Customer Relationship Management and Sales Force Automation

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Chapter7 ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.How is e-business “redefining old business models, with the aid of technology, to maximize customer value?

e-business is more than just buying and selling of products and services through the means of digital media. Whereas e-commerce concentrates on buying and selling, e-business encompasses e-commerce and a whole lot more. For example, e-business includes both front – and back-office applications that form the engine for modern business. e-business is redefining old business models through the aid of technology, to maximize customer value. e-business is the use of the Internet and other networks and information technologies to support electronic commerce, enterprise communications and collaboration, and Web-enabled business processes both within an internetworked enterprise, and with its customers and business partners.

2.Why is there a trend toward cross-functional integrated enterprise systems in business?

Cross-functional information systems are integrated combinations of business information systems that share information resources across the functional units of an organization. Integrated systems allow the same data to be used for multiple applications; information output from one function can easily become data input to another function. Only one integrated database needs to be maintained. Many organizations are using information technology to develop integrated cross-functional enterprise systems that cross the boundaries of traditional business functions in order to reengineer and improve vital business processes all across the enterprise. These organizations view cross-functional enterprise systems as a strategic way to use IT to share information resources and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes, thus helping an e-business attain its strategic objectives.

3. Do you agree that “ERP is the backbone of e-Business”? Why or why not? it can be argued that enterprise resource planning (ERP) could certainly be considered the backbone of e-business. Businesses today must be deeply involved in coordinating and conducting business in the new economy. Through technologies such as the Internet and other networks and information technologies businesses are able to support electronic commerce, enterprise communications and collaboration, and Web-enabled business processes both within an internetworked enterprise, and with its customers and business partners.

4.Refer to the Real World Case on Charles Schwab and Others in this chapter. What are the most important HR applications a company should offer to its employees via a Web-based system? Why?

There are a number of important HR applications that a company can and should offer their employees via a Web-based system. No matter what applications a company provides it must ensure that they are accurate, up to date, and provide the employees with the information they want. The purpose of the system is to free up the time for HR management to be more efficient in planning HR strategies than being burdened with boring paper work. For the employees, they want to be able to have access to the information that pertains to them, and the information that they need to satisfy their inquiry. Employees are interested in issues such as pay and benefits, pension funds, stock options, vacation time, career opportunities, training and development initiatives, and other related personnel issues.

5.How do you think sales force automation affects salesperson productivity, marketing management, and competitive advantage?

Sales force automation is the use of computers to automate sales recording and reporting by sales people as well as communications and sales support. It improves productivity by saving time otherwise spent on manual creation of records, reports, and presentations; it improves communications and accessibility to information to support sales activities; and...
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