In what 3 ways information technology (IT) has been used to improve efficiency and effectiveness of business processes in Sales in an organisation?
i.e (1) identifying customers, (2) making customers aware of the product, and (3 )selling the product, taking place in the functional area of Sales in an organisation?
Information technology (IT) has been used to improve efficiency and effectiveness of business processes in general and sales process in particular an many different ways. As per the requirement of the question I will discuss hoe IT has impacted the following three areas in particular.
- Identifying customers
- Making customers aware of the product
- Selling the product
Identifying customers and Making customers aware of the product
A firm identifies its customer in two way - the customer approaches the firm, or the firm communicates to the customer in different ways such as advertisements, personal visits, and simply presence of a retail outlet that customer can see. It plays an important part in customer identification in all these ways. The presence of customers on the Internet in form of its website, makes it very convenient for the customers to approach and know the company and its products.
Advertisements on the Internet, e-mail campaigns and cell phones messages are also now very powerful means of advertising making heavy use of IT.
The interactive nature of Internet websites and Internet based selling and support systems now act as very cost effective substitutes for personal selling that the customers also find more convenient as it is less invasive on their privacy, and there are no pressures to stick to schedules of appointments so common in face to face communication.
In addition to above facilities the e-mail is replacing letters, memos, and telephone calls for most types of communication.
Selling the product
Selling the product involves interaction with customers for identifying customer purchase requirements, offering specific products and sales terms to the customers, convincing the customer to buy, negotiating sales terms, and finally closing the sale by making customer place order. Today Internet selling systems are making all these processes very convenient for the customers. In addition the Internet is also used for actual delivery of products such as music, which can be converted to digitized forms.
1) Information Technology has opened new frontiers for business in many ways. Interactive websites like twitter, face-book, and instant messaging have opened new frontiers for advertising your business message. An attorney I know uses face-book to answer peoples legal questions for free. When those questions lead to legal cases he has profited thousands of dollars from his clients. (I have been one personally) The networking through this kind of medium is free and gets out to a great number of people who know people who can use the services he offers.
2) Through the use of things like Pay Pal online payment for goods or services has been made more secure and easy for those who wish to buy goods or services through the use of information Technology.
3) Companies with Internet deliverable goods like the post office selling postage the customer can print on their own printer, Or companies Like the tax preparation programs companies like "Turbo Tax" from Intuit, can either sell the product directly over the Internet or take orders for the company to ship and deliver a disk version of their product without having to ever meet the customer in a traditional retail sales setting. The advertising of the product can also be done over the Internet through web sites or getting on the search engines for their particular niche products. Information Technology can help with inventory and ordering of goods for Retail Sales, like the automatic POS (Point of Sale) replenishment ordering system used by Wal Mart Corporation now to keep their stores replenished with the goods that are sold as well as facilitation of ordering of goods by department managers and upper management of their stores. The orders are submitted automatically from the online system and through human ordering as well.