We’ve gone over the fact that 80% of your key account revenue comes from 20% of your accounts. Thus, the people who manage these 20% accounts play a key role in the ongoing success of your business. They need to nurture your company’s most valuable customers and build a long term relationship with them, not just as salespeople but as trusted advisors.
These people can have such a huge impact on the fortunes of this company are in a very influential position. Their responsibilities may be many but the time on their hands is very less and hence they need certain skills to do their job well.
Here are the 3 Skills that every KAM Professional should have:
Key Account Managers are in the unique position where they constantly interact with people within the client organization who are at extremely powerful positions. Communicating with such high flying corporate executives is not easy.
Key Account Managers must strive to constantly keep communication flowing to establish themselves as trusted advisors. The client touch points should feel that they can reach out to their key account managers with any question / concern and that they will receive a helpful and thoughtful response.
In order to be a successful key account manager, he/she should be indispensable to the client in every way. It is truly an art to keep clients engaged without being intrusive.
Proactive Key Account Management
The biggest mistake that Key Account Managers do is thinking that they don’t need to rock the boat too much. They believe that their job is just wine and dine clients and build relationships through this. A Key Account Manager must proactively glean insights from the customers about how the product is functioning for them, if there are gaps in product fitment and if there is any reason for them to be unhappy.
This information can allow him/her to proactively put out key account management fires, even before they arise. This information can be used for new product development to address any gaping need, as spoken about in this blog.
Empathizing with Customers
A Key Account Manager must of course have a research and analytical bend of mind where he/she understands the client goals deeply but it is also important to understand any problems that they may be facing. KAMs must collaborate with customers to create a plan of action to work towards business goals. If the KAMs follow through with those plans while adjusting for market conditions they stand to demonstrate the real value of their company.
A true Key Account Manager will consistently help clients achieve their end goals while remaining in a fiduciary position. When a client can show it’s senior management that a Key Account Manager positively impacted their bottom line by putting their blood, sweat, and tears in there is bound to be a lasting collaboration.
Do you have what it takes?
Let us know in the comments below if you would like to add any more required talents to this vastly redacted list!