Strategic Account Management as a value co-creation selling model in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Pillon, Francois and Hadjielias, Elias (2017) Strategic Account Management as a value co-creation selling model in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 32 (2). pp. 310-325. ISSN 0885-8624

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Purpose: This study explores the dynamics enabling Strategic Account Management (SAM) to function as a value co-creation selling model in the pharmaceutical industry.

Methodology: Using an inductive qualitative research design, data are collected within eleven industry customers in Canada. This work focuses on hospitals as strategic accounts of pharmaceutical companies, exploring SAM value co-creation in the ‘hospital-pharmaceutical company’ relationship.

Findings: The findings suggest the presence of two key dimensions that can enable a value co-creation SAM model in the hospital-pharmaceutical relationship: ‘customer-tailored value-added initiatives’ and ‘relationship enhancers’. Customer-tailored value-added initiatives explain the activities that are central to the hospital-pharmaceutical company relationship and can lead to the provision of value-added that is unique to the hospital. Relationship enhancers explain the activities that can help strengthen hospitalpharmaceutical company relations in the pursuit of enhanced value-added interactions between the two parties. The research demonstrates a cyclical relationship between ‘customer-tailored value-added
initiatives’ and ‘relationship enhancers’ leading to value co-creation through a SAM model.

Practical implications: The study informs pharmaceutical industry practitioners on how to improve their value proposition through new, more sustainable selling practices. It offers information in implementing a value co-creation SAM model, which can enable pharmaceutical companies to sustain long lasting value added relationships with key accounts such as hospitals.

Originality/value: The study contributes to the field of strategic account management by conceptualizing
SAM as a value co-creation system. It introduces new knowledge in pharmaceutical marketing by offering empirical insight on the applicability and use of SAM in the hospital-pharmaceutical company dyad.

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