Sales coordination in multinational corporations : development and management of key account programmes

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköpings universitet

Abstract: The purpose of the dissertation is to describe and analyse the orgamsmg of sales and marketing in large scale and complex organisations and particularly how key account management programmes are developed, organised and managed.This means that the focus is on the development context in which the sales organisation operates, how key account management (KAM) programmes are organised, the coordination they contribute to, and how the KAM programmes are designed to manage the dyadic seller-buyer relationships.In particular this purpose includes two major parts:Describing and analysing how KAM programmes evolve in large industrial organisationsDescribing and analysing how KAM programmes are initiated and developed in seller-buyer relationshipsThe method employed has been a multiple-case study based on five individual buyer-seller relationships in two different KAM programmes within ABB. The empirical material has been analysed primarily by the use of organisational and marketing theories.Driving forces for the developments of KAM's are marketing strategies, i.e. the focus on systems selling, international selling and the focus on customer share; purchasing strategies, i.e. the coordination of corporate nationally and internationally, and functional buying; and finally organisational contingencies, i.e. that high degree of divisionalisation underscores the importance of coordination.Overall organisational structures and management focus strongly affects the formation of KAM programmes and the content of the sales coordination. Marketing strategy in the form of segment marketing is used to structure KAM programmes. Buyer action to coordinate purchasing results in the considerable importance of sales coordination and thus KAM programmes, whereas solely seller-initiated programmes have more organisational adaptations.There are large discrepancies between individual KAM's particularly based on customer contingencies and preferences. Generally speaking, the main efforts are aimed at commercial, social, logistical and technical activities. KAM's result in improved working relationships that become more formal, greater coordination and subsequently a more integrated sales organisation.

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