Sales Force Effectiveness in 2010: The Yellow Pages

The yellow pages industry has gone through dramatic changes over the past decade as the industry grew from $13.7 billion in 2000 to a high-water mark of $16.75 billion in 2007 before plummeting to a projected $14.92 billion in 2010. In the midst of this economic turmoil the industry has faced a number of challenges but among the most difficult: a sales force dedicated primarily to print sales in 2000 with the professional title of sales reps evolving to full-time media consultants with strong background in the electronic world in 2010.

Sales Force Effectiveness in 2010: The Yellow Pages is an in-depth look at the size of the yellow pages industry and its evolution from the print world into the electronic age with approximately 20% of its revenue coming from online operations.

The overall report looks at the evolving sales force, where it started, its on-going training, its status now and where it is anticipated to go in the future.

Sales Force Effectiveness is designed to help publishers, suppliers and investors understand the challenges facing the industry.

Highlights include:

  • The profile of the publishers’ sales staff as it evolves from sales rep to media consultant.
  • Meeting the challenges of hiring sales reps in today’s changing industry.
  • The ongoing training challenges facing publishers and how they are met.
  • The impact on profits as the industry evolves not only from sales rep to media consultant but from print to online.
  • A segment by segment look at the industry by revenue, market share, comparison to other media, ad rates and CPMs and national vs. local revenue.
  • Profiles of key publishers including incumbent and independent.

Yellow Pages Industry Faces Sales Force Transformation, Simba Report Finds

Stamford, CT - Oct. 14, 2010 - The yellow pages industry has gone through many dramatic changes over the past decade as it has faced the onslaught of the digital world. One of the most difficult changes is the transformation of thousands of sales reps, primarily focused on print sales, into the demanding role of full-time media consultants, according to media industry market research firm Simba Information’s Sales Force Effectiveness 2010.

According to the report, yellow page companies are arming their new media consultants with fresh technology, from tablet PCs to BlackBerrys, and commanding new CRM systems to maximize efficiency. As opposed to solely selling print ads, media consultants will focus on bundles of exposure, including internet space, in order to compete with their digital counterparts.

“The print sales person is a job of the past as publishers invest heavily in retraining long-term employees and on-going training for new hires,” says David Goddard, senior analyst of Simba’s Yellow Pages Group and lead author of the study. “Those new hires are not sales reps; they are media consultants and they have to be good at it.”

The financial crisis may have sent tremors through some industries, but it was more like an earthquake to the yellow pages, driving down industry revenues by 7.4%. According to the report, this change in the sales force structure is expected to cut costs and increase the ability of yellow page companies to compete in the long-term, effectively gaining positive revenue by 2012.

Sales Force Effectiveness 2010 provides an overview of the industry, a comparison of sales staff vs. total employees, and revenue per employee and sales rep, as well as a look at revenue based on circulation and number of books. It is available at:

Table of Contents


Executive Summary

Sales Force Effectiveness 2010: The Yellow Pages Industry
Sales Trends and Analysis
Size of the Industry
Total Advertising and Yellow Pages Advertising
Yellow Pages Advertising Rates
Independent Advertising Rates
Independent Publishers vs. Non-Bell Publishers vs. RBOC Publishers
Forecast Industry Growth
Table 1: Total Employee vs. Sales Staff, Selected Publishers
Table 2: Revenue per Employees, 2009, Select Publishers
Table 3: Revenue per Media Consultant, 2009, Select Publishers
Table 4: Circulation per Title, 2009, Select Publishers
Table 5: Average Revenue per Title, 2009, Select Publishers
Table 6: Revenue per Copy, 2009, Select Publishers
Table 7: Yellow Pages Growth Rates, 1995-2012
Table 8: Statistical Summary of the Yellow Pages Industry, 2004-2009
Table 9: Revenue Growth in All U.S. Advertising Media, 2007-2010P
Table 10: Yellow Pages' Share of U.S. Advertising, 2000-2010
Table 11: DHC Rates, CPMs in 25 Top Directories by RBOC Publishers
Table 12: DHC Rates, CPMs in 16 Select Independent Directories
Table 13: National vs. Local Yellow Pages Advertising 2007-2010
Table 14: Yellow Pages Revenue Growth by Publisher Category, 1996-2012
Table 15: Yellow Pages Market Share by Type of Publishers, 1996-2012

Profiles of Leading Yellow Pages Publishers
Ambassador Media Group
AT&T Communications
Dex One
Hagadone Directories
Local Insight Media
Ogden Directories
User-Friendly Phone Book
Valley Yellow Pages
Yell Group

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