March 13, 2009, Newsletter Issue #95: Business Intelligence And Sales Force Management

Tip of the Week

Sales force management systems are information retrieval, manipulation and reporting systems used to enhance management decision-making in a business intelligence setting.. They are frequently bundled with other applications under the collective banner of customer relationship management (CRM) systems. These enhanced information technology tools are also known as retail management software.

Stephen Haag, et al, in Management Information Systems for the Information Age, discuss a component of a typical CRM component, Sales Force Automation Systems (SFA). These capabilities, often offered as an integrated part of most BI vendorís product offerings, such as Cognos 8, take customer relationship management systems to a new level. Typical modules include software that automatically records all the stages in a sales process, tracks all salient information regarding contact that has been made with a given customer, or sales lead tracking systems. Management tools include sales forecasting, order management, and product knowledge information that directly leads to features where managers and executives can employ dashboards and scorecards to query the data for enhanced decision-making and opportunity exploitation. All of these capabilities are resident in a quality BI suite, such as offered by Cognos, and should be specified when considering acquiring or enhancing your companyís BI capabilities.

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