A network perspective of account manager performance

Michael D. Hutt, Beth A. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose - The paper seeks to provide a conceptual model of the account management process that isolates the social connections of more versus less effective account managers. Design/methodology/approach - The sales performance research tradition is reviewed and a social network perspective is offered to explore the web of internal working relationships that account managers activate to acquire customer and competitor information and create solutions for customers. Findings - Available evidence suggests that network size, network range, and network diversity are among the relational properties that may influence account manager performance. By building a strong network of relationships both within the firm as well as within the customer organization, high-performing account managers, compared with their peers, are better able to diagnose customer requirements, mobilize internal experts, and choreograph the activities that are required to out-maneuver rivals and create the desired customer solution. Practical implications - The information-acquisition practices of high-performing account managers provide a template for improving customer relationship management (CRM) systems and processes. Originality/value - The paper demonstrates the value of a social network perspective in advancing knowledge of account manager performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-473
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 16 2006


  • Accounts management
  • Performance management
  • Sales force
  • Sales strategies
  • Social groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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