What does to excel at being a great account manager?
Key account managers (KAM) work with the company’s biggest customers and work to build long-lasting partnerships with them. Their scope of work ranges from closing sales and nurturing relationships to strategic planning and cross-functional leadership. Read on to find out what it takes to be great at accounting for managers:
Key account managers have to have these six key account management skills to excel at their work:
1. Excellent communication:
Communication skill tops the list. As the liaison between the customer and the company, the key account manager needs to have excellent communication skills over phone, email and across teams. They must be comfortable addressing high-level executives as well as operation managers and sales reps. The key account manager is expected to maintain contact with each level of business to ensure that the customer’s needs and expectations are appropriately met. KAMs can streamline their communication by charting out a map of their key accounts and identify essential communication lines.
2. Customer and company expertise:
One of the goals of a KAM is to nurture strategic relationships with top accounts. Therefore, a KAM must possess in-depth knowledge of the company and its customers. This enables him/her to identify the best forms of opportunities for growth and offer excellent service to the client. This expertise is crucial since key customers do not buy “off-the-shelf” products. The products are customised as per the customer’s needs, and hence a KAM can help curate the right product for the customer. And this can be done correctly when the customer’s needs are effectively understood by the KAM.
3. Strategic perspective:
One significant difference between a traditional account manager and a key account manager is the level of strategy involved in managing each account. KAMs follow a long-term strategic route. They must be able to juggle several tasks simultaneously and orchestrate deals that align mutually with the plan. Key account management prioritises long-term relations over short-term transactions.
Being leaders, KAMs must be able to direct customers and manager employees at all levels of business. Since KAMs touch several parts of the business, they should be confident and gain respect from their clients and employees. Considering the strategic nature of the job, a KAM acts like a visionary, enabling customers and employees to be led to key initiatives.
A KAM’s goal is to build a lifetime-worth of value with their customer. This is done not by selling a product but by negotiating terms that keep both parties happy. This negotiation requires a keen sense of timing, fantastic presentation skills and confident enough to hold their ground and push back when necessary.
6. Value-based selling:
When you can demonstrate the value of the product to the customer, you are essentially building up long-term success. As a KAM, you should be able to communicate the value of your offering strategically and financially to your customers. A KAM can curate custom offers when he/she has a better understanding of the business; therefore being able to sell more effectively and retain long-term relationships
Key account management is a robust strategy for a business and can offer big dividends when they invest in the right managers and infrastructure. To become a KAM, consider enrolling for account management courses with LBTC. Learn more about such courses on our website and schedule a consultation right away.