YellowPages.com Beefs Up Sales Force

There were a bunch of things I couldn’t get to yesterday. One of those was YellowPages.com’s announcement:

Dynamic growth and a rising demand for more local-search advertising options have prompted YELLOWPAGES.COM a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. , to roll out an unprecedented coast-to-coast expansion of sales offices, the company announced today.

New YELLOWPAGES.COM sales offices have opened, or are scheduled to open, during the first half of the year in Seattle, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Virginia Beach and Richmond, Va.; Idaho, Iowa and New Mexico, while offices in Phoenix and Salt Lake City are planned for later in 2007. The new locations, which will serve as regional offices for hundreds of new sales professionals working with businesses to reach local consumers, join the list of current YELLOWPAGES.COM field offices in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Pa.; Henderson/Las Vegas, Nev.; and Charlotte, N.C.

Kate Kaye at ClickZ covers the news and provides a bit more context. As she mentions in the article, IAC’s Citysearch has recently opened an Atlanta call center and is making a big sales push.

If I had to boil down success in “the local Internet” to two things they would be: the strength of the destination brand (user experience is a significant factor) and the efficacy of the sales channel(s) or partners. Using those criteria, YellowPages.com is in a strong position. While the user experience is not as strong as it certainly could be, YellowPages.com’s existing assets and multi-platform capabilities (including wireless, free directory assistance) make it a powerful competitor.

What I would do if I were YellowPages.com is improve usability and overhaul the search results pages and interface (not the front door) and spend a boatload of money on consumer marketing, which they are, to establish the brand as a unified way into local content: print, Internet, mobile, voice . . .

4 Responses to “YellowPages.com Beefs Up Sales Force”

  1. Steven Brier Says:

    My experience in the marketplace with yellowpages.com sales of expensive non-performance based local advertising, salesmen who spend many hours overselling and overpromising (at most a 7% market share) and 100% customer dissatisfaction based on total lack of results at least in South Florida leads me to the conclusion that YellowPages.com is an Enron in the making. Good bet.

  2. Payge Owells Says:

    Boooo…. They have the same problem as CitySearch – not enough traffic at their sites alone so both parties resort to selling Google, Yahoo, MSN, traffic in “click buckets.” Their profit on these packages comes from reselling other search engine clicks which they do POORLY. They are selling local businesses (YP, not CitySearch) clicks from other publishers that are marked up 400% and are not optimized and barley tracked! When consumers wise up, they will quit buying from both for “total internet”… So while both YP and CS are great detinations, they overcharge for and modify their offerings to justify the salesforce they need to acquire advertisers… That is why they do not track real results (calls, online conversions)… because YP.com click products are good for exposure and terrible for ROI — which is the primary reason for directional advertising…

  3. tom sabastian Says:

    This has to be the most useless and time wasting way to search for any business. Just google it, its like a brand new corvette and yp.com is an old ford falcon. death to the yellow pages and yellowpages.com. Just another foolish acquisition by att. remember all those wasted cable assets?This will turn out worse. Anyone see Michael armstrong lately ??

  4. Greg Says:

    These guys wont give you anything in writing! I asked the sales rep and he said we never give our rate sheets in writing because it’s secret. WHAA? Are you kidding me? These guys are a joke.

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