Sales Management Insights

Professor John M. McCann
Fuqua School of Business
Duke University

This section describes two knowledge-based systems that generate insights for use in sales and sales management. The I Want system was designed for a sales representative to use when planning a sales call for a retail account. To make a persuasive request for additional merchandising support, the salesperson needs data. The prototype has been designed to organize data and to write the presentation to be used in the sales call. It links the firm's MMIS to a field sales office and executes the appropriate programs. After downloading the resulting information to the personal computer, the prototype reasons with the data to arrive at a sales presentation which may 1) justify increased merchandising support or 2) point out that the account has been doing an appropriate level of merchandising of the sales rep's brand. It composes the story, which is then sent to a word processing package along with supporting graphs and/or data tables. The second system, the Marketing Insight Inspector, summarizes the results of the I Want system and writes a report for use by senior managers.

Specific Topics

The Sales Situation
The I Want System
Analyzers in Spreadsheets
I Want Knowledge-Base
The Marketing Opportunity Inspector