About this book
We, the editors, have long felt that key strategic account management, which we will call KSAM, is sorely overlooked by academia, with the exception of a few experts like those contributing to this book.
As a rule of thumb, products are bought and sold five times over before they reach their final destination with the consumer. There is, therefore, much more commercial activity and many more companies involved in business-to-business (B2B) transactions than in consumer sales. You would not think so, however, if you looked at most universities' business and marketing courses, or even the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing's agenda and publications, in spite of the fact that a majority of its members operate in B2B markets.
Just rebalancing attention between consumer and B2B markets would quickly highlight a key difference: the huge range of customer size and revenues in B2B businesses, which cannot be ignored. All customers are indisputably not equal, and frequently a very few are individually critical to a B2B supplier. The world is littered with companies that have lost one key customer and their whole business with it, whereas consumer marketing does not, and does not need to, consider such a possibility.
Some academics claim that KSAM is just part of relationship marketing, and while it owes a great deal to that stream of thinking, there is much that is different: lumping them together is very misleading. At the same time, sales research literature contributes ...