As part of his executive development Scott Anderson of Luxfer Gas Cylinders, attended Cranfield’s Key Account Management Best Practice programme, so we spent five minutes with him to discover his thoughts on the programme.
Key accounts are customers who help their suppliers grow, and consequently, they wield significant power. Although they are the key to market share and revenue growth, the costs of serving key accounts can erode profitability unless they are thoroughly understood and managed.
Strategic negotiation is a fundamental competence for key account managers. Many key account managers still struggle to move away from negotiations where price becomes the focus to negotiations based on a value focus. We have identified a number of different sources of value and looked at how we can present these effectively to the customer or client in order to create joint value.
We can be very proud of having a key account management (KAM) programme in place, but:
The key account manager role is very different from that of a traditional salesperson, and increasingly many key account managers or key client managers do not come from a typical sales background.
The greatest potential of using key account management (KAM) as a strategic approach for growing a supplier’s business, rests on the capability to develop long-term relationships with customers. The continuity of a supplier-customer relationship usually comes with such positive outcomes as revenue growth, increased profitability, greater market knowledge and new business opportunities, amongst other benefits.
As key account management has evolved over the last twenty years it has moved from a focus on what the supplier wanted to achieve with a key account to really understanding what the customer is trying to achieve over the next three to five years, and then building supplier strategies that will support the customer achieving their goals and aspirations.
Adopting Key Account Management (KAM) requires the commitment of specific resources, changes in the organisational structure and, most likely, a shift in the company’s culture around how to ‘do business’.
For organisations looking to implement key account management, Mark Davies, visiting fellow at Cranfield School of Management, explains the three different perspectives which need to be covered in your approach.
As a result of progressive globalisation and industry consolidation, International Key Account Management (IKAM) has become an increasingly significant topic for many organisations and managing international and pan-geography key accounts where the customer and/or the supplier may be operating in a number of different countries is a challenge for many companies. The international dimension brings some further complexities to the management of already large and complex customers and adds a ...