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Key account management at company and individual levels in business‐to‐business relationships

Jukka Ojasalo (Researcher, CERS Center for Relationship Marketing and Service Management, Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration Finland, Helsinki, Finland)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 1 June 2001


What is the nature of the key account management (KAM) approach? Various themes have been discussed under the title “key account management”, however, the approach seems to lack coherence and clearly requires further conceptualization. Based on an extensive literature analysis, this article identifies and describes the basic elements of KAM and offers a definition of it. What kind of managerial practices facilitate KAM at the company and individual levels? Although paying customers in the business‐to‐business market are organizations, they are always represented by individuals. Thus, successful KAM requires appropriate handling at both the organizational and the individual levels. This paper describes the nature of company‐ and individual‐level customer benefits in business‐to‐business relationships. As a synthesis, this paper suggests a framework for KAM practices deploying the main elements of KAM and the company and individual levels of business‐to‐business relationships.



Ojasalo, J. (2001), "Key account management at company and individual levels in business‐to‐business relationships", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 199-220.




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