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The Kelsey Report® White Paper

Déjà Vu: A Survey of IYP Sales Practices and Challenges
Carlotta Mast , 11/12/2001

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

During his keynote speech at The Kelsey Group's Directory Driven Commerce Conference in March, Jeff Killeen, CEO of Forbes.com and a longtime directory industry executive, observed that despite much progress, the Yellow Pages industry continues to be hampered by the same challenges that plagued him as a publishing leader years ago.

"It's like déjà vu all over again," said Killeen, who was president and CEO of Pacific Bell Interactive Media from 1994 to 1997. "If these are the same issues that are still with us, it is because they are the right issues. These are issues with multi-decade implications and profound consequences."

Chief among these issues is determining how to convert the core Yellow Pages sales force - the industry's lifeblood - into a channel that can successfully sell multiple products and services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Kelsey Group has written extensively on this subject and has followed the industry's movements as publishers have formed (and disbanded) dedicated new product sales channels, experimented with bundling and Internet product giveaways, and attempted to train and motivate traditional Yellow Pages sales reps to sell Internet products and other non-print offerings.

TKG wanted to see what has changed since our last White Paper on this subject (published in August 2000), so in August of this year we surveyed directory sales executives in North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim to determine if publishers are testing any new sales tactics for non-print products and to learn what sales-related issues pose the most significant challenges today.

While the survey sample was not statistically large enough to project throughout the industry, the participants represented many of the industry's largest and most important players. Their responses to our qualitative survey, which was conducted via fax and e-mail and posed a series of multiple-choice questions regarding a wide range of sales-related issues, show publishers throughout the world are following a fairly consistent approach to new product sales.

In this White Paper, we share the results of our survey as well as insights and updates gathered during recent in-depth interviews with Yellow Pages sales executives from around the globe.

Copyright © 2005 The Kelsey Group. All Rights Reserved.
This published material is for internal client use only. It may not be duplicated or distributed in any manner not permitted by contract. Any unauthorized distribution could result in termination of the client relationship, fines and other civil or criminal penalties under Federal law. The Kelsey Group disclaims all warranties regarding the accuracy of the information herein and similarly disclaims any liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages that may result from the use or interpretation of this information.

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Copyright© 2006 The Kelsey Group. All Rights Reserved.