Best practice Key Account Management (KAM) advances two supplier / customer relationships in parallel.

    The Transactional Relationship emphasizes execution: seamless logistics, product quality assurance and responsive services for agreed priorities.  The Transactional Relationship provides ‘license to play’, and is the foundation for any large, important commercial relationship.

    The Strategic Relationship is the difference between Large Account and real Key Account Management.  First, the supplier must develop a detailed understanding of their account’s strategy.  Based on those insights, the supplier proposes new opportunities (Value Propositions) that help the account achieve their strategy, with the supplier being an indispensable component of the solution.  After the Key Account prioritizes those opportunities, Joint Initiative Teams (people and resources from both parties) are formed to achieve agreed objectives and outcomes.  Each team has a project charter and scorecard that is shared with both organizations to communicate, measure and drive performance.

     

    The pandemic’s economic impact has affected market sectors differently with some companies forced to make significant changes to their strategy.  Often, in the most negatively affected markets (e.g. airlines, automobiles, restaurants) there are severely strained Supplier / Key Account relationships.  This provides an opening to target new Key Accounts that are being underserved by competitors.

    In the strongest markets (e.g. Professional and Consumer Hygiene, DIY Home Repair), the current situation presents opportunities to step up and provide new value propositions that help your Key Account realize their full potential.

    In either case, now is a good time to pressure test existing Key Account Plans:

     

    Are we targeting the right Key Accounts?

    Do we have actionable insights regarding changes to our Key Account’s operational and strategic performance?

    What new opportunities are we proposing to help them achieve their strategy?

    How do we know which Value Propositions our Key Account will prioritize?

    For more discussion and help with Key Account Management, please contact us.

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