CXO

Survey shows consultants are loyal to good vendors

Our recent survey of TechRepublic members found that consultants research vendors carefully and recommend only the most reliable to their clients.


Now more than ever, executives are relying on the consultants they hire to make important purchasing decisions.

According to a CEO survey completed by Dataquest—an IT market research and consulting firm owned by Gartner—between 65 and 75 percent of product selection decisions made by Fortune 1000 companies are strongly influenced or actually made by third-party consultants and integrators. The survey also found that this percentage has been growing over time.

Choosing the right vendors for their clients’ projects is a task that consultants don’t take lightly. We conducted our own survey recently to find out what influences our readers’ choices of vendors. We found that they’re not easily swayed by the hype surrounding high-profile vendors. Instead, they do their homework and stick with those that have proved reliable in the past. Here are the results.

Do you recommend vendors to your clients?
  • Yes—62 percent
  • No, I try to remain vendor-neutral when proposing a solution to my clients—38 percent

A predisposition for particular suppliers doesn’t appear to be an issue among respondents. Almost two-thirds are happy to recommend their preferred vendors to clients.

How often do you have difficulty finding the products and services that meet your or your clients' needs and budget?
  • Frequently—24 percent
  • Occasionally—45 percent
  • Seldom—29 percent
  • Never—2 percent

Finding quality vendors isn’t always easy for consultants. Nearly half occasionally run into problems trying to find the right products and services, while almost a fourth said they frequently do.

In most cases, how do you select vendors?
  • Research on the Web—38 percent
  • Word of mouth—34 percent
  • Solicitations from the vendor—14 percent
  • Magazines and industry publications—7 percent
  • Trade shows—7 percent

Respondents most often conduct online research or listen to their peers and industry associates when choosing vendors. Consultants seem to be less influenced by sales pitches from vendors.

What factor is most likely to determine your choice of vendor?
  • Quality of product or service—83 percent
  • Price—10 percent
  • Vendor's reputation in the marketplace—0 percent
  • Other—7 percent

Overwhelmingly, quality of the product or service has the strongest influence on respondents’ choice of vendors. Surprisingly, no respondents were affected by a vendor’s reputation.

When purchasing products or services for your own firm or for clients, do you typically call on the same vendors you've used in the past?
  • Yes—88 percent
  • No—12 percent

Finally, we found that consultants are a loyal group when they purchase products and services on behalf of clients. Nearly nine out of 10 give repeat business to their most reliable vendors.
Should consultants recommend their preferred vendors to clients, or should they be vendor-neutral when proposing a solution? To share your thoughts, post a comment below or send us a note.
Now more than ever, executives are relying on the consultants they hire to make important purchasing decisions.

According to a CEO survey completed by Dataquest—an IT market research and consulting firm owned by Gartner—between 65 and 75 percent of product selection decisions made by Fortune 1000 companies are strongly influenced or actually made by third-party consultants and integrators. The survey also found that this percentage has been growing over time.

Choosing the right vendors for their clients’ projects is a task that consultants don’t take lightly. We conducted our own survey recently to find out what influences our readers’ choices of vendors. We found that they’re not easily swayed by the hype surrounding high-profile vendors. Instead, they do their homework and stick with those that have proved reliable in the past. Here are the results.

Do you recommend vendors to your clients?
  • Yes—62 percent
  • No, I try to remain vendor-neutral when proposing a solution to my clients—38 percent

A predisposition for particular suppliers doesn’t appear to be an issue among respondents. Almost two-thirds are happy to recommend their preferred vendors to clients.

How often do you have difficulty finding the products and services that meet your or your clients' needs and budget?
  • Frequently—24 percent
  • Occasionally—45 percent
  • Seldom—29 percent
  • Never—2 percent

Finding quality vendors isn’t always easy for consultants. Nearly half occasionally run into problems trying to find the right products and services, while almost a fourth said they frequently do.

In most cases, how do you select vendors?
  • Research on the Web—38 percent
  • Word of mouth—34 percent
  • Solicitations from the vendor—14 percent
  • Magazines and industry publications—7 percent
  • Trade shows—7 percent

Respondents most often conduct online research or listen to their peers and industry associates when choosing vendors. Consultants seem to be less influenced by sales pitches from vendors.

What factor is most likely to determine your choice of vendor?
  • Quality of product or service—83 percent
  • Price—10 percent
  • Vendor's reputation in the marketplace—0 percent
  • Other—7 percent

Overwhelmingly, quality of the product or service has the strongest influence on respondents’ choice of vendors. Surprisingly, no respondents were affected by a vendor’s reputation.

When purchasing products or services for your own firm or for clients, do you typically call on the same vendors you've used in the past?
  • Yes—88 percent
  • No—12 percent

Finally, we found that consultants are a loyal group when they purchase products and services on behalf of clients. Nearly nine out of 10 give repeat business to their most reliable vendors.
Should consultants recommend their preferred vendors to clients, or should they be vendor-neutral when proposing a solution? To share your thoughts, post a comment below or send us a note.

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