Not all commission departments are the same.
We know because we’ve worked with other master agents and their commission departments. It’s crucial for a partner or sub-agent to know what to look for in a master agent’s commission department so they don’t experience frustration later on. Here, we discuss some of the elements to keep an eye out for when shopping master agents, and what the best commission teams should do each month:
Every account…every month.
Not every master agent audits every account that a sub-agent has currently billing each month. Instead, most master agents wait for a partner to reach out claiming they didn’t get paid correctly. The commission department usually receives an email or portal inquiry and then takes it up with the carrier. Carriers can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to respond back, which becomes extremely frustrating for a partner or sub-agent.
This is a vital element of Innovative’s commission process that we have developed specifically from watching sub-agents experience pain with other master agents. If every account is audited each month, the partner can save a few weeks of wait time when the master agent has already sent the inquiry in to the carrier. Make sure your master agent audits every account every month — not just the accounts where discrepancies are reported. Otherwise you might be missing commissions owed to you.
Each installed and billing account should be audited every month for the following:
- Correct residual percentage paid from the carrier
- Correct MRC amount based on the products that are billing
- Correct residual percentage being paid to the sub-agent
- If there was a chargeback, what was it for? Is it correct?
- If the account is not paying, did it disconnect?
Each non-billing account should be audited every month for the following:
- Has the account installed?
- If so, when will residuals start to pay?
- If the account should be paying and isn’t, how many months are owed?
- Is a spiff owed on that account?
An outstanding commissions department will do the following:
- Have a set time frame in which you can count on your commissions being paid every month — no exceptions.
- Have one or more full time support staff who will answer all of your inquiries quickly and make sure you are getting paid the correct amount.
- Respond to commission inquiries within 24 hours of receipt. The staff is in constant communication, even if there is no update from the carrier.
- Run a convenient and efficient portal through which you can access your commission statements and order history.
- Catch commission errors that a partner did not see, and notify the partner of the commission amount they will be paid.
There is nothing more frustrating than having to deal with a master agent’s commission team that cannot be relied on for timely, accurate responses to questions. We’ve built our commission department to be the best in the industry by learning how to speed up the dispute process and pay our partners’ commission inquiries quickly.
At Innovative, we try to make our partners feel they have a voice, and act as a valuable resource when it comes to making sure they are paid commissions correctly. If you are frustrated with your current situation and would like to feel like you are part of a team, give us a call.