Sprint is enforcing a sales quota requirement that's causing some partners to lose their agent status.
The requirement calls for the carrier's agents to generate $15,000 in new business each quarter. Sprint executives said the requirement was always on agent contracts, but now a formal review process is in place to assess which partners are underperforming.
Partners affected by the requirement were bringing in minimal to no new business for Sprint, said Don Green, senior director of distribution marketing for Sprint Business Marketing.
"Our goal is not to cancel partners," Green said. "We've invested too much in recruiting, training and certification and prefer to keep them on board."
One agent executive, who requested anonymity, said his company lost its agent status when it barely missed the quarterly $15,000 mark.
"It left a bad taste in my mouth because we're one of those partners that just barely fell short of their commitment number and were moved out of program," the agent executive said. "We lost our recurring revenue for existing accounts as well to Sprint. We're now a subagent to a master agent that deals with Sprint, and I can tell you it's a whole lot better than dealing directly with Sprint."
A Sprint spokesman said the reviews happen about twice a year, and only partners falling short of the requirement are reviewed.
Other agents said telecommunications companies that don't require partners to meet a quota have been approaching them to resell their services. Mike Moran, owner of Continental Communications, an Austin, Texas-based Sprint-only shop, said other carriers have approached his firm, but he's sticking with Sprint.
"Business has been down in this industry for the past two years, and [carriers] are trying to get everything they can out of partners," Moran said. "I think what Sprint is trying to do is get rid of some of the underperformers, and competitors are trying to recruit Sprint partners by offering them contracts with no quota requirements."