Chapter 2: From sales force automation to digital transformation: how social media, social CRM, and artificial intelligence technologies are influencing the sales process
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Firms make substantial investments in sales technology from CRM (customer relationship management) tools to digital media to AI (Artificial Intelligence), with the hope that it will help improve sales performance. However, the academic literature on contemporary sales technology has yielded a rich but fragmented picture of what sales technology is and thus raises the question of its role within the sales process. This has not helped firms that are considering a ‘technology investment’ with expectations of a reasonable ROI in order to justify the investment. Thus, developing a performance framework that is appropriate for B2B contexts could be a worthy endeavor for future research. This paper reviews the contemporary sales technology literature from a managerial perspective and offers suggestions towards integrating the diversity of viewpoints in a way that can guide future academic research as well as enlighten sales professionals.

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