More than 62 percent of sales professionals spend less than 20 minutes preparing for sales calls made with businesses, according to a study by Hebert Research and Knowledge Anywhere.

Although sales managers and vice presidents expect reps to spend at least 30 minutes preparing for calls, one-third of them spend just one to 10 minutes preparing, according to the study. This lack of preparation means fewer sales.

In a separate study earlier this year, buyers indicated that their top dislike was an unprepared salesperson. They also said that lack of interest or purpose on behalf of salespeople is received negatively. "What's surprising is that even salespeople with high ticket items and long sales cycles are often coming in unprepared," says Charlie Gillette, president of Knowledge Anywhere.

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