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Proactive and reactive: drivers for key account management programmes
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Logistics . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3986-9160
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2009 (English)In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MARKETING, ISSN 0309-0566, Vol. 43, no 7-8, 961-984 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - Key account management (KAM) programmes are a way for companies to develop existing relationships and increase sales, thus being proactive and searching for opportunities (which is often expected of KAM). It is also a way to meet changing customer demands arising from changes in purchasing strategy, buyers mergers and acquisitions and the search for synergies in order to reduce costs. The purpose of this article is to analyse different key account management programmes on how they manage the sales process complexity and customer expectations. Design/methodology/approach - The paper draws on qualitative data collected during a field study of ABB and six of their major customers, based on annual or biannual interviews with 50 individuals within ABB from 1996 to 2006 and three to ten individuals from each of the customers. Interviewees included corporate managers, key account managers and sales personnel/project managers. The customers involved in the study belonged to mining, automotive, process equipment manufacture, building technology, energy production and telecommunication sectors. Findings - In this study three different programmes are identified and analysed: the proactive programme - which is driven by sales opportunity; the reactive programme - which is driven by customer demands; and the organisation-based programme - which is driven by the belief in customer-centric organisational units. Practical implications - The paper identifies sales aspects (complexities) of K-W programmes that are handled in different ways by different types of programmes. Originality/value - With an empirical base the paper provides a basis for understanding the reasons behind the establishment of several KAM programmes in the same corporation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 43, no 7-8, 961-984 p.
Keyword [en]
Key accounts, Complexity theory, Sales management, Industrial marketing
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-20340DOI: 10.1108/03090560910961470OAI: diva2:234038
Available from: 2009-09-04 Created: 2009-09-04 Last updated: 2013-08-29

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Brehmer, Per-OlofRehme, Jakob
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