2/18/2010 11:36:00 AM
Orange to tackle in-house dealer poaching
Orange is to address the problem of its in-house retentions
teams poaching dealers' customers as they come to the end of
Dealers have long campaigned against the practice of poaching,
which they claim is endemic to UK operators.
Orange sales director Steve Heald told Mobile that the operator
is looking at how the problem can be tackled. Heald recently had
his remit at Orange extended to include SME dealer and
Heald said: 'We are working on how best to share the data on
customers and retentions. There is definitely more we can do to
improve on this. We are working with our dealers and we are
committed to doing this.'
However, he warned the solution will not appear 'overnight'.
Heald also revealed that Orange is testing a new pricing model
for its SME dealers in the first quarter of this year. If the
trial is successful, Orange will extend it into 2010.
Heald said: 'We are always looking at commissions and price. It
is a moveable feast. This quarter, the SME pricing model is on a
monthly basis only; so for all our dealers, we are committed to a
commercial plan for this quarter.'
He said the new deal is aimed at giving dealers more certainty.
'The aim is to give everyone consistency and the ability to go
out, pitch and close a deal and not fall through the pipeline.'
The trial is already showing positive results. Heald said: 'We
are going to see how it goes. It has been positive so far.
Assuming it continues to work we will look at extending that
Orange plans to increase dealer support this year, as part of its
plan to grow its SME business and its drive to push the iPhone in
the SME sphere.
Heald said: 'This year, we want to make sure we are working with
the right dealers and we want to give them the right support as
they are the people who come into contact with our customers -
the issue for Orange and our distributors is to find partners
that work best.'
Orange is running training sessions via its distributors for its
iPhone dealers. Heald said: 'We want to make sure we give our
dealers the right support for what is a complex sell.'
He added: 'We want to make clear the business message around the
iPhone, to get that message to our dealers so they can better
sell the product - our dealers need to know what the right apps
are for our SME customers - it is not just a physical sell.
'All our dealers have been through training sessions in the
launch phase and there will be more over the next 12 months. We
want our dealers to offer the best service experience.'
Heald said he was 'looking very closely' at taking on more SME
dealers to sell the iPhone. He said sales of the device were
going well, adding that Orange currently has 'more than 20 iPhone