Argues that key account management (KAM) in industrial and business‐to‐business markets has its roots in sales management where it has long been recognized that customers of strategic importance require special treatment. Explains that, more recently, growing interest among academics and practitioners in relationship marketing has forced KAM centre stage as one of the few seemingly tried and tested approaches to customer retention and development, but that this trend has exposed three interrelated problems for the adoption of KAM systems. Maintains that: first, many companies have merely extended their traditional approaches to major account selling, rather than transforming their internal processes to accommodate the wider relational aspects of KAM; second, there has been a rush to define managerial competences and best practice, with little theoretical or empirical underpinning; and third, despite parallel developments in purchasing and supply‐chain management, there has been a tendency for the sellers’ perspective to dominate implementation issues. Addresses these problems by operationalizing the relational development model outlined in an earlier article entitled “From key account selling to key account management” (JMP, Vol. 1 No. 1). Draws on the findings from ongoing empirical research which takes the buyer/seller dyadic relationship as the unit of analysis to provide a critique of the relative neglect of KAM processes in preference to outputs in the form of managerial competences.
Millman, T. and Wilson, K. (1996), "Developing key account management competences", Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 7-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000000018Download as .RIS
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