What salesperson attributes will be most important to customers in the future? Sales and marketing consulting firm Dechert-Hampe & Company launched a study in 2002 that attempted to find out on behalf of manufacturer sales forces and the retail sector customers they serve. DHC updated the research in 2007, and is preparing a subsequent update in 2009. We’ve published the 2007 research here for our members in anticipation of the coming 2009 report.
Because the research includes input from both retailers and manufacturers, it offers both a customer and supplier perspective on the value of current sales force attributes – and the expected importance of those attributes in the future. Interestingly, the research points out several major gaps in what supplier-manufacturers and their retail customers find important – gaps that can be leveraged into significant competitive advantage by supplier-manufacturers who close them quickly and effectively. The insights uncovered here should significantly re-direct sales force development investments for future-looking supplier firms.