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Key Account Management and Organisational Design

The OPG, and our Ramsey Hall Talent Management colleagues, works across most industrial sectors but especially with FMCG, Life Sciences, Aerospace, Defence and the food and drink sector clients. We help clients to improve performance through better organisational and people practices.

This paper is especially important for organisations that have very large customer accounts with regular or ongoing business. Most commonly this business be from one or just a few customers. These customers are usually very powerful in that they can instigate a crisis by threatening to withdraw their business or by making other demands on their suppliers. Supermarkets, in particular, have used their huge ‘leverage’ on their customers to reduce costs.

This white paper focusses on the differences between sales management and key account management (KAM), and on the different skills and organisational design required for maximised results. The paper defines KAM and highlights the key concepts of “mutual” and “value” where suppliers and customers come together to form a strategic relationship which adds value.  Only by having an appropriate organisation design can this be achieved.

Therefore, this white paper focusses on the way in which many organisations need to make a transition from a sales process focussed on the deal to become a Key Account Management driven organisation.  For many organisations a partial organisational redesign will be necessary.

The paper does not seek to define how to identify key accounts. Nor does it seek to show how to win key accounts. Instead, the focus is on how to configure the organisation for KAM and for the behaviours needed to make it successful.

Key Account Management often requires a significant shift in behaviours not just by the individual but also by the organisation. This evolution comes from a need to put Key Accounts at the centre of the company’s universe from an organisational perspective.

The paper highlights the dangers of not understanding and not focussing the business effectively on both its clients and its employees to achieve strategic alignment with corporate strategy.  Properly strategically aligned businesses with an organisational design built around KAM will perform better.

About the author & Ramsey Hall

Matthew Davis is a Chartered FCIPD and Chartered Marketer FCIM qualified HR/Human Capital consulting professional. Experienced in most aspects of resourcing, business psychology, performance management and organisational development consulting as well as team leadership and budgetary management.
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