A Key Account Manager plays one of the most valuable roles in any company. They act as the contact person for key or main customers for the company. Let’s take a closer look at the Key Account Manager job description, required skills, expected salary, and more!
Key Account Manager Job Description
As almost every company has customers with different priorities, the Key Account Manager can be found in all professional sectors. Low-priority customers contribute little to the company’s sales and reputation, so they often receive less attention.
The Key Account Manager is responsible for serving high-priority customers who generate a significant portion of sales and/or are particularly important for image management. They guarantee these clients the best possible service and negotiate all important matters such as contracts and other agreements with the clients on behalf of the company.
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What are the Responsibilities of a Key Account Manager?
A key account manager ensures that the wishes and needs of these priority customers are met individually. This includes, in particular, matters relating to contract execution and, for example, the personal presentation of new products. The mere fact that there is a permanent contact person in the company shows the preferred customers the value of the company.
In their daily work, key account managers are entrusted with sales tasks and maintain a balance between the company’s requirements and the customer’s needs. They maintain e-mail and telephone contact and act as a contact and contractual partner. They may also be required to travel to external locations in order to meet customer needs on-site
What are the responsibilities of a Key Account Manager?
- Support of key customers
- Maintenance of business relationships
- Optimization of customer processes
- General sales tasks and performs sale review
- Maintains updated sales funnel
- Follow up with clients and maintain regular contact
Hard and Soft Skills
Key Account Managers are generally trained in business administration and management. Ideally, they come from a strong sales background and possess strong analytical skills, as well as a strategic mindset. Software and foreign language skills may be required in some industries.
In order to be able to empathize with customers and create trust and proximity, the key account manager must be a people person and have excellent communication skills. Because they work closely with customers and thus have a great influence on buying behavior, they must have a high degree of self-organization and reliability.
What must a Key Account Manager be able to do?
- Strong sales knowledge
- Analytical and strategic thinking
- Very good communication skills
- Organizational skills and reliability
How do I become a Key Account Manager?
Since a key account manager must above all have business knowledge, in most cases, a business studies course is the basis for this career. Nevertheless, there are also lateral entrants, for example from the fields of engineering sciences.
Even specialists with a commercial education can gain a foothold in key account management if they have good sales knowledge. In principle, representatives of the profession must have distinctive knowledge in the respective industry, which is why other knowledge profiles can also be found in the role.
Specialization within this field of work is possible especially with regard to the relevant industries. Key account managers in the financial sector, for example, must have different strengths and know-how than those in the steel industry who serve major customers.
The job description is mostly based in sales-heavy sectors such as the financial sector or business insurance. However, small and medium-sized companies also frequently employ key account managers in order to retain key customers. Basically, this special form of account management is not to be found in special branches of industry, but in industries in which customers spend a lot of money and require special support.
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The Key Account Manager’s salary depends on the industry, the company itself and the professional experience of the candidate. On average, the starting salary is around $30,000 per year, whereas the mean salary, on the other hand, is considerably higher at $100,000. The opportunities for advancement are plenty, with senior roles earning up to $170,000 per year and more.
How much does a Key Account Manager earn?
The average freelancer hourly rate for a Key Account Manager is $129 per hour. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, the daily rate is around $1,032 per day. (freelancermap price index – August 2019)