Key account management

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Key account management (abbreviation KAM - from English key account = key or main customer ) is a sub-area of customer management .

Key account management

First and foremost, key account management means looking after key customers with high customer value through special account managers . The main reason for establishing a key account management is to achieve a basis for growth in the markets. This includes the long-term expansion of business relationships with existing customers as well as the acquisition of new customers and securing local market proximity.

In practice, key account management is often organized globally (global key account management). Establishing key account management is primarily useful if the customer's demand or customer value as a reference or multiplier is correspondingly large and the customer structure is complex (e.g. for high-tech, advice-intensive products). On the other hand, key account management is also practiced consistently in the area of ​​consumer goods (e.g. support for large retail companies by manufacturers).

Professional key account management includes comprehensive customer support. It's not just about selling goods and services, but also about optimizing customer processes and improving the results of top customers. For this purpose, individual customer development plans are usually created.

On the other hand, it is important to win individual projects with the respective customer, because many major customers have at least two to three top suppliers to choose from for a single project. A systematic follow-up is important here.

Key account

Key account is the English term for a customer who has a key position for the current and future existence of the company . In German there is the term “key customer”, also “key account customer” is used. These customers are given an outstanding position within the framework of customer management . A key account manager is usually employed to look after these important customers. These are often entrusted with a portfolio analysis in order to define who is considered a key account at all or who could be based on their potential in the future. This evaluation includes , for example, sales and contribution margins as well as the competitive situation and customer attractiveness.

Key account manager

The Key Account Manager ( German : Managers of key customers ) cares comprehensively to the specific needs and interests of a customer segment or a single, strategically important customers and represents him and his requirements in the company . He forms the interface between this customer and the company and ensures clear responsibilities and coordinated customer contact. He can work with a sales force or with an FMA to look after him.

A key account manager must have sufficient specialist knowledge in order to be able to advise and convince the customer competently . He represents his company with customers and stands up for them in the company. As a rule, he should have several years of experience in sales .

Good key account managers pursue both the establishment and maintenance of long-term customer relationships (see Customer Relationship Management ).


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