How accurate are salespersons' perceptions of their customers?

Arun Sharma, Douglas M. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The accuracy of salespersons' perceptions of their customers can have a significant effect on corporate profitability. Aside from the impact on short-term sales performance, inaccurate information from the salesforce can adversely affect the quality of long- term, strategic plans. An earlier study by the authors reported on the mean level of error of salespeople in predicting their customers' perceptions in the chemical industry [1]. This article extends the research and examines two related issues. First, are salespeople equally inaccurate across industries? The article compares salesperson accuracy from chemical, high-technology, and service industries. Second, are sales managers and customer contact personnel more accurate than salespeople? The article funds that salespeople are on the average inaccurate and emphasizes that the determination and improvement of salespersons' accuracy should be an essential part of the management of the sales force.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-365
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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