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From key account selling to key account management

Tony Millman (Professor of Business at The University of Buckingham, UK)
Kevin Wilson (Principal Lecturer at Sheffield Business School, Sheffield, UK)

Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science

ISSN: 1355-2538

Article publication date: 1 March 1995


Recent interest in relationship marketing and customer retention has refocused the attention of marketing academics and managers towards key account management (KAM) systems as a means of operationalizing long‐term buyer/seller relationships. Examines the nature of KAM in industrial markets structured around several strategic issues elicited from two main sources: first, empirical research in the area of industrial sales management and selling to major accounts; and second, observations from running a series of management development programmes for account managers. There inter‐related conclusions have emerged from this work. First, most of the literature and debate on KAM has taken the seller′s perspective. Second, there appears to be inadequate matching of the seller′s total offering with the buyer′s increasingly strategic and dynamic context. This is particularly evident in the short‐term focus pervading some seller companies and in their failure to keep abreast of the kind of supply‐chain issues currently facing industrial buyers. Third, key account managers are often ill‐prepared for the wider and more demanding roles which take them into areas of business development, industry/market analysis, benchmarking, relationship management and so on.



Millman, T. and Wilson, K. (1995), "From key account selling to key account management", Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 9-21.




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