Google now has a network of 300 telephone sales reps in Mountain View, selling local businesses their Boost and Tag services. "The telephone reps are addressing a number of US markets apparently (but less than 30). Thus the SMB sales force and culture exists at Google (as we knew to some degree). Groupon would have added substantially to that sales force of course," Greg Sterling reported.
It seems Google has learned that some types of services require reaching out to get interested customers. "Google has crossed some sort of "cultural' threshold around sales to SMBs and will either be going after another sales force directly or a product with a sales force attached like Groupon or Yelp," added Sterling.
Google can now sell search, display and mobile ads. But the company may need more SMB-specific products to sell.
Groupon who has 3,000 employees would have provided some or most of that: presence, new customers and soon CRM.