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A key account manager plays a pivotal role in increasing customer success. These individuals work with your customers in a way that develops long-term relationships. There are several vital skills a key account manager should have. These skills will ensure that a KAM can boost customer succe
A key account manager plays a pivotal role in increasing customer success. These individuals work with your customers in a way that develops long-term relationships. There are several vital skills a key account manager should have. These skills will ensure that a KAM can boost customer success.
If you recall the 80/20 rule, 80% of your business will be coming from just 20% of your customers. This is why special care, attention, and focus should be placed on certain “key accounts” you have. These will be a fraction of the total number of accounts your business has. However, they are responsible for most of your revenue. If you were to lose one of your key accounts, it could spell financial difficulties for you. You probably know that is costs significantly more to acquire new customers than it does to retain them.
Given how integral key accounts are to the success of your business, you need to ensure those customers are fully satisfied. The way you can assure that is done is by assigning a key account manager to those most important accounts.
The primary duties of a KAM include retaining the most valuable customers. This will include nurturing relationships with them on a continuous basis. A KAM will be both a strategic partner, as well as advisor, to customers. They will assist the customer in identifying new opportunities for greater customer success.
By using key account managers, you ensure that there will be a great deal of value provided to your key accounts over time. This is a worthwhile path to take towards customer success that can boost your revenues, besides increasing customer success.
There are a few ways a KAM can deliver more value to your most prized customers. The reasons include the following:
Key account managers take a hands-on approach to customer success. They treat all the relationships they have with key accounts uniquely, according to their needs. This means they have a great responsibility in managing customers and the interactions they have with the rest of your company’s staff. This ensures that a customer’s lifetime value is maximized.
To achieve greater customer success, a key account manager will prioritize the accounts responsible for generating the most revenue. These accounts are the ones that will have the most direct partnerships with a KAM. Stable and long-term relationships can be curated over time and maintained for years.
Key account management is a high-touch function that requires highly trained professionals who know how to interact with your key customers. Priority is placed on client engagement and involves the entire customer life cycle. There is a strong commitment to working more closely with key customers, given how essential they are to the continued success of your business.
A key account manager has a lot on their plate. It’s a major role to fulfill. After all, they are dealing with your most prized customers. Here are the ways they increase customer success.
Communication is the most integral aspect of the customer success strategy, as employed by a KAM. They are the liaison between the key customers and your business. This individual has to be an expert in communicating with key customers using any communication medium. They are comfortable will speaking to customers about any concerns they may have, while coordinating action steps to be taken to help those customers achieve greater customer success.
A key account manager can also streamline communication and identify who needs to be the point of contact for every key account. Also, they will ascertain what the quickest and most effective method of providing updates and establishing touchpoints will be.
The KAM has to have in-depth knowledge of both your company and its product. This will ensure they can match up the needs of the customer with the best opportunities for them. Key customers expect to receive a more personalized service. They are not the type of customer that will be content with the basic version of your product that everyone else gets. This is why the key account manager has to curate a customer version that is tailored to the unique needs of the key customers.
The KAM should be well-versed in the product, so they can effectively communicate and provide more custom offers to the key customers. They will also be able to provide more value to them, helping them increase their success, as well as the success of the business.
Sharp negotiation skills help increase customer lifetime value. When negotiation is successful, it means that both the company and the customer are satisfied. Timing, presentation, and confidence are all essential ingredients to bring to any negotiation. A good key account manager can do this in their sleep.
For a customer to achieve long-term success, they need to understand the true value of the product they are using. Value selling is not a common skill, making it even more important for a key account manager to know how to execute value-based selling. Curating custom offers can lead to the creation of more value for key customers, which will solidify the relationship with them for the long term. 16
The role of a key account manager in boosting customer success is an essential one. This is a vital role to fill when you have key accounts that provide your business with most of its revenue. When done right, key account management will not only ensure greater customer success, but also provide your company with long-term revenue it can depend on.
Rakhin has over 10 years of experience driving business development and client services. In his prior roles, he stayed close to customers to understand their requirements and help them achieve their business goals. He is passionate about customer success.
Published June 18, 2020, Updated February 28, 2023
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