Sales force automation: Review, critique, research agenda

Francis Buttle*, Lawrence Ang, Reiny Iriana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


We review and critique the research literature on sales force automation (SFA). SFA involves the application of information technology to support the sales function. SFA software provides functionality that helps companies manage sales pipelines, track contacts and configure products, inter alia. The paper is organized into four main sections. First, we review the SFA environment, identifying definitions, vendor classifications and software attributes. We then move to a review and classification of the academic research that has been published on SFA. We find that the entire body of SFA knowledge attempts to answer just four questions: Why do organizations adopt SFA? What are the organizational impacts of SFA? What accounts for the success or failure of SFA projects? What accounts for variance in salesperson adoption of SFA? We then critique this body of knowledge on a number of theoretical and methodological grounds, and finally propose a research agenda for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-231
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


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