High-Performance Key Account Management: Handling Your Most Critical Customers

Having metrics for networking, cross-selling and penetrating an account are fundamental.

Nicholas Read

In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, companies slashed costs to gain profits. After trimming the bottom line to the bone, attention shifted to the top line.

Selling became mission-critical, especially in the area of Key Account Management (KAM) where the largest or most strategic customers are handled.

Yet the sales function is often viewed as a ‘dark art’ by executives. Despite its impact on revenue and share value, its inner workings remain unregulated and standards-free.

Seeking to demystify its best practices, researchers conducted face-to-face interviews and surveys with 1,100 KAMs in the UK Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry. Views were correlated against a separate study on what executive buyers look for if suppliers are to gain trusted advisor status.

The insights in this article focus on some of the less obvious challenges companies should anticipate when building a KAM function, and the approaches proven to create positive outcomes.