Now we know what it takes to be a successful key account manager

Participants in the Vilnius workshop learned a lot about what makes key account managers successful. First of all, they need to be matched with the right customer. There is no ‘one size fits all’, even though some HR departments seem to want to work that way. Simplicity and consistency may sound like good words, but flexibility and adaptability is what’s needed in key account manager profiles. Participants identified many things that could go wrong with a mismatch between customer and key account manager, in response to Clara Carter of Accord Healthcare, mostly ending in frustration on both sides.
ISM’s Kristina Maikštėnienė’s fascinating presentation on networks made everyone realise a) how important they are in KAM; b) that they hadn’t given nearly enough attention to them; and c) they certainly would now! We saw how different networks could be drawn according to different criteria, so defining the network basis is the place to start. Fortunately, there is freely available software to help.
  In case anyone was in any doubt about what is required in a key account manager, Gintarė Bėtaitė’s experience as a recruiter with Amrop Executive Search enabled her to make the expectations very clear. And the answer is – hopefully no surprises to any AKAM member – that it’s not about sales history. Companies are looking for key account managers to exhibit skills of leadership, communication and business acumen; to be relationship savvy and recognise the pace of change; and yes, to have results orientation, but clearly there’s significantly more competencies to acquire in addition to selling ability, which actually occupies a minority of a key account manager’s time. Full presentations are up on the Member Resource website.

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