Account manager vs key account manager
The Importance of Key Account Management Software for Sales Professionals
Account management is a considerable job – and one of the most important fora sales professional. Account management consists of several key functions,which added up actually summate to happy customers.
What is key account management?
The strategic approach companies take to manage and grow its most importantcustomers. By implementing a KAM strategy, you create opportunities for bothyou and your clients to sustain and grow your businesses—as well asopportunities to bring in more revenue.Every organization has a different definition of key account management (KAM).In general, the term refers to the strategic approach companies take to manageand grow its most important customers, but the way each company determines whotheir key customers are, how to approach them, and what they’d like to gainwill change dramatically.If you haven’t created a key account sales strategy specifically for yourbusiness and your clients—or if you are looking for ways to improve yourcurrent key account management process—take a look at our tips below.
Advantages of key account management
As we stated previously, key account management is the approach a company orsalesperson takes to manage and grow an organization’s most importantaccounts. The ultimate purpose of KAM is to develop long-term, mutuallybeneficial relationships with specific businesses in order to meet strategicgoals and optimize value in both companies.Why does your company need a key account sales strategy? By implementing a KAMstrategy, you create opportunities for both you and your clients to sustainand grow your businesses—as well as opportunities to bring in more revenue. Asolid KAM process gives you the opportunity to not only create a strongerrelationship with valued clients but also to mitigate competition, as you’llhave a strong enough relationship to withstand almost anything the competitioncan throw at you.Additionally, by having a key account sales strategy in place, you can: * Maximize sales velocity. * Increase the average size of sales deals. * Boost customer loyalty. * Become valued partners to your clients. * Develop and improve business relationships. * Generate awareness for your company. * Report pertinent data.
4 ways to improve your key account management process
Whether you have your process nailed down or are just starting to use keyaccount management, keep these best practices in mind to improve your overallstrategy.
Key Account Management
Key account management is the process of building long-term relationships withyour company’s most valuable accounts. These accounts make up the majority ofthe business’ income. To turn buyers into business partners, a key accountmanager (KAM) typically provides dedicated resources, unique offers, andperiodic meetings.As professional services firm BTS points out, key account programs often leadto increased costs and lower margins. That’s the inevitable outcome of givinga customer greater resources and often your best discounts.But if you use the right key account strategy, you’ll reap greater salesvolume and long-lasting strategic relationships.
The Difference Between Key Account Management and Selling
Key account management and selling are very different. While a salespersonfocuses on the short term — by necessity — a key account manager (KAM)prioritizes the future.Sales reps also zero in on specific opportunities, while KAMs have broadergoals, including collaborating with the customer on mutually beneficialprojects, helping the customer meet their objectives, and making sure thecustomer is getting the necessary support.
Key Account Management Skills
1. Get to know the customer. 2. Cross-functional collaboration to benefit the customer. 3. Effective leadership of key account team. 4. Coordination and planning of activities for complex accounts. 5. Strong business acumen. 6. Ability to use analytical skills to support a variety of clients. 7. Clear written and verbal communication skills.Some companies assign their reps as key account managers to one or twocustomers. Because selling and account management require different mindsets,skills, and objectives, this set-up isn’t ideal. Unless your team isprohibitively small, separate the sales and account manager roles.A key account manager is focused on becoming critical to her customer’soperations — not winning a deal.BTS identifies several unique skills critical to a key account manager’ssuccess:
Key Account Manager
The core role of a key account manager (KAM) is to handle the most valuableclients. They manage the account, build strong relationships with the client,identify challenges or opportunities, and find ways to assist with thesechallenges and opportunities.A key account manager (KAM) is responsible for managing and building a strongrelationship with large clients that make up the majority of the business’income. Not only do KAMs find ways to address the client’s challenges andopportunities, but they also create and present reports about the client’sprogress to key stakeholders.
Key Account Manager Job Description
Use this Key Account Manager job description to find and attract the mostqualified candidates.[Company name] is looking for a key account manager.This role is important because it helps us keep our most important customersand ideally, find even more opportunities for working together. As our keyaccount manager, you’ll play a critical role in client retention and revenuegrowth.The position involves: * Working with your named accounts to identify their biggest challenges and opportunities * Looking for ways [company name] can help with those challenges and opportunities * Using both traditional and creative techniques to develop relationships with customer stakeholders (including [going to events and trade shows, networking on social media, getting warm introductions, etc.]) * Keeping track of your accounts’ satisfaction and reporting on their status to the organization * Serving as the internal representatives for your accountsTo perform in this role, you’ll need a combination of these skills andqualifications: * Collaborative, fast-moving, and comfortable with change * Excited to go above and beyond for customers * Ability to assess account needs and identify gaps * Leadership experience (bonus points if you have led a cross-functional team) * Excellent verbal and written communication skills * Able to build rapport and establish credibility with account stakeholders * Basic management and financial knowledge
To provide value to the account and find mutually beneficial opportunities,you need an in-depth, sophisticated understanding of their business.Stay up-to-date on their key business goals, financial health, and currentinitiatives. You should also regularly run a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses,external Opportunities, external Threats) analysis.
Key Account Management Best Practices
1. Select the right accounts. 2. Build a dedicated team. 3. Consistently measure account performance. 4. Invest in the right tools.Wondering how to get the optimal results? Follow these best practices.
Account manager vs. key account manager
Although there is overlap between the skills and responsibilities oftraditional account managers and KAMs, the two roles are distinct.Like KAMs, account managers (AMs) work on building the post-sales relationshipwith their customers. However, AMs are not specifically focused on keyaccounts (i.e., top-value customers). As such, KAMs have a more high-stakes,hands-on role with a longer-term perspective.More importantly, key account management is ultimately a business strategythat represents an organizational shift rather than a sales tactic.Whereas traditional account management treats every customer relationshipapproximately the same, key account management reorganizes the business’steams and culture to develop different approaches to their biggest clientsacross the company.Therefore, KAMs have a greater responsibility to manage both the customer andthe customer’s interactions with other employees and departments to ensure agreater lifetime value for their customers.
Top 6 key account management skills
Key account managers have a big job. They not only need top-notch sellingskills but also strong leadership, communication, and management chops.Here are the top six skills a key account manager needs to succeed.