Value in Key Account Management: What does it mean?
Emerging from this meeting was a strong focus on how value is created. Dr. Antonella La Rocca, Associate Professor at Rennes School of Business in France, gave an overview of research in the area and then identified, from her own work, two almost diametrically opposed profiles of key account managers, typified as X and Y. X is more about coordination and efficiency, while Y (a real case) was more of a developer and value creator. Brisk discussion agreed that while these two types existed - with many more of X than Y - that key account managers really needed to combine the profiles, so they can deal with current issues and longer term goals. Unfortunately, such hybrids are relatively rare, perhaps because they embody different sets of competencies and personality traits.
Carlos Ferrer Sotillo, BT Global Sales Director, delivered a presentation full of 28 inspirational ‘pills’. Drawing on a wide range of rousing and thoughtful messages, he challenged participants to take a handful of specific pills and use them to find ways of adding customer value. The audience was indeed inspired, and produced outputs ranging from ways to value members of the key account team and thus create value to stretching ideas for particular businesses.
The update on AKAM activity focused on the dedicated KAM resources available through the website and urged all members to use it to their advantage. Entries for Key Account Manager of the Year will close at on 30th November, and all good key account managers, whether members or not, are encouraged to enter.
Laura Gonzalez of Johnson and Johnson Vision showed some of the concepts used in identifying and creating value for customers of that business. (As the material is considered sensitive, however, we are not able to upload it to the website: occasionally presenters feel able to share material with people in the room at the time but are uncomfortable about it being available more widely afterwards. We understand and apologise for not being able to offer it to other members.)