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The area of sales management and technology is an expanding and dynamic field of research. Examining the impact and facets of technology in the arena of sales management has been steadily increasing over the past few decades as sales managers and industry seek to benefit from the multiple uses of technology. Large scale quantitative sales research itself in Ireland has been limited over the past 15 years and not since De Burca and Lambkin (1991) performed an analysis of the industry has there been any wide scale research in Ireland. This body of work seeks to follow on from De Burca and Lambkins (1991) research and benchmark sales management in Ireland but also examines its intersection with sales technology. Up until now this area has not been examined and the research aims to give sales managers and academics answers to which areas of sales technology impact on performance. The research was performed and collated over two phases. Once a large body of literature was examined a small sample of sales managers were interviewed in a qualitative semi-structured style. This then led to the second quantitative phase of the research where a questionnaire was designed and administered to a large sample of Irish sales managers. Over 200 sales managers responded both in the traditional postal format but also online. Drawing from the literature the research utilised the sales management activities discussed by Johnston and Marshall (2006) in order to provide a core structure for which the analysis is driven from. A model was derived from Johnston and Marshall (2006) and was tested using multiple regression analysis. Each sales activity is cross checked and examined against various technological attributes in order to see what best impacts on every sales manager’s goal performance. The research identifies key changes in the shape of Irish management since De Burca and Lambkin’s (1991) research. Growth in the size of sales forces the movement of sales from farming and manufacturing to tourism and financial services and the growth of women in the workplace. Also from the model it provides evidence as to which sales technologies impact on sales activities positively to give stronger sales unit performance. Importantly it offers suggestions to managers into which strategy will allow sales technology to offer greater performance. From the research it is hoped that the Irish sales industry can use it as a benchmark for future research so that periodically Irish sales managers will be able to gain a snapshot of their environment and understand which direction they are going.
Kennelly, S.: Role of Sales Manager and it's Intersection with Sales Technology. Masters Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology, 2008.