WebEx adds Sales Center for sales professionals

Service can be integrated with CRM, sales force automation apps

AN FRANCISCO - WebEx Communications Inc. is expanding its Web conferencing service with an offering designed for sales professionals, the company plans to announce on Monday.

The new WebEx Sales Center is tailored for online sales and can be integrated with CRM (customer relationship management) and SFA (sales force automation) applications, said Sanjay Dalal, director of the new WebEx Sales Center service.

Features of WebEx Sales Center include the ability to easily create and tap into a database of experts to bring them into an online meeting. Salespeople can also create personalized meeting portals for each prospect and launch a Web meeting from within their CRM or SFA application.

Also, to limit distraction, the potential customer sees a simplified interface, while an "attention indicator" on the salesperson's side will sound an alarm when the prospect opens another application over the sales presentation.

For managers, WebEx Sales Center provides the ability to monitor online sales meetings as well as reporting and analysis tools and account and opportunity reports. This data can be sent to CRM or SFA applications by using the integration capabilities of WebEx Sales Center, according to WebEx, based in San Jose, California.

WebEx Sales Center is the sixth specialized WebEx Center and another example of how the Web conferencing market leader seeks to differentiate itself from rivals including Microsoft Corp. and Genesys SA.

"While a one-size-fits-all solution is good for many meeting purposes, I am an advocate for vertical solutions as they cater to the specific needs of end-users. I think the fact that WebEx offers multiple vertical solutions is what really makes them stand out," said David Alexander, an industry research manager at Frost & Sullivan Inc.

The new service is priced at $250 per port, a $50 per month premium over the full-featured WebEx Meeting Center. WebEx does offer volume discounts.

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