The Hidden Minefields in the Adoption of Sales Force Automation Technologies

Speier, C. and Venkatesh, V. “The Hidden Minefields in the Adoption of Sales Force Automation Technologies,” Journal of Marketing (66:3), 2002, 98-111.

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Sales force automation technologies are increasingly used to support customer relationship management strategies; however, commentary in the practitioner press suggests high failure rates. The authors use identity theory as a lens to better understand salesperson perceptions associated with technology rejection. They collected survey data from 454 salespeople across two firms that had implemented sales force automation tools. The results indicate that immediately after training, salespeople had positive perceptions of the technology. However, six months after implementation, the technology had been widely rejected, and salesperson absenteeism and voluntary turnover had significantly increased. There were also significant decreases in perceptions of organizational commitment, job satisfaction, person—organization fit, and person—job fit across both firms. Finally, salespeople with stronger professional commitment indicated more negative job-related perceptions as experience with the technology increased.
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