Microsoft to give incentives to retail workers who sell Windows Phones

Microsoft knows that getting its product into the hands of the consumer is the only way to sustain the Windows Phone platform. It also knows that retail workers stand in the way of getting those device into the consumers hands, so what is Microsoft to do? According to Paul Thurrott, Microsoft will begin paying incentives to retail workers for selling Windows Phone devices.

Paul states that Microsoft will pay between $10-$15 per handset sold to retail workers who sell a Windows Phone device; Microsoft is making an attractive offer to sales associates to push its products. 

The idea of paying retail workers to push your products does remove the line of objectivity but for Microsoft, they know that they must overcome the sales associates own preferences for them to be able to market their products on an even playing field.

Think of it this way, if a sales associate is an Android user, typically they will push you towards an Android product as that is their preference. The same can be said with iOS, Blackberry and the like. But, Microsoft is late to the game and it needs that inroad into the sales associate hearts, or wallet in this case.

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microsoft will give away 10 to retail workers, for every one of the windows phone sold, because there will be so many in excess stock.

Why not make an ad showing how someone might check their tweets and facebook updates, making it sound like you're going to see them check one, then the other but then just tap People. And another where you're posting to linked in, twitter and facebook in one go, in the similar style - make it sound like 3 activities then show it as one. Show Zune finding and streaming music for £/$x.99 a month. Someone playing a game and scoring an achievement, then going back to the game hub with their avatar and gamer score to reinforce the link with xbox gamers. All the time displaying the small print "NO sequences have been shortened" - they don't need to be. Kind of like Apple's ads showed the iphone doing things, but making sure its style is not just a blatent rip off with a white background, plain music etc. And please, no offense to the citizens of the US, but film a UK ad in the UK with UK actors in a representatively UK sized house!

Xeron said,
Why not make an ad showing how someone might check their tweets and facebook updates, making it sound like you're going to see them check one, then the other but then just tap People. And another where you're posting to linked in, twitter and facebook in one go, in the similar style - make it sound like 3 activities then show it as one. Show Zune finding and streaming music for £/$x.99 a month. Someone playing a game and scoring an achievement, then going back to the game hub with their avatar and gamer score to reinforce the link with xbox gamers. All the time displaying the small print "NO sequences have been shortened" - they don't need to be. Kind of like Apple's ads showed the iphone doing things, but making sure its style is not just a blatent rip off with a white background, plain music etc. And please, no offense to the citizens of the US, but film a UK ad in the UK with UK actors in a representatively UK sized house!

good idea, especially bit about a UK based ad!

The ONLY failure IMO that MSD has made is with their AWFUL marketing strategy. Not just WP7, but with all their products.

They need to poach the Apple marketing team lol!!!

The UX customers get with WP7 and will get with Windows 8 compared to alternatives (inc Windows 7) is far better than other offering from Android / Linux, Apple, RIM & Symbian Belle.

This will only become clearer + clearer with WP8 and Windows 8

This is not unheard of, its been happening here in Australia with Telstra and Optus for many many years. Hence in the Apple/Samsung fight downunder there's been attempts to see the contracts between the carriers and Apple. Regardless of the contracts, my friends in the Telco area all say they get paid extra to sell Galaxy S II/Nexus or iPhones, and none of them have had any training on WindowsPhone and have incentives to talk people out of buying one.

Anyone who thinks the HTC/Samsung/LG/ZTE/NOKIA/Apples of the world dont give carriers incentives to sell handsets are either dumb, or blind, or think that these phones are sold purely on capability.

rxsoob said,

Anyone who thinks the HTC/Samsung/LG/ZTE/NOKIA/Apples of the world dont give carriers incentives to sell handsets are either dumb, or blind, or think that these phones are sold purely on capability.

This.

rxsoob said,
This is not unheard of, its been happening here in Australia with Telstra and Optus for many many years. Hence in the Apple/Samsung fight downunder there's been attempts to see the contracts between the carriers and Apple. Regardless of the contracts, my friends in the Telco area all say they get paid extra to sell Galaxy S II/Nexus or iPhones, and none of them have had any training on WindowsPhone and have incentives to talk people out of buying one.

Anyone who thinks the HTC/Samsung/LG/ZTE/NOKIA/Apples of the world dont give carriers incentives to sell handsets are either dumb, or blind, or think that these phones are sold purely on capability.

+1

I hope the "quick to bash MS/WP" read your comment and wakeup to the fact that this has been going on with iPHones and lots of Android devices for quite some time now.

The sad thing is Apple can't keep up with demand, every store sells out it's entire inventory every 24 hours but Microsoft has to pay people to buy a few phones.

But in my opinion there is no need for this - its only going to make people wary of the sellers advice. I hope they dont go through with this, the public will catch on.

Orange Battery said,
But in my opinion there is no need for this - its only going to make people wary of the sellers advice. I hope they dont go through with this, the public will catch on.

Average Joe isn't going to know that Salesman Jim is pushing the device to make a buck. They'll just think they're being offered the very best thing for them since sliced bread. It's what salespeople do.

Orange Battery said,
But in my opinion there is no need for this - its only going to make people wary of the sellers advice. I hope they dont go through with this, the public will catch on.

Moron alert - 99.999999% of the average Joe will never know about the incentive program. *THUD*

Orange Battery said,
But in my opinion there is no need for this - its only going to make people wary of the sellers advice. I hope they dont go through with this, the public will catch on.

Its no different to any other industry though

wp7 might be big in the UK and overseas but here in the US there was a never a big push for it. that's why sales are staggering and microsoft is going to great desperate lengths to try to unload them.

smooth3006 said,
wp7 might be big in the UK and overseas but here in the US there was a never a big push for it. that's why sales are staggering and microsoft is going to great desperate lengths to try to unload them.

Sorry to bust the fanboy bubble but it isn't very big anywhere.

If anyone has a valid opinion about a phone platform it is a retail worker who sells the devices. Giving these workers a monetary incentive to sell a phone that goes against their opinions is not a good or honest move especially for customers who end up with a phone they really don't like.

derekaw said,
If anyone has a valid opinion about a phone platform it is a retail worker who sells the devices. Giving these workers a monetary incentive to sell a phone that goes against their opinions is not a good or honest move especially for customers who end up with a phone they really don't like.

So salesman at the wireless store don't have to be professionals if they're Apple fanbois who hate Microsoft?

derekaw said,
If anyone has a valid opinion about a phone platform it is a retail worker who sells the devices. Giving these workers a monetary incentive to sell a phone that goes against their opinions is not a good or honest move especially for customers who end up with a phone they really don't like.

So that sales person who calls one platform or another **** (without having used it) and pushes the phone he/she personally owns and likes on to others has a valid opinion? Where have you been all this time?

derekaw said,
If anyone has a valid opinion about a phone platform it is a retail worker who sells the devices. Giving these workers a monetary incentive to sell a phone that goes against their opinions is not a good or honest move especially for customers who end up with a phone they really don't like.

Sales people generally don't have a valid opinion.

Microsoft (and Nokia) really need to start doing something. We at our store (Carphone Warehouse/The Phone House) don't even have any Windows Phones available. And all sales reps (aside me) absolutely hate the platform (even though none of them has actually used it).

Samsung is somehow doing very good over here. More than half of all devices we sell are Samsungs (mostly Galaxy Ace/Mini/Gio).

Ambroos said,
Microsoft (and Nokia) really need to start doing something. We at our store (Carphone Warehouse/The Phone House) don't even have any Windows Phones available. And all sales reps (aside me) absolutely hate the platform (even though none of them has actually used it).
Samsung is somehow doing very good over here. More than half of all devices we sell are Samsungs (mostly Galaxy Ace/Mini/Gio).

surely if u don't have any available its your company's responsibility to make sure all stores have atleast some stock available, its on the website for sale so they got stock of it, maybe u should contact head office

Ambroos said,
Microsoft (and Nokia) really need to start doing something. We at our store (Carphone Warehouse/The Phone House) don't even have any Windows Phones available. And all sales reps (aside me) absolutely hate the platform (even though none of them has actually used it).

Samsung is somehow doing very good over here. More than half of all devices we sell are Samsungs (mostly Galaxy Ace/Mini/Gio).

How can they hate what they never even tried out? What does that say about the effectiveness of the Mac vs PC ads? Steve Jobs' legacy is one of mindless hating drones.

BBinder said,

surely if u don't have any available its your company's responsibility to make sure all stores have atleast some stock available, its on the website for sale so they got stock of it, maybe u should contact head office


Phone House Belgium just doesn't have them anywhere in general. Not on their site either.

Windows Phone isn't selling because of Microsoft can't advertise. Their marketing department is a massive failure and should be completely replaced. WP7 looks very nice, but is 1)extremely late to market 2)still lacks features people want 3)lacks a significant ecosystem (after-market, apps, etc.) As a geek, I'll drop what I've got right now--if Microsoft can convince me, and provide a way to make all of my music/videos/movies/apps/aftermarket peripherals work with WP7, without having to resort to questionable and convoluted methods.

Sad that this has to happen. Windows Phone will suit a LOT of people who are new to smartphones or just want something easy to use.

About to switch to android 4.0 after 9 years of Windows CE; Pocket PC up to Windows Phone 7.5 so I think they need to work on the OS a bit more as well.

Networks usually (not always) tell their staff what to encourage users towards and its their staff so they can do what they want, but an external company bribing staff to influence sales sounds very wrong and desperate

thealexweb said,
Networks usually (not always) tell their staff what to encourage users towards and its their staff so they can do what they want, but an external company bribing staff to influence sales sounds very wrong and desperate

I agree with this. This is tantamount to bribery. The same thing Microsoft does to PC OEM's via discounts.

Joey S said,

I agree with this. This is tantamount to bribery. The same thing Microsoft does to PC OEM's via discounts.

Have you read efjay's comment?

Also, it is nothing like Windows OEM licensing.

Joey S said,

I agree with this. This is tantamount to bribery. The same thing Microsoft does to PC OEM's via discounts.

Completely agree.

dotf said,
Have you read efjay's comment?
Facts are not necessary for thealexweb to attack Microsoft.

After all, it's not like Apple has paid for, or contractually forced their way into a bubble at the front of every AT&T store in America. Nope.

I'm sure all of AT&T's product placement is just a coincidence. It just happens that even the newest WP7 phones get stuck in the back, and all of the staff know nothing about them.

Ignorance is bliss.

Edited by pickypg, Jan 4 2012, 8:36pm :

thealexweb said,
Networks usually (not always) tell their staff what to encourage users towards and its their staff so they can do what they want, but an external company bribing staff to influence sales sounds very wrong and desperate

You seem not to understand how "sales" generally works. This is incentivising people to push a product. It happens in all industries in one way or another. I work in sales and am familiar with "commission" structures...This is really all MS is doing. $10-$15 commission for selling a handset.

You think a car salesperson at a dealership is not getting incentives and that they are exactly the same payouts for each car / manufacturer? Or energy companies pay the same amount of commission to a sales person for selling a 1 year contract compared to a 4 year contract? You really think that all mortgage companies pay exactly the same commission for all mortgages over different terms with differing interest rates etc?

Or do you even think the phone manufacturers / network operators / 3rd party sales companies pay EXACTLY the same amount for each different handset on each different provider / different country / different OS / different network / different contract term / different amount customer pays for the contract etc etc????

I could go on....

You have a lot to learn my boy.....!!!!

WP7 said,

You seem not to understand how "sales" generally works. This is incentivising people to push a product. It happens in all industries in one way or another. I work in sales and am familiar with "commission" structures...This is really all MS is doing. $10-$15 commission for selling a handset.

You think a car salesperson at a dealership is not getting incentives and that they are exactly the same payouts for each car / manufacturer? Or energy companies pay the same amount of commission to a sales person for selling a 1 year contract compared to a 4 year contract? You really think that all mortgage companies pay exactly the same commission for all mortgages over different terms with differing interest rates etc?

Or do you even think the phone manufacturers / network operators / 3rd party sales companies pay EXACTLY the same amount for each different handset on each different provider / different country / different OS / different network / different contract term / different amount customer pays for the contract etc etc????

I could go on....

You have a lot to learn my boy.....!!!!

Your argument is flawed what if there was a car dealer that stocked multiple brands of cars but VW approached salesman on the ground saying you'll get extra money from us if you are bias towards our cars, VM's market share would then rise unfairly, the sales commision culture is fine if its the employer handing out commision, not some outside force.

thealexweb said,

Your argument is flawed what if there was a car dealer that stocked multiple brands of cars but VW approached salesman on the ground saying you'll get extra money from us if you are bias towards our cars, VM's market share would then rise unfairly, the sales commision culture is fine if its the employer handing out commision, not some outside force.

I didnt say it's "fair" or "unfair" - I simply said that this is common practise. non of what I said is "flawed" for the reasons you state. Your very example happens for goodness sake!!

People like you seem to be either ignorant, stupid or just absent minded

WP7 said,

I didnt say it's "fair" or "unfair" - I simply said that this is common practise. non of what I said is "flawed" for the reasons you state. Your very example happens for goodness sake!!

People like you seem to be either ignorant, stupid or just absent minded

Think whatever you like, and people like you would defend WP no matter what, and you can't really call me a fanboy, I have a Windows PC, an android phone and a iPad.

thealexweb said,

Think whatever you like, and people like you would defend WP no matter what, and you can't really call me a fanboy, I have a Windows PC, an android phone and a iPad.

Oh bully for you with all those devices. We are like that in our household with a multitude of different devices.

whatever you say, it doesn't change the fact that what i said is how "sales" work lol!

Won't help in Canada.
We're beholden to the anchor that is RIM
Our Sales reps across various vendors are loyal to that burning platform, to borrow from Mr. Elop.

This is standard practice, correct? The term used is "spiffs" and is not a new tactic used in phone sales. So before any MS haters start going off, this is only MS upping their game to the same level as their competition, but it seems as always when MS is concerned they are going to be villified as if they are the only ones doing this.

efjay said,
This is standard practice, correct? The term used is "spiffs" and is not a new tactic used in phone sales. So before any MS haters start going off, this is only MS upping their game to the same level as their competition, but it seems as always when MS is concerned they are going to be villified as if they are the only ones doing this.

Not only that, but manufacturers do the same thing with carriers. I read today that the Nokia Ace will have what's called a "Hero status" (first WP to have such a status) with AT&T which means, AT&T as a corporation will instruct their sales people to push the devices. Apparently this is common with Android phones (Samsung Galaxy S series). This, to me, is no different.

The sales reps need edcuating first. While a fair few people have had experiences where the reps were pushing them to Android, whenever I've been asking about WP7 devices they've all candidly stated they don't know much about WP7 and I've ended up educating and almost "pitching" WP7 to them, even though it should be the other way around (I'm a salesman by profession, so it came naturally haha)

Granted, those who I were discussing it with in the stores actually really liked the idea of Windows Phone funnily enough. But MS is right, a lot of sales people are really standing in the way of WP7 getting bigger marketshare.

The Teej said,
The sales reps need edcuating first. While a fair few people have had experiences where the reps were pushing them to Android, whenever I've been asking about WP7 devices they've all candidly stated they don't know much about WP7 and I've ended up educating and almost "pitching" WP7 to them, even though it should be the other way around (I'm a salesman by profession, so it came naturally haha)

Granted, those who I were discussing it with in the stores actually really liked the idea of Windows Phone funnily enough. But MS is right, a lot of sales people are really standing in the way of WP7 getting bigger marketshare.

This...All of this.

Exactly what they need to do. Sales reps have more buzz words to use when pushing Android ("NFC," "Dual Core," "LTE," etc.). With WP7 you have a better, smoother, and more robust experience, but you can't sell that as easily.

I've been in several phone stores looking at Windows Phones and the sales reps in every case said "Oh you dont want that, get an Android." I asked "Have you ever used a Windows Phone?" And in every case, the answer was no.

shamburg said,
Exactly what they need to do. Sales reps have more buzz words to use when pushing Android ("NFC," "Dual Core," "LTE," etc.). With WP7 you have a better, smoother, and more robust experience, but you can't sell that as easily.

I've been in several phone stores looking at Windows Phones and the sales reps in every case said "Oh you dont want that, get an Android." I asked "Have you ever used a Windows Phone?" And in every case, the answer was no.

While buzzwords are nice, pushing things like "integrated media experiences", "all of your social networks available to you all at once", "facebook messenger integration with your contacts list" and even "xbox live integration, allowing for an easy 200 gamerscore for hundreds of games under a fiver" are reasonable sales lines. It's really not that hard to sell WP7 it's just the sales guys can't be arsed and rather go for the easy sell.

The Teej said,

While buzzwords are nice, pushing things like "integrated media experiences", "all of your social networks available to you all at once", "facebook messenger integration with your contacts list" and even "xbox live integration, allowing for an easy 200 gamerscore for hundreds of games under a fiver" are reasonable sales lines. It's really not that hard to sell WP7 it's just the sales guys can't be arsed and rather go for the easy sell.

Agreed, this is common for a lot of salespeople, but money talks to those kind of sales people too.

MS Lose32 said,
Pretty soon Microsoft is going to have to pay the world to use WP7.

It would, sorta, maybe, be funny if it wasn't also a fact that retailers make a small cut off of selling many high end Android phones.

GP007 said,

It would, sorta, maybe, be funny if it wasn't also a fact that retailers make a small cut off of selling many high end Android phones.

There's a difference between retailers making a cut on phone sales and outside forces like Google or Microsoft or RIM bribing every salesman in sight.

thealexweb said,

There's a difference between retailers making a cut on phone sales and outside forces like Google or Microsoft or RIM bribing every salesman in sight.

I don't disagree with you but if this is what phone makers do then that's how the game is played. Nothing wrong with MS playing by the same rules. Besides, the idea behind this isn't anything new, lots of retail/salesmen, etc, get a cut on what they sell, cars, houses,loans for houses, consultants who come in and tell you what to buy for your business and on and on.

It's about time they started this. Last year when I was upgrading from my Blackberry to the Windows phone OS, the sales person was pushing me towards Android OS.

wetworker said,
It's about time they started this. Last year when I was upgrading from my Blackberry to the Windows phone OS, the sales person was pushing me towards Android OS.

so what did u buy then?

I Bought a Samsung Focus off contract. On Rogers network Toronto - Canada. I'm do for a hardware upgrade so hopefully they will have the Nokia Ace. If they don't I'm just going to buy a unlock one

still1 said,

so what did u buy then?

wetworker said,
It's about time they started this. Last year when I was upgrading from my Blackberry to the Windows phone OS, the sales person was pushing me towards Android OS.

Well done, man. I'm stuck with my Vibrant in Froyo thanks to Samsung and T-Mobile.

Ricardo Dawkins said,

Well done, man. I'm stuck with my Vibrant in Froyo thanks to Samsung and T-Mobile.

Can't you just install CM7? That's what I did on my Fascinate so I could get some Gingerbreat

I had always heard that service providers were making more money off of Android based devices than others but I'm not sure where that came from or if it was accurate at all.

Shadrack said,
I had always heard that service providers were making more money off of Android based devices than others but I'm not sure where that came from or if it was accurate at all.

I heard the exact opposite. Maybe if you consider the number of devices including their contract, but there was an article some time ago that cheap Androids are experiencing a much higher RMA rate than other smartphones.
This also results in lower costumer satisfaction.

chrilo said,

I heard the exact opposite. Maybe if you consider the number of devices including their contract, but there was an article some time ago that cheap Androids are experiencing a much higher RMA rate than other smartphones.
This also results in lower costumer satisfaction.

Exactly. AND, I read quite some time ago that Android was much more costly to implement for OEM's as well.

Tom said,
If this happens in the UK i'll be rich.

Are you selling a lot of Windows Phones then lately? How many (approximately) would you say you've sold within the past three months?