Key Account Management: Much more than a Handshake

The goal for key account managers is to move from basic account management to a more interdependent account management style, according to this presentation deck by Aristoteles Kabarganos, Work Managing Partner at Ariston Group Performance Consulting in Germany.

Moving from basic management to interdependent key account management means moving from a relationship that:

  • Is transaction based with an emphasis on efficiency.
  • Measures success solely on price.
  • Features customers with multiple sources.
  • Relies on a single point of contact.
  • Is a business-only relationship.
  • Features little info sharing.
  • Is reactive rather than proactive.
  • Offers little chance for business growth.

To a customer/account manager relationship where:

  • Each side acknowledges the importance of the other.
  • Customer relies on your company as their sole supplier.
  • Multiple points of contact are established.
  • Social relationships are developed.
  • There is a high volume of dialogue.
  • The relationship is proactive not reactive.
  • Future-focused joint strategic planning is implemented.
  • Each side is looking at opportunities to grow mutual business.

In order to achieve this type of management, your key account managers must understand a customer’s external environment, internal resources and capabilities, and critical success factors.   This will enable them to work out objectives, strategies and actions that enhance business for everyone.


Vickilynn is a Novelist whose first book "Waving Backwards" was published in July 2015. She is also a Blogger at Adoptionfind Blog. Previously, she was a Freelance marketing copywriter at OpenView.
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