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Parthasarathy, Madhavan, and Ravipreet S. Sohi. "Salesforce automation and the adoption of technological innovations by salespeople: Theory and implications." Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 12.3/4 (1997): 196-208.


Copyright © MCB University Press; published by Emerald Publishing. Used by permission.


Focuses on factors that can influence the adoption and implementation of salesforce automation systems (SFA). Automatization of a salesforce; Information on the dual adoption concept; Discussion of the adoption of SFA systems by individual salespeople; Why the adoption of technological innovations is likely to be in industries operating in an oligopolistic environment; Concluding remarks on managerial implications.

This paper is concerned with the adoption of salesforce automation (SFA) systems by organizations and their salesforces. SFA systems consist of centralized database systems that can be accessed through a modem by remote laptop computers using special SFA software (which is often company specific). The modem can be connected to either a conventional phone line or a cellular phone line. Thus, in an SFA system, a salesperson can access a centralized database system at any time through their laptop computer to get constantly refreshed information regarding various facets of the job, e.g. contact information, inventory and shipping statistics (to avoid backorders), customer service information, transportation logistics, and even immediate access to commission figures (Blodgett, 1995a). An SFA system also enables a salesperson to file regular reports electronically without having to travel to the central office in person. The result is greatly improved efficiency and productivity (Colombo, 1993; McLachlan, 1992; Swenson and Parrella, 1992; Taylor, 1993a, 1994).

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