By Anna Ribas, on 16 March 2023
Today, the Key Account Manager is one of the most valuable figures in a company. Their role as a professional who complements the functions of the Marketing Manager is essential in today's competitive environment.
In this article we'll take a look at the main functions of the Key Account Manager and what tools this professional can use in their day-to-day work.
What Is a Key Account Manager?
A KAM or Key Account Manager is the person in charge of managing the most important accounts in a company. These can be accounts that represent a high turnover or those that are of strategic interest. The objective of this professional is to ensure that these customers remain part of the company for as long as possible. To achieve this, the Key Account Manager aims to ensure that the customer trusts the company and feels cared for, attended to, and valued.
It is important to understand the difference between the functions of a Key Account Manager and an Account Manager. The former is only in charge of accounts that are crucial to the company and the latter is in charge of the rest, i.e. those that do not represent such a high level of turnover or those that are less strategically important.
What Does a Key Account Manager Do?
Retain the Best Customers
This is one of the most important functions of the Key Account Manager. In addition to being in charge of designing a good strategy and market analysis (aspects that we will discuss in the following points), this professional must regularly communicate with the client to guarantee their permanence in the company. Some important skills for a Key Account Manager to have include:
The ability to know and understand the customer and their requests.
The talent to solve conflicts and problems.
Create and Implement Strategies
Another of the Key Account Manager's functions is to design strategic action plans for each of the key customers for whom he or she is responsible. Of course, they must adapt to the requirements of each client in order to meet their needs.
In addition, the KAM must be prepared to modify the strategy when necessary and to solve any problems as they arise, always providing solid, effective and immediate alternatives.
Losing an account that is key to the company and that often represents the majority of its revenue can have fatal consequences for the organization, even jeopardizing its survival. This is why the strategies designed by the KAM are the most important.
Lead Teams and Direct Projects
In addition to the functions mentioned above, this professional is also in charge of leading the company's sales team and directing each of the company's projects. The KAM does not work alone within the organization, they must also be able to be part of the team.
Analyze the Market
The KAM is not only in charge of the key accounts of a company, they must also conduct market research to detect who the main competitors are and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the organization in order to improve its results in the short and long term. The information gathered from this analysis will help the professional to gain authority and confidence in the eyes of future clients, as well as current ones. In fact, it is the latter who are more likely to trust your brand, which is in every company's interest because retaining customers protects revenue margins.
Preserve the Business Vision
Finally, another of the Key Account Manager's functions is to ensure that corporate objectives are met. For this reason, their actions must always be carried out with a long-term view. They must never lose sight of the company's objectives. Of course, when it comes to planning a customized strategy for each of the Key Account Managers' accounts, this perspective should also be kept in mind.
Tools That a Key Account Manager Needs
The functions of the Key Account Manager are very broad. That is why, when it comes to doing their job, it is essential that they have the support of different tools that make their work easier. These are some of the most recommended ones:
Lucidchart: this application is designed to facilitate organization and communication with the rest of the team. It is based on the concept of intelligent diagramming, where diagrams are used to quickly and clearly show the processes, systems, and complex structures of a project. Thanks to its graphic resources, the collaboration of all members becomes more fluid, making the speed with which a project can go ahead much faster.
Whatever sector you belong to and whatever your goal, Lucidchart allows you to map workflows, organize and plan the role of each team member, design business process maps, and more. In addition, you will find a large number of resources such as mind maps, Gantt charts, organizational charts, process maps, and concept maps, among others.
Lucidchart offers a free plan with limited documents and templates, as well as 3 different paid plans starting at 8€.
LinkedIn: an excellent social network for any KAM, especially to monitor the competition and always be one step ahead. We recommend using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which will help you find customers more easily.
CRM: having a customer relationship management software is a must. It's of great help when it comes to having all your data centralized and it helps you carry out much more organized and fluid communication. In addition, it will facilitate any tasks related to information analysis.