NTL cuts staff in bid to refocus agency sales

Cable operator NTL is shedding some of its UK sales staff and will refocus its sales strategies to more effectively target London agencies.

Cable operator NTL is shedding some of its UK sales staff and will

refocus its sales strategies to more effectively target London

agencies.



Peter Lilley, sales director of NTL, said the company is cutting back in

a bid to form one strong agency sales team and really push cable to the

agencies.



’We need to move our manpower to another source,’ said an NTL

spokesman.



NTL is also setting up a website, enabling agencies to plan campaigns on

the site by indicating their region of interest. The information

submitted will give subscribers a budget and a target audience.

Eventually, it is planned that clients will have the facility to book

online.



Lilley said: ’ There are only about 15 main agencies dealing with

regional press and this is the type of agency we will be targeting.’



Lilley intends to build the team from scratch and is hunting for staff,

but it is not yet clear whether it will be based in London or

Hampshire.



’I will be looking to employ sales people who know their way around

local press and who are on first-name terms with local press buyers,’ he

continued.



NTL set up local sales teams in six different franchises including

Glasgow, Belfast, South Wales, Surrey, Luton and Huddersfield in 1997.

As part of the refocus, four sales people will remain in the

Huddersfield, Luton and Wales areas. But the Belfast, Surrey and

Scottish franchises have all been cut to two sales staff each.



According to Lilley, the battle to win clients’ budgets by the local

press and media now takes place in the agencies.’If one of the

conglomerates decides to advertise a series of local sales, it’s likely

that agencies will fill up their ad budget with local press before our

sales people get to talk to the client.’



The cable company’s core clients in the regions are garage dealers,

large local stores and health centres.



NTL will soon become the largest cable operator in the UK with the 6.3

billion purchase of Cable & Wireless. If the deal goes through in May,

the sales operations will change.



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