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Executive Insight - What is World Class Key Account Management?

By Dr. Sue Holt

What is World Class KAM blog image 2019

Have you ever asked yourself questions like:

Here at Cranfield school of Management we have researched the answers to these questions for over 20 years and we feel that for most organisations there are ten key success factors for implementing world class Key Account Management:

  1. That Key Account Management has a clear role in achieving the strategic vision of the organisation and that Key Account Management is strongly linked to the organisation’s business plans and future goals.
  2. Key Account Management has high profile support from senior management.
  3. There has been a careful selection of appropriate key customers.
  4. There is an appropriate organisational framework and buy-in for supporting Key Account Management.
  5. There are highly competent, very focused key account managers.
  6. There are committed account teams.
  7. There are strategic key account plans perhaps with customer buy-in.
  8. There are excellent communications systems.
  9. There are supportive, effective and dependable processes.
  10. There are supportive reward systems.

If many of these success factors are in place, then you are doing world class Key Account Management.



Our work in this area is critical to achieving successful key account management programs for organisations looking to succeed at managing key account customers. For the past twenty years, Cranfield has pioneered the development of Key Account Management research in Europe through the KAM Best Practice Research Club, working with world leading businesses to adopt new frameworks and best practice to fully leverage key relationships and strategies. This new frontier knowledge is continually integrated into our Key Account Management Programme


Blog produced by: 

Dr. Sue Holt, visiting academic and programme director on Cranfield School of Management's Key Account Management Best Practice programme. Also facilitates on the KAM Best Practice Research Club.


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