Key Account Management: The Definitive Guide

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9780470974155: Key Account Management: The Definitive Guide

"This book is crammed with distilled, practical wisdom for key account managers and their directors. Organizations claiming to practise key account management should equip everyone involved with a copy, so they really understand what they are supposed to be doing. Anything less is just old-fashioned selling."

Developing successful business-to-business relationships with more customers in highly competitive markets requires processes and skills that go beyond traditional selling activity. The very best state-of-the-art strategies are set out clearly in this book by intentionally known authors who have worked at the highest levels with more key and strategic account managers worldwide than probably any other leading advisors. Based on the hugely influential KEY CUSTOMERS it looks at:

  • Why has account management become so critical to commercial success?
  • What are the key challenges and how do successful companies respond?
  • What part does key account management play in strategic planning?
  • How do companies build profitable relationships with their customers?
  • How does key account management actually work?
  • What does a successful key account manager look like and what skills does he/she need?
  • How should key account managers be evaluated and rewarded?
  • How do companies achieve key account management? 

By addressing these key questions Woodburn and McDonald provide tools and processes for success honed by tough consultancy projects with the boards of some of the world's leading companies. The book stresses the elements that really matter - from developing a customer categorization system that really works and analyzing the needs of key accounts; to understanding the new skills required by key account managers and ensuring that key account plans are implemented. The 'real world' approach is backed by tested principles and the latest research from the renowned Cranfield School of Management.

Key Account Management comes from authors who have taught leading companies how to approach their most powerful and demanding customers and still make money. It is essential reading for all senior management with strategic responsibility, for key or strategic account directors, and for marketing and sales executives. The clear and authoritative approach also makes it an outstanding text for the serious MBA and executive student as well as business-to-business company directors and key account managers.

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From the Inside Flap:

"The authors work with us here in the European Institute of Purchasing Management (EIPM) and have an in-depth understanding of the buying side of Key Account Management. This book, therefore, is a true and realistic version of how suppliers can work effectively and profitably with their major customers. I commend it to you."
Bernard Gracia, Director EIPM

"Malcolm McDonald and Diana Woodburn have done a remarkable job in capturing all their (KAM) research and practical experience in this excellent book and I commend it to you."
Martin Lamb, Chief Executive, IMI plc

"Today's suppliers like to brand themselves as ‘partners' with their customers, but too often their results do not support this grand self proclamation. Only with a rigorous key account management approach can suppliers really become trusted partners and enjoy the significant long term rewards this hard won status brings. This excellent book is crammed with distilled, practical wisdom and provides a clear roadmap to successful key account management."
Matt Hobbs, Marketing Consulting Leader, IBM Global Business Services

"In an era when very large customers dominate the customer portfolios of so many selling organizations, original and practical insights into the effective management of strategic or key account relationships are more valuable than ever. Authored by two of the most experienced experts in the area, this book is a 'must have, must read' for all managers in companies with key account strategies - regardless of their professional specialization. This book will save your company money - and, better, it will help you make money."
Professor Nigel F. Piercy PhD, DLitt

About the Author:

Diana Woodburn
BSc MSc MBA FCIM
Diana is the Managing Director of Marketing Best Practice, a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management and Associate Fellow at Warwick Business School. In 1998, together with Malcolm McDonald, she founded Cranfield's KAM Best Practice Research Club of blue-chip companies, which has proved a major driving force in understanding and advancing KAM. An exceptionally experienced practitioner, she has developed the key account management capabilities of leading companies and about three thousand of their people worldwide, through consultancy, teaching, coaching and writing. She has created some of the most popular concepts and tools in KAM in use today.
Email: woodburn@marketingbp.com

Malcolm McDonald
MA(Oxon), MSc, PhD, D.Litt. FCIM FRSA
Malcolm is Emeritus Professor of Marketing at Cranfield University School of Management, where he was until recently Deputy Director. Formerly Marketing and Sales Director of Canada Dry, he is the author of forty three books, including the best seller, Marketing Plans: How to prepare them, how to use them. He is Chairman of six companies and works with the operating boards of major companies all over the world, particularly helping them to take profitable advantage of the opportunities afforded by the growing number of big, powerful customers. Together with Diana Woodburn at Cranfield, he has been researching best practice in key account management for over a decade. He is also a Visiting Professor at Henley, Warwick, Aston and Bradford Business Schools
Email: m.mcdonald@cranfield.ac.uk

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