Key Account Management




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Who should attend

This programme is intended for sales managers and directors, marketing managers, national and regional sales managers, business development managers, product managers and managers in other areas who would benefit from the programme.

About the course

In today’s highly competitive markets, increasing numbers of companies realise that building strong relationships with key accounts is crucial to success. However, most company executives lack an understanding of how to make a key account strategy work. In this programme we will discuss the many issues involved in making your company more competitive and positioning you to deliver high value through management of your key accounts. We will discuss how the organisation and support system you set up in your company make a critical difference, along with the critical skill in sales to make it work.


This programme is designed to teach participants how to make their key account strategy work. It will help to increase the competitiveness of the company’s organisation and systems, as well as increase the abilities of relevant personnel to deliver the desired results.


The programme will teach participants how to:

  • Design a successful key account programme
  • Identify customers who are the best key account prospects
  • Forge strong relationships among key senior executives
  • Create influential alliances through internal cooperation
  • Sell through complex purchasing structures
  • Position the company to compete strategically
  • Seek out and capitalise on new opportunities
  • Anticipate future needs of key accounts


Day 1

Setting the Stage: Top Level Thinking

  • Provide a starting point for our ensuing discussions as to why focusing resources on key accounts makes companies more competitive
  • Introduce how a “systems” approach will allow your company to provide comprehensive service for key accounts
  • Understand how to position your company as a preferred supplier, business consultant, or partner/ally

The Key Account Pyramid: A Tool for Superior Performance

  • Continue systems thinking to the specific layers of key account programmes including strategy, execution, and enablers
  • Discuss the intended outcomes of key account programmes and risks (downsides)
  • Open discussion for participating executives to assess current status of and “gaps” in key account efforts

Day 2

Determining the Relationship Status of a Key Account

  • Develop the “right resources for the right customers” concept and learn to apply it in evaluating customers for key account programmes

The Key Account Pyramid: Execution – Organisational Structure for Serving Key Accounts

  • Establish the critical components of key account management that are essential to serving the most important customers to the company

The Key Account Pyramid: Execution – CRM

  • Introduce CRM processes
  • Discuss efficiency and effectiveness gains within CRM frameworks
  • Open discussions to participating executives to assess current status of these efforts

The Key Account Pyramid: Execution – Effectively Selling to the Key Account

  • Selling to key customers is different than typical selling – aspects unique to serving key customers is the focus
  • The large account selling process
  • The effective key account salesperson – who is the most appropriate choice?
  • Case study: Using the ideas from the previous sections on strategy and execution to practice identifying opportunities for improvement in serving key customers

Day 3

The Key Account Pyramid: Enablers

  • Supervision, the right people, motivation and compensation
  • Recruiting key account managers is different from recruiting sales people
  • Important issues involved in getting the recruitment strategy in line with the overall key account programme
  • Compensation issues to consider when the focus is on strong key account relationships

Maximising the Success of Your Key Account Programme

  • Integrate the ideas from this workshop into a cohesive, actionable plan
  • Identify steps to take for an immediate difference in working with key customers


William Murphy

Visiting Professor, CEIBS; Associate Professor, Marketing Department, Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, Canada EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison TEACHING INTERESTS: Professor Murphy teaches marketing strategy, sales management, and mar...

Videos and materials

Key Account Management at CEIBS

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.