Salespeople fail to research customers’ needs confirms international buyers survey

31st October 2015 |   Journal Of Sales Transformation

Sam North

TACK International managing director Sam North: introduced survey. © Nick de Cent

There are significant opportunities for salespeople to chase as the market opens up and customers search for increased value and innovation from suppliers, not just lower prices. That’s one of the principal findings from a global survey of buyers launched at the UK’s National Sales Conference in Coventry on 8 October.

Introduced at the event by managing director Sam North, TACK International’s 2015 edition of the “Buyers’ views of salespeople” survey also underlines the significance of long-term customers to “help build your brand’s reputation and credibility in the market”. The authors stress: “Potential clients value the opinion of existing customers above anything else when making a buying decision.”

However, the authors also stated: “Suppliers are not truly understanding customers’ needs and thus damaging their own reputation by not delivering solutions that match the requirement – questioning and listening skills need development.” When asked “What prompted you to deal with a salesperson?” buyers confirmed the importance of knowing the customer, their company and industry. At 23%, “understanding of our requirements” placed higher than product knowledge (12%) and communication skills (10%).

Finally, the 630 responses across 31 countries suggest that there is greater involvement from people across generations in purchase decisions of a relatively low value.

Salespeople are significant

TACK International senior associate consultant and former chief executive of the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management, Patrick Joiner affirmed the significance of the salesperson in the equation. “As salespeople, we are the brand.”