5/14/2008 6:00:00 PM
T-Mobile puts more pressure on distributors
T-Mobile has put more pressure on distributors after revealing plans to increase the number of direct-only dealers it does business with by reducing dealers’ targets.
The operator unveiled the new targets for the independent channel at three seminars around the country last week, which were overseen by recently appointed national sales manager John Fannon (pictured).
T-Mobile’s new plan will mean that it snaps up more dealers to direct accounts, leaving a much smaller pool of dealers for distributors.
Direct dealers will be renamed ‘Premier Partners’ and will be expected to make 150 connections per quarter – a ‘slight reduction’ from the previous T-Mobile target.
Fannon said: ‘There will be an upswing [in the number of direct dealers], but it’s not clear what the scale of it will be. I would describe it as significant uplift,’ he said.
T-Mobile has cut distributors’ targets from 2,000 per quarter to 1,500 including upgrades to reflect the fact that it is managing more dealers directly.
The distribution market is shrinking, with industry experts estimating that connections have dropped from a peak of 170,000 per month to 40,000.
Fannon said: ‘Where [distributors] sit is entirely up to them; the ball is in their court. We’ve reduced the number [of connections] to reflect the changes in the marketplace.’
He dismissed rumours that one or more of T-Mobile’s current distribution partners could be axed before they are given the chance to be judged against the new criteria at the end of the first quarter in October.
However, he warned that T-Mobile would end relationships with any distributors that failed to reach the new targets.
He added: ‘We’ve made it crystal clear what they need to do. We can guarantee extra levels of support to those who want to become involved. To those whose priorities lie elsewhere, we will bring a dignified end to our relationship.
‘We want to find the guys who are serious about doing business with T-Mobile. We will then give them the resources and tools they need.’
Dealers and distributors will be given a grace period of one-and-a-half months before the new targets take effect in July.