Participate Makes Selling Easier
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With the help of some big wins of name brand accounts and strategic deals with key vendors, sales force software developer Participate Systems is bucking the downward spiral other technology firms are experiencing. The Chicago-based company, which develops community management software and services that tie into CRM applications, experienced 14 percent revenue growth to $9.3 million in 2001 from $8.2 million in 2000. This year, as a result of industry partnerships and landing more name brand accounts, Participate Systems expects revenue to hit $12 million, according to Alan Warms, president, CEO, and company founder. "There is a huge need among a sales force to have quick access to the right information," Warms says. "We help companies get that expert information to the customer." Through its Participate Enterprise 2 management software, Participate Systems builds a knowledge base of questions and answers that sales reps need at their fingertips, Warms says. Participate Systems will set up and help maintain the database, help select the experts inside the company to provide the information, and tie the entire solution into the existing CRM system. Helping to boost sales and name recognition, Participate Systems recently struck a deal with Wm Wrigley Jr. Co., in which the chewing gum giant will enable its 500 North American sales territory managers to use the enterprise management software. When fully rolled out, it will allow the Wrigley sales team across the country to share information in a timelier manner. Participate Systems earlier this year also formed a comarketing alliance with MEI, a provider of CRM Web services. The two companies will combine efforts to provide consumer goods companies with a technology platform for tapping sales and marketing analytical tools. --Elliot Markowitz
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