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Buyers give their views on suppliers’ sales skills

A new survey from sales training provider TACK International has found that 59% of buyers think that suppliers’ salespeople are fair to poor at using the telephone.

Less than a third said salespeople had good telephone skills and only 1% thought they were excellent.

The survey also found that salespeople need to be trained to use other forms of communication. 65% of the survey had access to audio telephone conferencing equipment but only 25% used it when communicating with suppliers. Similarly 25% of the sample had access to video conferencing but only 7% used it when talking to suppliers.

"Since many procurement cycles involved multi contacts (decision makers and influencers), the cycle time could be reduced through the use of audio/video conferencing," said TACK International’s Senior Training Consultant Hugh Alford.

According to the sample conventional face to face cold calling may be a thing of the past as only 1% of buyers found it acceptable compared to 5% when the last survey was conducted in 2002.

Letters, emails and telephone calls were still the preferred method of contact however 42% of buyers would find it unacceptable for a supplier to call them on their mobile during the working day.

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