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LivePerson Rolls Out Online Sales
Web collaboration specialist breaks out of the online chat box; new sales edition; a much-needed revenue stream, says analyst
Posted Sep 17, 2002
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With revenues stalling at less than $2 million quarterly, LivePerson, an application service provider of Web collaboration tools such as online chat, unveiled this week a sales management service, called Sales Edition. LivePerson will be able to pitch this service to more than 3,000 existing customers, in hopes of generating badly needed sales, says Kelly Spang Ferguson, analyst at Current Analysis. Sales Edition enables companies to capture customers' actions, including Web pages visited and the amount of time spent viewing each page. Sales Edition technology analyzes traffic to identify purchase patterns, shopping cart contents and other activity. As a result, sales people and marketers can use the data to engage customers immediately in an online sales consultation and deploy an automated online marketing campaign, claims LivePerson. "The difference between having an online storefront and closing online sales is the experience potential customers have on the site, just like in stores," said Robert LoCascio, CEO of LivePerson, in a statement, adding, "The ability to proactively engage potential customers in conversations while they are on your website is giving our customers a leg up on their competition." LivePerson counts eBay, EarthLink, Neiman Marcus and others as customers of its Web collaboration services. And already several companies, including TechnoBrands and MyFamily.com, are using Sales Edition, says LivePerson. Sales Edition is available as a hosted service for around $10,000 per month for up to 10 operators, while the flagship Corporate Chat product costs $350 per seat. Sales Edition isn't anything new but still a good move for the company, says Ferguson. It's a natural extension of LivePerson's core online chat products. Sales Edition is the latest in a line of product enhancements, which includes Monitoring Online Movement platform and an alliance with WebSideStory, a provider of real-time customer behavior monitoring solutions, introduced earlier this year. Moreover, Sales Edition puts LivePerson in the sales arena. Up until now, says Ferguson, the LivePerson offering has been more targeted towards customer service applications. "From a market opportunity standpoint, the Sales Edition might give LivePerson an additional revenue source, which the company needs to break the $2 million quarterly revenue threshold," she says, adding, "However, the question is whether the Sales Edition provides enough value that it warrants a pricing premium over the Corporate Chat product."
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