Groupon has called every business in the United States

March 30, 2011, 2:03 AM UTC

This is a guest column by Larry Cheng, a partner with Boston-based VC firm Volition Capital.

I believe this could be a true statement by the end of 2011 if it was Groupon’s intent to do so (which it may not be).

It’s very simple math. Many industry sources put the number of Groupon sales reps at 3,000+. The high end of the range is 4,000.

A typical rep using an auto-dialer will probably call 250–300 companies a day. You have to use an auto-dialer to get those kinds of numbers, which I have to presume Groupon uses.

Usually of those calls, the rep connects with a live person 40–50 times per day. Most of the calls result in a short conversation leading to a hang-up, but that’s the life of an inside sales rep.

Figure that there are 225 business days in a year when you subtract out weekends and holidays.

So the math is: 3,000 reps x 40 connects/day x 225 business days = 27 million businesses called.

According to business databases like Cortera and the US Census, there are about 27 million business establishments in the United States. This is a generous number as only about 7.4 million businesses have payroll – but either way you look at it Groupon could very well call every company in the US this year, if they wanted to.

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