A key account manager is different to a sales person or account manager. This is not a sales role (only 5-10% selling); it’s about building long term relationships and above all, it’s about building trust. They need expert knowledge of the accounts business and industry, and they must be great at building relationships, communicating, solving problems as well as personal selling.
Here is a rough time split which was sourced from MMC Learning:
- Developing relationships (20%)
- Managing the account; current activities (15%)
- Developing industry knowledge (10%)
- Selling (5-10%)
- Internal communication (5%)
- Resolving ‘day to day’ problems (5%)
- Promoting your brand and business (5%)
- Reporting and providing 2 way information (5%)
- Personal training and education (5%)
- Managing the account team (5%)
- Other (15%)
A KAM may have 1, 2 or 3 key accounts but should not have 10’s or 100’s; if they do they will not be key accounts for long! Managing this number of accounts should be done at account manager level.
A KAM sometimes has a team to support them with admin or when they are unavailable to speak with one of their accounts; this ensures a high level of service is maintained and allows the KAM to fully focus on the job in hand.