Online from: 1986
Subject Area: Marketing
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|Title:||Strategic account management programs: alignment of design elements and management practices|
|Author(s):||Kaj Storbacka, (Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)|
|Citation:||Kaj Storbacka, (2012) "Strategic account management programs: alignment of design elements and management practices", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 27 Iss: 4, pp.259 - 274|
|Keywords:||Alignment, Company performance, Configuration, Configuration management, Corporate strategy, Customer relationship, Customer relationship management, Design, Design elements, Firm performance, Strategic account|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/08858621211221643 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||Received: 15 July 2010 Revised: 2 May 2011 1 November 2011 Accepted: 12 November 2011 The author whishes to thank the reviewers for their help in improving the paper.|
Purpose – The paper aims at generating a better understanding of the design elements and related management practices of strategic account management programs, in order to assist firms wishing to design such programs.
Design/methodology/approach – The research process is based on systematic combining of literature, empirical data from interviews with nine multi-national firms, interaction with the firms during the research, and the knowledge resource base of the Strategic Account Management Association.
Findings – A strategic account management program (SAMP) is defined as a relational capability, involving task-dedicated actors, who allocate resources of the firm and its strategically most important customers, through management practices that aim at inter- and intra-organizational alignment, in order to improve account performance (and ultimately shareholder value creation). The research identified four inter-organizational alignment design elements: account portfolio definition, account business planning, account-specific value proposition, account management process; and four intra-organizational design elements: organizational integration, support capabilities, account performance management, account team profile and skills. The management practices pertinent to each element are discussed.
Practical implications – Firms need to ensure that a SAMP is configured so that there is fit between the design elements discussed. Focus should be put on identifying framing elements that set the foundation for configuring effective programs, as they determine the prerequisites for other elements.
Originality/value – The paper contributes to the literature on strategic account management by summarizing extant research and developing an organizing framework, informed by an empirical study.