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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Catherine Pardo, Stephan C. Henneberg, Stefanos Mouzas and Peter Naudè

This article aims to build on existing literature on value and proposes new perspectives and facets of relational value in key account management (KAM).

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to build on existing literature on value and proposes new perspectives and facets of relational value in key account management (KAM).

Design/methodology/approach

Building on traditional value perspectives, value in KAM is conceptually deconstructed and linked with strategic value approaches.

Findings

The article finds that a multifaceted key account value perspective includes three different types of value: exchange value, proprietary value, and relational value. Depending on the type of value constellation within a KAM relationship, a number of distinct key account value strategies are presented and discussed.

Originality/value

The article provides an innovative concept of value in strategically important business‐to‐business relationships. Based on this, several strategic implications regarding the management of value are derived which enable further empirical research and a more nuanced managerial approach towards KAM.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1999

Catherine Pardo

Aims to analyze the process of key account management in the industrial sector by highlighting the most recurrent problems that arise linked to this process. The research…

Abstract

Aims to analyze the process of key account management in the industrial sector by highlighting the most recurrent problems that arise linked to this process. The research is based on a period of six years, during which several major industrial groups in France either set up or developed their key account management programs. It represents both a theoretical positioning according to the process of key account management, and the discovery made early on of an emerging picture of this process and the absence of any real understanding of it. Proposes two terms that best sum up key account management research: co‐ordination and transversality.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Jukka Ojasalo

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Robert D. Dewar

Key State Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan (a disguised case of an actual BCBS Plan) is the merged product of three state plans. Initially burdened with a reputation of…

Abstract

Key State Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan (a disguised case of an actual BCBS Plan) is the merged product of three state plans. Initially burdened with a reputation of poor customer service, Key State's executives decided to invest heavily in service improvement, eventually achieving superior levels. Key State's high-quality customer service emerged as a true competitive advantage for its customers, who were primarily businesses and health benefits consultants who influenced corporate purchasers of health insurance. The Key State brand came to be synonymous with personal service, security, choice, and dependability. But the health care insurance market was changing under Key State's feet. Spiraling costs meant that high-quality service became less of a competitive advantage as employers were lured by low-cost, low-service providers. Many employers cut or dropped health care benefits entirely, swelling the ranks of the under- and uninsured, who in turn were extremely price-sensitive when shopping for health insurance on their own. Finally, the health care insurance market was being revolutionized by financial institutions willing to hold health benefit accounts and pay providers directly, thereby eliminating the need for Key State as a mediator. Key State executives were aware of these changes but were challenged by the mindset, culture, and organizational design custom-fit to their business accounts. The case asks the reader to consider whether Key State has the right number of target markets, whether it should have one brand or several for its different target markets, what it should do for the uninsured, and how it should improve its brand experience in light of the industry's changing landscape. All of these decisions will have significant implications for the organizational design of Key State.

To better understand the challenges involved in a successful health insurance company to cope with a rapidly changing and unpredictable environment; to formulate a new strategy and a new organizational design to accomplish this adaptation.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2019

Nada Saleh Badawi and Moustafa Battor

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of social capital and relationship quality on key account management (KAM) effectiveness.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of social capital and relationship quality on key account management (KAM) effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the literature, the authors designed a framework that links social capital, relationship quality and KAM effectiveness. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire. Using data from a sample of 172 business-to-business supplier firms, the authors examined this model.

Findings

The research results provide empirical support to the importance of relational aspects of KAM by showing how the relational aspects of relationship quality and social capital influence the effectiveness of the supplier-key account relationship.

Originality/value

The authors add to the literature on relational KAM by integrating theoretical perspectives on social capital, relationship quality and KAM. They develop a model that investigates the antecedents of the effectiveness of supplier–key account relationships from a relational perspective. The study explains the relationships between six constructs representing social capital (ability, benevolence, integrity, flexibility, information exchange and solidarity) and three constructs representing relationship quality (trust, satisfaction and relationship atmosphere), together with the relationships between these three constructs of relationship quality and KAM effectiveness.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1999

Robert Spencer

This case study is the result of in‐depth investigation into a major Swedish multinational company in the data processing and computer equipment field. Addresses the issue…

Abstract

This case study is the result of in‐depth investigation into a major Swedish multinational company in the data processing and computer equipment field. Addresses the issue of key account management and questions some of the existing views in the literature. In particular, it demonstrates that key customer account management involves much more than “better relationship management”, and extends far beyond sole consideration of sales to, and profitability of (for the supplier), the individual customer. Covers many considerations, which start at the corporate strategy level, going via customer portfolio management, and down to the management of complex networks of actors involved in the relationship between supplier and key customer account.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2021

Nada Saleh Badawi, Moustafa Battor and Saeed Badghish

The purpose of this study is to explore relational aspects of key account management (KAM) in terms of social capital and relationship quality. The second objective was to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore relational aspects of key account management (KAM) in terms of social capital and relationship quality. The second objective was to identify the main dimensions that shape social capital and relationship quality within the KAM context. Finally, the third objective was to explore how relational KAM is practiced in the Middle Eastern context.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a qualitative methodology and a multiple case design. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with a sample of senior executives from large Saudi firms.

Findings

The results highlight the importance of relationship quality and social capital to KAM implementation. A multiple case study was used to build a relational framework for KAM in the Middle Eastern context.

Practical implications

Three strategies were identified for use within the context of KAM in the Saudi market. The first strategy consisted of a means of attracting potential customers. The second strategy involved communication, aimed at maintaining frequent contact with key accounts. Finally, the third strategy was concentrated in maintenance to help sustain the relationship with key accounts.

Originality/value

This study extends understanding and the application of KAM to the Middle Eastern context, contributing to social capital, relationship quality and the KAM literature.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2009

Faten Baddar Al‐Husan and Ross Brennan

The strategy of carefully selecting the most important group of business customers for special treatment – for which several terms are in use – has come in for…

Abstract

Purpose

The strategy of carefully selecting the most important group of business customers for special treatment – for which several terms are in use – has come in for considerable recent attention from both academics and practitioners. The purpose of this paper is to examine “strategic account management” at a large telecommunications operator in a developing country (“Arab Telco”).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents an in‐depth single‐company case study.

Findings

The approach to strategic account management employed by Arab Telco shows excellent fit with the recommendations of Western authorities about the implementation of such programs. In particular, there is evidence that the program is being implemented sincerely, with the allocation of additional resources to the strategic account function and the delivery of special treatment to strategic account customers. However, the strategic account program is still relatively immature and the term “key account management” is also in use at Arab Telco; this term refers to many customers who are not of particular strategic significance to the company.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed into the impact of culture‐specific factors on the implementation of strategic account management. The transference of Western marketing models to emerging economies offers fruitful scope for additional research.

Originality/value

The paper examines the direct transfer of a well‐known Western management technique – i.e. strategic account management – to a major company in an emerging economy in the Arab world.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 24 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Hanna Salojärvi and Liisa‐Maija Sainio

The purpose of this paper is to identify the dimensions of customer knowledge processing (CKP) in the context of key account management (KAM), and to examine its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the dimensions of customer knowledge processing (CKP) in the context of key account management (KAM), and to examine its relationship with the supplier's key account performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings of the paper are based on empirical survey data collected among large industrial firms in Finland.

Findings

The findings of the research show that CKP is a three‐dimensional construct made up of acquisition, dissemination, and utilization. The degree of acquisition and utilization are found to be significantly associated with the supplier's key account performance.

Practical implications

In order to improve key account, performance managers need to recognize customer interaction as a source of customer knowledge. In addition to acquiring knowledge about their customers, they also need to learn to utilize the knowledge residing in them in their customer‐value‐creation processes.

Originality/value

CKP is represented in this paper as a construct reflecting the processing of knowledge about and from specific strategically important key account customers. It is also perceived as a determinant of successful KAM.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Arun Sharma and Heiner Evanschitzky

The use of key accounts has become a mature trend and most industrial firms use this concept in some form. Selling firms establish key account teams to attend to important…

Abstract

Purpose

The use of key accounts has become a mature trend and most industrial firms use this concept in some form. Selling firms establish key account teams to attend to important customers and consolidate their selling activities. Yet, despite such increased efforts on behalf of key accounts, sufficient research has not quantified the returns on key account strategy nor has it firmly established performance differences between key and non-key accounts within a firm. In response to this shortcoming, this study aims to examine returns on key accounts.

Design Methodology/approach

Data were collected from a global consulting firm. The data collection started two years after the implementation of the key account program. Data were collected on recently acquired customers (within the previous year) at two time periods: year 1 and year 3 (based on company access of data).

Findings

Initially, key accounts perform as well or better than other types of accounts. However, in the long term, key accounts are less satisfied, less profitable and less beneficial for a firm’s growth than other types of accounts. Because the returns to key account expenditures, thus, appear mixed, firms should be cautious in expanding their key account strategies.

Research limitations implications

The study contributes to research in three areas. First, most research on the effectiveness of key accounts refers to the between-firm level, whereas this study examines the effect within a single firm. Second, this study examines the temporal aspects of key accounts, namely, what happens to key accounts over time, in comparison with other accounts in a fairly large sample. Third, it considers the survival rates of key accounts versus other types of accounts.

Practical implications

The authors suggest that firms also need to track their key accounts better because the results show that key accounts are less satisfied, less profitable and less beneficial for a firm’s growth than other types of accounts.

Originality/value

Extant research has not examined these issues.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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