, without requiring IT involvement.
Manage telco compensation, your way
One size does not fit all. Perhaps more so than in any other industry, every telco company is unique. Telcos need to be able to manage compensation “their way”. An compensation solution that force-fits your strategy into its limitations is not going to work.
Many telcos get by with legacy systems or ad hoc solutions cobbled together from various disparate systems and manual processes, which are inefficient, costly, and inflexible. The ROI of updating to flexible compensation management that can be maintained by business users can be dramatic.
beqom provides a cloud-based sales incentives and total rewards platform, which is both scalable and flexible. Our solution integrates seamlessly with any existing HRIS software suites to enable sophisticated compensation management for total rewards processes, without compromise.
Since our inception in 2009, beqom has been providing the telecommunications industry with a platform to automate compensation for employees and external sales channels, bringing much needed efficiency, reduced costs, and a powerful tool to motivate and reward the workforce.
Is your compensation platform meeting your needs? Take this telco compensation system survey and get an informative brochure about managing compensation in telco, including inspiring customer success stories.