Key Account Manager
Key Account Management (KAM) defines the relationship between the business and the consumers. The KAM is tasked with defining the individual approach of the sales personnel to specific consumers in order to create strong and lasting relationships. The main objective of the Key Account Manager is to manage a group of important consumers (Key Accounts) in order to achieve designated sales targets through the implementation of appropriate and unique strategies for these key accounts.
The Key Account Manager maintains and expands relationships with important clients and will work closely with various business departments in order to maintain and further develop the relationships with the key accounts. The Key Account Manager is responsible for the achievement of sales quota and is assigned key objectives/metrics relevant to key accounts.
The Key Accounts Manager represents the entire range of company solutions to the assigned consumers. He leads the consumer’s account planning cycle and ensures that the client’s needs and expectations are met by the business.
Objectives and Responsibilities of the Key Account Manager
Account Management & Maintenance: The Key Account Manager is tasked primarily with managing and maintaining the key client accounts. In this role, the Key Account Manager maintains knowledge and awareness of competing products/services, discount and pricing structures, and overall strengths and weaknesses in order to determine how best to service and motivate key accounts to stay with the business.
The Key Account Manager also maintains an updated sales funnel and participates in regular sales reviews in conjunction with the senior key account management. The Key Account Manager also maintains data and information relevant to key accounts for the purpose of conducting analyses that influence account-specific decision making.
In this capacity, the Key Account Manager is also responsible for ensuring that profitable sales volume and strategic objective targets are met for the assigned key accounts. He is also responsible for assessing, clarifying, and validating the consumers’ needs on an ongoing basis, maintaining high customer satisfaction ratings that are up to the business’s standards.
The Key Account Manager regularly follows up with the customers regarding orders and timely collections of the business’s products in order to obtain feedback on their level of satisfaction and note areas of sales performance improvement. In this position, the Key Account Manager leads solution development for the identified improvement areas, coordinating involvement of any relevant business personnel.
Opportunity: The Key Account Manager is also responsible for the generation of business in the assigned accounts as well as the attainment of new accounts for the business. The Key Account Manager assists in the identification and evaluation of business opportunities by keeping an eye out for business best practices, trends, and principals that will enable the key account department to keep consumers satisfied and loyal to the business.
Strategy: The Key Account Manager also plays a major strategic role by implementing sales strategies that lead to high consumer satisfaction, hence, building awareness and credibility with the key clients as well as senior account management. In conjunction with senior account management, the Key Account Manager also takes part in the strategic account planning process in which departmental financial targets, performance objectives, account management standards, and critical milestones over specific periods of time are decided upon.
Analytics: The Key Account Manager also plays an analytical role where he prepares detailed proposals/quotes depending on each consumer’s requirements. The Key Account Manager also reviews target achievement and creates reports for senior account management, which facilitate the creation of informed account management decision-making and strategy formulation. In this position he also prepares pricing documentation for the business’s products/services and secures appropriate approval from senior key account managers prior to sending commercial proposals to key accounts.
Knowledge: The Key Account Manager is tasked with the maintenance of knowledge within the account management department. This is knowledge on the best practices, market trends, consumer trends, and the competitive environment. He achieves this through regularly attending training sessions, for example, on new trending solutions and technologies. The Key Account Manager also constantly improves his professional skills by attaining relevant certifications. He also stays in tune with the business’s CRM tool and techniques that come in handy when managing consumers and more so the challenging ones.
Collaboration: The role is also collaborative, with the Key Account Manager closely working with the customer support and resource management departments in an effort to meet account performance objectives as well as the key accounts’ expectations through complimentary cross-functional efforts. The Key Account Manager, as mentioned, also liaises with senior key account management in the creation and determination of departmental strategies, financial requirements, and account management standards.
Other Duties: The Key Account Manager handles related duties as are necessary for the proper management of key accounts and duties assigned to him by the Senior Key Account Manager, Head of Key Account Management, Director of Sales, Chief Sales Officer, or the employer.
Required Qualifications of the Key Account Manager
Education: The Key Account Manager is required to have a bachelor’s degree in Sales, Business Management, Communications, Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, Business Administration or any other related field. An equivalent of the same in working experience is also acceptable.
Experience: A candidate for this position must have had a minimum of 3 years in working experience in a marketing or sales position, preferably working as junior personnel in the account management department. A suitable candidate for the position will also have amassed substantial expertise in CRM.
The ideal applicant should have at least 5 years of Key Account Management experience in addition to showing aptitude to quickly learn and develop an understanding for account planning in the key account management department. The candidate will have proven problem solving and decision making skills. A suitable candidate will also have demonstrated a great deal of sales experience, possessing an ability to drive sales and having met and even exceeded business targets.
Communication Skills: Communication skills are a major requirement of this position. The Key Account Manager is tasked with handling high-value business clients and should, therefore, be able to consistently address those consumer concerns while offering clear, concise, and understandable responses to their prompts. Consumers feel unfulfilled where communication is ambiguous/vague or incomprehensive and, therefore, it is absolutely necessary that the Key Account Manager possess outstanding communication skills in both written and verbal form.
These skills are also necessary in the drafting of reports that he presents to senior account management for decision making and strategy formulation. He should, therefore, be in a position to convey even the most complex information in simple and clear language and in a manner that is convincing. Communication skills will also come in handy in facilitating smooth and efficient collaborative initiatives.
Ms Office: The Key Account Manager demonstrates high proficiency in Ms Word, PowerPoint, and Ms Excel which are necessary for the creation of visually and verbally engaging reports and presentations for the senior account management and collaborating personnel as well as commercial materials for the key account clients.
Analytical Skills: The Key Account Manager must also portray interest and skills in standard planning and operational analytics practices, for example, competitive analysis. The candidate must demonstrate ability to process raw consumer information and data and translate it into actionable insights such as new sales opportunities and strategies. A suitable candidate will also demonstrate some proficiency in financial analysis, being able to identify profitable sales opportunities and the development of financially viable long-term key account plans.
Interpersonal Skills: The Key Account Manager must be a committed and goal orientation individual, be consumer/service-oriented, have a positive can-do attitude, be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, be a calm and patient individual who is able to accommodate difficult consumers, work comfortably in a fast-paced and highly competitive business environment, be highly adaptable to change, and demonstrate composure under stress and uncertainty, inspiring the same in junior account management personnel.
People Skills: People skills are also necessary for the position. People skills are what will make him likable and relatable. People skills will enable the Key Account Manager to establish strong and meaningful connections with consumers on behalf of the business, which will lead to their inclination to keep bringing their business to the organization. In addition, great people skills will enable the Key Account Manager to pull in additional key accounts and, therefore, expand the business’s consumer base and sales volume in the process.