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TitleKey account management : strategies to leverage information, technology, and relationships to deliver value to large customers
LanguageEnglish
File Size5.5 MB
Total Pages176
Table of Contents
                            Cover
Key Account Management: Strategies to Leverage Information, Technology, and Relationships to Deliver Value to Large Customers
Contents
Acknowledgments
Preface
Introduction
CHAPTER 1: Key Account Management, Organizational Alignment, and the Selling Center
CHAPTER 2: Building and Delivering Value to Key Accounts
CHAPTER 3: Leveraging Collaborative CRM and Technology
CHAPTER 4: Business Customer Marketing and Key Account Development
Conclusion
Biographies
References
Index
Ad page
Cover
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Key Account
Management
Strategies to Leverage
Information, Technology,
and Relationships to Deliver
Value to Large Customers

Joël Le Bon
Carl Herman

Selling and Sales Force
Management Collection
Buddy LaForge and Thomas Ingram,
Editors

Key Account Management
Strategies to Leverage Information,
Technology, and Relationships to Deliver
Value to Large Customers

Joël Le Bon and Carl Herman
Now more than ever, companies are faced with a critical and
challenging truth. Today’s customer is demanding more atten-
tion, superior service, and the expertise of a dedicated sales
team. Suppliers must make dif� cult choices to determine how
to allocate limited resources, including which customers receive
the highest level of service. Increasingly, supply side organiza-
tions are working to design and implement key account pro-
grams to meet or exceed these expectations. Key account man-
agement is a speci� c business strategy that involves complex
sales processes, large-scale negotiations, and the alignment of
multiple internal and external stakeholders. This multi-pronged
process is anything but straightforward, and the business world
is � lled with examples of key account programs that have not
achieved the expected results. This book addresses the strategic
challenges facing top executives and sales leaders as they build
strategies to better manage their key accounts.

By leveraging up-to-date research, testimonials drawn from
interviews with experienced practitioners, best practices of suc-
cessful companies, along with straightforward practical guide-
lines for executives and sales leaders, this book can serve as an
instruction manual and toolbox for organizations working to
achieve success through their key account strategies to meet the
demand of their key customers.

Joël Le Bon is a marketing professor at the University of
Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business, where he also serves
as the director of executive education for the Sales Excellence
Institute. He received a BA in management science, an MS
in marketing and strategy, and a PhD in marketing from the
University of Paris Dauphine. He has held sales and sales man-
agement positions in the media industry, and worked as a strate-
gic account manager for Xerox. He has earned numerous awards
and distinctions for his research and teaching.

Carl Herman has over 30 years of experience in high tech sales,
key accounts sales, and in senior sales management. He earned
his BA degree in economics from Colorado College, and an MBA
from Southern Methodist University. He has held sales and
sales executive positions for � ve high technology companies:
Unisys, Oracle, Siebel Systems, KPMG Consulting, and Landmark
Graphics, a Halliburton Company. He teaches at the University of
Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business.

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Selling and Sales Force
Management Collection
Buddy LaForge and Thomas Ingram, Editors

THE BUSINESS
EXPERT PRESS
DIGITAL LIBRARIES

EBOOKS FOR
BUSINESS STUDENTS
Curriculum-oriented, born-
digital books for advanced
business students, written
by academic thought
leaders who translate real-
world business experience
into course readings and
reference materials for
students expecting to tackle
management and leadership
challenges during their
professional careers.

POLICIES BUILT
BY LIBRARIANS
• Unlimited simultaneous

usage
• Unrestricted downloading

and printing
• Perpetual access for a

one-time fee
• No platform or

maintenance fees
• Free MARC records
• No license to execute

The Digital Libraries are a
comprehensive, cost-e� ective
way to deliver practical
treatments of important
business issues to every
student and faculty member.

For further information, a
free trial, or to order, contact:

Page 2

Key Account Management: Strategies to Leverage Information, Technology, and Relationships to Deliver Value to Large Customers


Key Account Management

Page 88

Key Account Management: Strategies to Leverage Information, Technology, and Relationships to Deliver Value to Large Customers


BUILDING AND DELIvERING vALUE TO KEY ACCOUNTS 69

center member adopts different decision-making process attributes, all of
which need to be understood and met by the KAM.

Seller-based choice management instead refers to the KAM’s own
choice when selecting and presenting the value proposition to the cus-
tomer. The goal is to match buying center preferences, but if several solu-
tions are available, they need to be balanced on the basis of the supplier’s
economic objectives, the KAM’s quota, and competitive offerings. Over-
all, the goal is to differentiate the supplier’s own solution from competi-
tors’ and ensure that buying center members understand the economic
and political benefits they can gain. Accordingly, seller-based choice man-
agement relies on customers’ requests and requirements, as well as the
KAM’s ability to influence these elements. No KAM wants to discover,
only after reading the request for proposal specifications and require-
ments, that the supplier’s existing solutions cannot satisfy the customer.
Choice management likely requires the KAM to collaborate with cus-
tomer even before a request for proposal. This initiative pertains to the
initiation stage of the project management dimension of the KAMP. As
we touched on previously, this step should help the KAM react more ef-
fectively to both project pull and project push initiations.

Both authors quite often experience the KAMP components when
selling and conducting executive education training, coaching, and con-
sulting projects for the Sales Excellence Institute at the University of
Houston Bauer College of Business. Managing such engagements not
only requires they be treated as projects and opportunities with specific
deadlines, but also to deeply understand the expectations of customers
who are legitimately interested in fulfilling their personal agenda while
growing their company’s business. In several circumstances, however,
foreseeing and managing buying centers’ members’ solution-based and
relational-based expectations are very critical. We accomplish this by
identifying and leveraging the right informants who help decode the
decision-making process. One of those informants facilitated our work
to a great deal helping position several request for proposals which led to
multiple engagements with the same company.

Coach the Buying Center. The five KAMP dimensions demonstrate the
importance of managing key accounts as sales projects, with a start, end, and

Page 89

Key Account Management: Strategies to Leverage Information, Technology, and Relationships to Deliver Value to Large Customers


70 KEY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT

multiple obstacles to identify and overcome along the way. This approach
helps KAMs cope with the uncertainty and unpredictability of large custom-
ers and complex sales. Across all the KAMP dimensions, we have described a
proactive KAM. In a sense, the KAM’s central responsibility is to coach the
buying center through the five KAMP dimensions. This behavior pertains to
the KAM’s leadership role, which we address in Chapter 4.

Value Analysis and Delivery to Key Accounts

The KAMP provides a general perspective on approaching large accounts
and complex sales. Yet for each specific account, the KAM also needs to
leverage his or her value proposition and regularly conduct account analy-
ses to deliver such value adequately and consistently. We first define what
value is for key accounts and the buying center, before outlining a guide
for how to diagnose and deliver such value properly.

What Is Value for Key Accounts and the Buying Center

What is value for major customers? Every key account program should
start with this question, while designating specific customers as key ac-
counts. The supplier must understand what type of value a large customer
seeks and how to deliver it through a key account approach.

What Is Key Account Customer value?

To understand how value is created and shared, we need to understand
what the concept of value really entails. Serving large customers adds
costs to the supplier’s sales organization, because it requires a tremendous
amount of resources. Before expending such resources, it is critical to
determine what customers consider worthwhile.

The concept of value refers to why something is of interest to someone.
From a business marketing perspective, key account customer value is the
tangible and intangible benefits that large customers expect from a supplier’s sell-
ing center, relative to available alternatives, to fulfill a set of needs and for which
hypothetical prices exist. This definition contains three critical dimensions.

First, key account customer value is both tangible and intangible.
By tangible benefits, we mean economic value, such as the technological

Page 176

Key Account
Management
Strategies to Leverage
Information, Technology,
and Relationships to Deliver
Value to Large Customers

Joël Le Bon
Carl Herman

Selling and Sales Force
Management Collection
Buddy LaForge and Thomas Ingram,
Editors

Key Account Management
Strategies to Leverage Information,
Technology, and Relationships to Deliver
Value to Large Customers

Joël Le Bon and Carl Herman
Now more than ever, companies are faced with a critical and
challenging truth. Today’s customer is demanding more atten-
tion, superior service, and the expertise of a dedicated sales
team. Suppliers must make dif� cult choices to determine how
to allocate limited resources, including which customers receive
the highest level of service. Increasingly, supply side organiza-
tions are working to design and implement key account pro-
grams to meet or exceed these expectations. Key account man-
agement is a speci� c business strategy that involves complex
sales processes, large-scale negotiations, and the alignment of
multiple internal and external stakeholders. This multi-pronged
process is anything but straightforward, and the business world
is � lled with examples of key account programs that have not
achieved the expected results. This book addresses the strategic
challenges facing top executives and sales leaders as they build
strategies to better manage their key accounts.

By leveraging up-to-date research, testimonials drawn from
interviews with experienced practitioners, best practices of suc-
cessful companies, along with straightforward practical guide-
lines for executives and sales leaders, this book can serve as an
instruction manual and toolbox for organizations working to
achieve success through their key account strategies to meet the
demand of their key customers.

Joël Le Bon is a marketing professor at the University of
Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business, where he also serves
as the director of executive education for the Sales Excellence
Institute. He received a BA in management science, an MS
in marketing and strategy, and a PhD in marketing from the
University of Paris Dauphine. He has held sales and sales man-
agement positions in the media industry, and worked as a strate-
gic account manager for Xerox. He has earned numerous awards
and distinctions for his research and teaching.

Carl Herman has over 30 years of experience in high tech sales,
key accounts sales, and in senior sales management. He earned
his BA degree in economics from Colorado College, and an MBA
from Southern Methodist University. He has held sales and
sales executive positions for � ve high technology companies:
Unisys, Oracle, Siebel Systems, KPMG Consulting, and Landmark
Graphics, a Halliburton Company. He teaches at the University of
Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business.

K
EY

A
C

C
O

U
N

T
M

A
N

A
G

EM
EN

T
L
E

B
O

N
A

N
D

H
E

R
M

A
N



Selling and Sales Force
Management Collection
Buddy LaForge and Thomas Ingram, Editors

THE BUSINESS
EXPERT PRESS
DIGITAL LIBRARIES

EBOOKS FOR
BUSINESS STUDENTS
Curriculum-oriented, born-
digital books for advanced
business students, written
by academic thought
leaders who translate real-
world business experience
into course readings and
reference materials for
students expecting to tackle
management and leadership
challenges during their
professional careers.

POLICIES BUILT
BY LIBRARIANS
• Unlimited simultaneous

usage
• Unrestricted downloading

and printing
• Perpetual access for a

one-time fee
• No platform or

maintenance fees
• Free MARC records
• No license to execute

The Digital Libraries are a
comprehensive, cost-e� ective
way to deliver practical
treatments of important
business issues to every
student and faculty member.

For further information, a
free trial, or to order, contact:

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