Key account management: theory, practice and challenges

Malcolm McDonald, Tony Millman, Elizabeth Georgina Rogers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Key account management is a natural development of customer focus and relationship marketing in business‐to‐business markets. It offers critical benefits and opportunities for profit enhancement to both sides of the seller/buyer dyad.

    This paper describes a framework for understanding the development of key account relationships. It has also incorporated a comprehensive guide to the current practice of key account management and comments on the challenges for the future of key account management practice. The paper is based on research involving in‐depth interviews with key account managers, their managers and their main contacts in the customer organisation.

    The scope of key account management is widening and becoming more complex. The skills of professional involved in it at strategic and operational levels need to be constantly updated and developed. This paper demonstrates how key account management can be implemented and points decision‐makers in the right direction for better practice in the long term.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)737-757
    JournalJournal of Marketing Management
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


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