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How to create high-performing key account management: lessons from the UK IT industry

Laker, B. and Read, N. A. C. (2016) How to create high-performing key account management: lessons from the UK IT industry. In: British Academy of Management (BAM) Conference 2016, Newcastle, UK.

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This study examines high performance and key themes affecting B2B sales forces during a time when the sales systems applied by the profession are in transition due to changing markets; it explores factors contributing to key account management (KAM) success including structures, process and leadership involvement. Quantitative and qualitative research was undertaken; ten face to face interviews were completed with sales leaders in the UK IT industry, followed by an online survey completed by 1,100 employees. Findings were then analysed and the variations in sales team performance were reviewed using mixed methods supported by triangulation. The respondents suggest that the success of an individual or team within a sales function is closely dependent on the environment created by sales management and leadership, and that sales systems are a key factor for creating competitive advantage and differentiation within a marketplace. From a theoretical perspective, the study identifies elements of high performing teams through an investigation of teams beyond the sales unit on its own. From a managerial perspective, the study increases understanding of how suppliers can (and should) implement KAM sales teams by providing a basis for recognising the complexity and strategic nature of creating a high performance ecosystem within and around the sales team.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:82809

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