Sales Technology: Making the Most of Your Investment
Contemporary sales organizations are spending billions of dollars or euros on sales technologies with the objective of streamlining the sales process, enhancing sales force productivity, and improving customer relationships. A variety of sales technologies exist such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, mobile sales force automation (SFA) applications, contact management software, and territory planning applications, to name just a few. In spite of the amount being invested in such technologies, however, few firms can claim to be enjoying performance improvements. In fact, the majority of companies are struggling to gain salesperson buy-ins and are failing to realize the intended return on investment (ROI). In addition, the introduction of such technological applications may cause stress to the sales force or disturb customer relationships. Against this backdrop, this textbook is concerned with how executives can effectively manage a complex and costly sales technology initiative in order to get the most out of it. In particular, the textbook begins by providing the reader with a detailed discussion on the various technologies that are being used by sales organizations. It then provides an exhaustive review of the factors that might lead to effective sales technology implementation and presents a managerially relevant conceptual framework, which illuminates the mediating pathways from using the system to salesperson productivity. Moreover, the textbook offers a wide array of key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be readily employed in order to monitor the progress and success of the implementation effort. Next, it offers a comprehensive method that executives can use to calculate the return on sales technology investment (ROSTI) in order to substantiate the business case for the technology. Finally, the textbook provides executives with a detailed three-stage process of sales technology implementation and discusses what essential work should be conducted in each stage.