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The Kelsey Report® White Paper

Internet Yellow Pages Sales Methods and Practices
Charles Laughlin , 8/1/2000

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Getting the sales channel right has been one of the monumental struggles that post-Internet directory organizations have faced as they reinvent themselves as "multiple-product" organizations. Yellow Pages publishers possess one of the great theoretical advantages: the local sales force. Making good use of it to sell non-print products operationally has been very difficult.

Yellow Pages sales managers continue to struggle with finding the right compensation formula (weighing the carrot vs. the stick), training reps to understand the Internet or alternative media well enough to explain it to others, and finding the time in the sales call to do new products justice.

Adding to the strain is the pressure to add more and more products and features to the sales rep's bag. Today, reps are carrying bundles that might include Web sites, coupons, local banner programs, links, e-commerce tools such as lead generation and real-time online scheduling, and Web infrastructure services like hosting and broadband access.

The experience of the past few years has led some organizations to conclude that bundling doesn't really work. Others continue to make adjustments to bundles to increase their flexibility and offer more choices to advertisers - like presenting a menu of options that varies by business category (or "heading"). The thinking is that dry cleaners have needs that are different from painting contractors or attorneys or restaurants.

The major Yellow Pages organizations have not given up on leveraging their local sales forces. Rather, they are continuously adjusting, tweaking and retraining in order to find the right formula for unlocking the potential of what remains their greatest asset.

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.