Key account managers are generally responsible for ensuring that a company's products and services are provided in an acceptable manner to accounts with its most important customers. These managers are often in charge of only one or a few accounts depending on their sizes, and this is often a sales position, so a relevant background and a bachelor’s or master’s degree in sales or marketing are ideal for this position.
Key account managers may be required to meet certain goals relating to sales volume and profit. It is important to be able to keep costs associated with providing products and services as low as possible while still meeting quality standards, and they may also make projections for sales with approval of upper management. Some bargaining may be involved in this position in order to secure satisfactory payments for both the client and the service or product provider. In some positions, key account managers are also responsible for securing new accounts, and presentations may need to be created to convince clients to make deals.
Strong public speaking and planning skills and the ability to relate to a variety of clients are important in this position, and customer service skills are important to address complaints and concerns voiced by clients. Because this is a management position, key account managers may need to have several years of experience in sales or marketing and prior supervisory experience.
Key Account Manager Tasks
Liaison between sales and marketing, aiding the development of point of purchase material and marketing of current and new products.
Define and achieve sales goals, budgets and margin targets.
Submit monthly and quarterly sales recaps outlining the wins and losses.
Work directly with key accounts to ensure proper service levels are maintained, special projects are executed and promotional displays are implemented.