What does a key account manager do?

Key account manager job description

Key account managers look after the most critical significant customers, the so-called key accounts, of a company. You are the personal contact for one or more key customers with the main task of retaining them permanently without losing sight of your own company’s interests. The aim of the cooperation is, therefore, that both sides benefit from it.

Key account managers are the interfaces between their company and significant customers and, as such, are very familiar with their products and services as well as their advantages and benefits for their considerable customers. The analysis of company structures and their optimization, continuous market observation, the development of sales-promoting strategies, new business areas, and future planning are all part of the job description. Key account managers work out long-term concepts for their customers, set business goals, and monitor compliance with them. The customer-related measures are usually planned for one year.

Being the interface between the key accounts and your own company also means mediating between customers and other company branches. In addition to all-round support for existing customers, her job is to acquire new customers.

Key account managers are employed in various branches of the economy. They can be found in information technology companies and the consumer goods industry, in trading companies, healthcare, and in the pharmaceutical or financial services sector. In technical sales in particular, where technological know-how is crucial, career changers have good opportunities.

In addition to their own office, where they work out presentations using suitable software or manage customer data using a CRM system, key account managers work at the customer’s site and trade fairs and congresses.

Key account manager responsibilities and requirements

There is no uniform training for the key account manager’s job description and, therefore, no consistent entry requirements. Anyone who works in this profession has generally completed a degree in economics or engineering. Specialists in the commercial sector or sales have the opportunity, for example, to train to become a state-recognized key account manager via distance learning. The job descriptions usually indicate which professional requirements the company expects from its applicants.

Key account managers should have the following job-related skills and competencies: business management expertise, sales experience, sound marketing and industry knowledge, knowledge of the areas of order acceptance, sales promotion, and presentation, as well as the acquisition of new customers. In addition to logistical skills, many job advertisements require personnel management, processing, and administration knowledge.

The personal requirements that key account managers must bring with them include a high degree of personal responsibility, assertiveness, resilience, communication skills, tenacity, organizational talent, service orientation, courteous behavior towards customers, and identification with its products and services, and strategic thinking. Applicants should also not lack friendliness, empathy, and a high tolerance for frustration. Negotiating skills are essential for maintaining the balance between customer satisfaction and the interests of your own company.

Many companies expect their key account managers to be willing to work irregularly and to travel for several days. Foreign language skills are particularly essential when a company is working more closely with foreign customers.