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Sales force automation systems : an analysis of factors underpinning the sophistication of deployed systems in the UK financial service industry

Wright, George and Fletcher, K and Donaldson, B and Lee, J-H. (2008) Sales force automation systems : an analysis of factors underpinning the sophistication of deployed systems in the UK financial service industry. Industrial Marketing Management, 37 (8). pp. 992-1004. ISSN 0019-8501

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Abstract

This study investigates organizational and strategic context variables that are linked to the sophistication of sales force automation systems in UK financial services firms. We find that increasing sophistication in SFA deployment, evaluated as a count of the number of types of results of sales campaigns that are measured, is driven directly by the information orientation of the host firm. We also find that the “sophistication” of deployed systems is, in fact, limited — the information held on the systems cannot underpin the strategic goals of the sales/marketing managers. We theorise that adoption of SFA systems is driven by managerial imperatives and that these have resulted in sales force resistance — shown by the paucity of information held on adopted SFA systems.