Key account management is a phrase that many seem to either understand or fail to appreciate, so this book can help focus or educate the mind and hopefully lead to positive change.
The reader will understand and appreciate the importance and power of a key account for their business, a customer who not only orders a lot of product or service, but they also contribute to the growth of their supplier’s suppliers and underpin the business-at-large. Of course, they may order a lot, but servicing their needs and requirements can also cost a lot too, so the relationship must be properly managed, understood and focussed. It is a lot more than just prioritising their needs and ‘kissing butt’.
This is an excellent, considered book, distilling decades of real-world experience from the authors into something that can be beneficial for beginner or old-hand alike. The reader is taken through the whole process from winning key accounts through to retaining and developing the relationship. The authors say whilst key accounts are mostly companies, there is no reason why the same principles cannot be used to sell complex products and services to high-worth individuals.
Many fictional but authentic case studies are used to help illustrate and reinforce the advice given and this is supplemented by many quotations from industry participants who comment on various topics and issues. In many ways, even those who do not have key account management responsibilities as part of their job could benefit from looking at this book if they get the chance, since some of the advice could still be beneficial to their sales and other managerial activities. More information can also be gathered from the various reference sources given at the end of each chapter, should be further or deeper reading be desired.
The authors also try and consider the future to see what future challenges may occur in the field of key account management. This is not just space-filling, since they did a similar exercise 20 years ago and as they show, quite a few of their forecasts bore fruit.
A very credible book that can be potentially very powerful indeed in the right hands.