Issue: Will New
Integration Improve Sales Performance?
Interactive (SBCI), producer of the SmartPages.com online Yellow Pages
directory and shopping guide, has been placed under the administrative
umbrella of SBC Directory Operations (SBCDO). The move is designed to
integrate the telecommunications company's print and online directory
publishing activities more tightly. Melvin McArthur, president of SBCI,
will lead the new SBC Interactive Media, reporting to SBCDO President
and Chief Executive Officer Pat Engels. The Interactive group will stay
in Pasadena, CA, for the time being at least, and SBCI's 44 sales people
will be integrated into the print directory organization. Some jobs will
be eliminated in administrative areas such as finance and human resources.
An issue raised by
these changes is how the SBCI sales force will be deployed - as sales
trainers, sales management or as Internet sales specialists?