Marketing scholars have suggested that salespeople can play an important role in firms' ongoing efforts to understand their customers' perceptions and preferences. However, very few studies have examined the accuracy of the information which salespeople are able to provide. This article reports the results of a survey of an industrial marketer's customers, outside salespeople, and telemarketing salespeople about market information. Salespeople can accurately assess the importance of various product and service attributes to their customer. However, salespeople are unable to gauge the specific performance levels expected by their customers. Interestingly, telemarketing salespeople are approximately as accurate as outside salespeople with respect to both types of information. The article explains these results and discusses their managerial implications.
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