There are contrasting views of global account management.
Some are still afraid of it as in this quote,
"We don't want to implement a global account management program because that will
just allow our multinational customers to get a bigger price discount from us.
It's a lot of effort for little or even negative return."
In fact there's even a joke that under global account management,
the global account manager is actually the global discount manager.
But many other companies actually have a different view.
In this second quote, "Our global account management
program is essential for the retention of
our most important multinational customers and it contributes in
a major way to growth in both revenues and profits."
And indeed this quote was given to me by the then CEO of
Hewlett-Packard which is one of the pioneers of global account management.
So the key issue then is,
how do we get the benefits rather than the cost of global account management?
To explain global account management,
let me give you a fairly comprehensive history from one
of the pioneers of this phenomenon, Hewlett-Packard.
HP started their program over 20 years ago which originally covered just sub segments of
the HP business and expanded to cover
the entire company as the needs of the customers became more sophisticated,
and HP itself became more experienced with global account management.