Sales executives normally think of sales management tools as a way to automate and streamline sales processes (i.e. sales force automation). While delivering important operational benefits, sales force automation is just the first step in realizing the full potential of technology in the sales organization. Companies that fully utilizing sales management tools have moved beyond sales force automation technologies to implement strategic sales tools. They draw on technologies that support the analysis of customer and competitor information to improve the strategic focus of sales activities. They have also move beyond simply winning sales force acceptance of new sales management technologies to create a sales culture where the sales force becomes active contributors to the development of knowledge about customers and competitors.
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