Implementing Key Account Strategy Implementation in the Sales Force



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This dissertation examines how key account (KA) managers from an organization’s marketing department (i.e., KA marketing managers) implement a new KA program by simultaneously influencing sales managers and frontline salespeople, despite not having the authority to direct individuals in the sales department. Specifically, this dissertation focuses on the effectiveness of different KA marketing manager influence tactics over time and considers how sales managers’ KA implementation commitment (KAIC) moderates the relationship between KA marketing manager’s salesperson-directed influence behaviors and salespeople’s KA product sales performance (KASP). Findings show that KA marketing managers’ use of inspirational influence tactics have no impact on KAIC or KASP initially, but that this impact grows and levels off over time. On the other hand, KA marketing managers’ use of pressure influence tactics has a positive initial impact on KAIC and KASP, but this impact diminishes and bottoms out over time. The results for KA marketing managers’ use of consultative influence tactics are mixed: exhibiting an effect on KAIC that grows over time, but showing no effect on KASP. Furthermore, I demonstrate how KAIC moderates the effectiveness of KA marketing managers’ salesperson-directed influence tactics in a way that may not be intuitively obvious to managers.