Verizon Revamps, Expands Sales Agent Program to Better Serve Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

NEW YORK - To provide more help and expertise in meeting the data communications needs of small and medium-sized business customers, Verizon has revamped and expanded its sales agent program.

Under the revised Verizon Solutions Partners Program, the company plans to recruit and train additional sales agents. In addition, authorized sales agents who currently offer Verizon data products such as DSL and other Internet services will receive special training to increase the agents' knowledge of the products. The agents will also learn consultative sales techniques and be able to participate in an increased compensation plan.

The initiative is part of Verizon's continuing strategy to increase its focus on the small and medium-sized business market.

"Verizon's goal is to ensure complete customer satisfaction by offering our agents support and training every step of the way so that they can deliver complete data and voice solutions to meet the increasingly complex communications needs of small and medium-sized businesses," said Cheryl Martin-White, director - agency sales. "For agents, our revised and expanded program contains the right balance of flexibility and incentives."

Verizon continues to introduce new services and packages for small and medium-sized businesses. New services include Wireless LAN, Wi-Fi and single-pair, high bit-rate DSL. In addition, Verizon's Freedom for Business combines unlimited local and long-distance calling. The Freedom for Business bundles can also be combined with various data offerings. Participants in the Verizon Solutions Partners Program can choose to sell only data services or the full voice and data product portfolio.

The program offers three levels of marketing and technical support, based on an agent's needs and commitment to market Verizon products and services.

"We listened to our current participants in making changes to the program," said Martin-White.

In addition to product training, Verizon offers agents several Web-based tools to support their sales efforts, including a portal for communications, forecasting and self-service pricing tools, reporting programs and product updates.

The application process takes six to eight weeks and includes successful completion of the required training. Afterwards, agents are authorized to sell Verizon products and services. Agents can obtain more information on the Web at www.verizon.com/vspp.

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.