BT Business Sales Pay Plans 2010/11

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BT Business Sales Pay Plans 2010/11

Prospect has met with the company as part of consultation over changes to the pay plans proposed for 2010/11.



Your BT Retail Industrial Relations Committee (IRC) raised concerns about the fairness of the proposals as well as registering our worries about the impact on the business.

You can read a copy of our letter by clicking on the link opposite. If you are affected by the changes please take the time to read it.

Our member's job-security and financial stability rely on improvements being made and as such we understand the need for change. Indeed we have worked constructively with BT Business (BTB) over the last 3 months as BTB looks to create a sustainable and successful organisation and sales force that is needed, and through a drive to reduce costs, withdraw from some markets and to re-focus on particular activities.

We are, therefore disappointed that BT has decided to press ahead with the pay plans which we remain unconvinced by, which could result in a decrease in sales bonus for members and as importantly risk a decrease in sales for the business.

Our concerns over the plan are as follows

1. Targets
Before setting anything else we believe that targets need to be set that reflect actual market data and what is achievable rather than 'what BT needs'. If this is not done then there could be a fundamental mismatch between LoB objectives and those of people who the business needs to motivate to help get them there.

2. Increase in thresholds
While Prospect and our members understand that pay plans are structured to motivate particular behaviours by differentiating bonus levels, we have argued that setting a high revenue and volume threshold under which nothing will be paid could remove incentives to sell. This would seem at odds with the purpose of pay plans. We have asked the business to explain or demonstrate how the high threshold on revenue and volume targets can motivate people to increase their efforts unless they are close to the threshold at a particular time.

3. Targets based at LoB level
We understand that payments will not be authorised unless targets have been met at senior level. Our concern is that this introduces an unnecessary break in rewarding sales performance. If individual targets flow from the group target then we are convinced by the need for a further gateway. We will be looking to gain an understanding of how that target is set and measured particularly when the individual performance element towards a 'group' target has already been measured.

4. Wider questions about the position of sales people within BT Retail
We have invited the business to discuss with Prospect its understanding of its sales community in a wider sense. Our concern is that looking simply at the pay plan as a crude way to reward or punish could risk BT overlooking other, fundamental issues. Without looking at these the pay plan may have a limited or unhelpful effect on the business.

5. Next steps
We have raised these concerns with the business in writing and meetings. However we have been unable to convince them to modify their plans through the consultation process. The IRC finds it concerning that the business has not responded to the specific risks identified of implementing certain aspects of the proposals.

We will be looking to meet the company again to seek a dialogue that helps our sales members drive the business forward. This dialogue would need to include a commitment to review the impact of these sales pay plans.

Prospect welcomes feedback from members across the sales community on these changes and these can be sent, in confidence, to connect@prospect.org.uk

Please feel free to share this email with your colleagues, particularly if they are not members to ensure they are aware of the work that your IRC is putting in to support your interests.