The interaction that an existing client has with your agency will determine whether or not they with you for a longer time. And that's where you as a key account manager come in! The conversation you have with clients will impact whether they become loyal and refer you to someone else or bad-mouth your services. That is why you need to develop the right account management skills that will help you succeed in your domain.
In this blog, we'll discuss top 7 account manager skills you should develop right away! But first, let's see what responsibilities does a key account manager holds and the difference between account managers and key account managers.
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What does a key account manager do?
As a small agency, there's high chances that 80% of your new business comes from those existing 20% clients. Now, this figure may vary agency to agency but these are some of your "key accounts" that drive majority of your revenue. That is why losing even one of these clients could have a major impact on your business.
That’s where key account management (KAM) comes in. It makes sense for you to invest in resources and appoint a dedicated person who looks after those clients and make sure to provide the best client experience. It is a key account manager's responsibilities to nurture relatonships with the high-value clients and retain them for as long as possible.
Key Account Manager vs Account Manager: What’s the difference?
Even though the responsibilities and skills of account managers & key account managers are similar, the two roles are distinct. Unlike account managers, KAMs focus only on building the post-sales relatonships with high-value clients; they have a high long-term perspective.
Account managers treat every client the same whereas key account managers need to customize their services as per the client's needs. Overall, KAMs have higher value in the agency, have more to lose & gain and generally earn more than account managers.
Top 7 Account Manager Skills you need to develop:
1. Strategic Outlook
Most agencies will look for a key account manager that can handle everything related to the client; one that lines up with the client’s overarching goals. Every project should be tied to a specific purpose, taking into account where the client’s business is now and where they want to go in the future. And obviously, you should be aware of the client’s needs.
Key account managers must be able to spot opportunities to improve the client experience and increase loyalty and trust. If the agency you work at is brand new, getting new clients may be your main goal. Depending on what else is going on in the agency, you should have a greater emphasis on client retention. Identifying those targets and then devising a strategy to achieve those objectives is a crucial talent to have.
2. Data-Driven Mindset
Surveys and other data collecting methods can be used by agencies to gauge client satisfaction. There are several surveys and metrics available to evaluate how satisfied your clients are, but the net promoter score and client satisfaction score are two of the most prominent, this certainly is very much important for the agencies.
While quantitative, measurable data is vital, it's also critical to gather qualitative data to understand why a client gives an agency a certain rating. Knowing how to combine data and subjective input to improve the client’s experience will set you apart from the competition.
3. Communication Skills:
The key account managers must be able to read figures and choose the best course of action for the client. But, perhaps more significantly, they must be able to convey the plan to others around them.
At all levels of providing seamless client experience, communication skills are required. Sales and customer service representatives must be able to communicate with clients, understand their issues, and assist them in resolving them. They must also be able to motivate and explain the clients’ vision to their teams and get the work done as intended by clients.
Client experience is a rapidly evolving field. Since technology and the way clients run their businesses are also evolving continuously, KAMs must be agile, flexible and able to adapt to new technologies.
This not only include the ability to operate in a team or individually depending on the scenario, but also the ability to pivot to new channels and initiatives, learn new skills, and engage with evolving technologies. Whatever the case may be, you must make the appropriate adjustments to keep improving your clients’ experience.
Today, more and more organizations are realizing the value of a positive client experience. That is why a lot of agencies have started using a CRM to provide a seamless client experience. Clients are an agency’s livelihood, and without them, the agency couldn’t survive.
P.S.: More than 4000 agencies use Clientjoy to enhance their clients’ experience. Sign up to our lifetime deal at $129 to adapt using a CRM.
5. Developing Relationships:
From pre-purchase through post-purchase, the client experience involves more than one department. Marketing, sales, customer service, and customer support are examples of these departments. As a result, the capacity to form and maintain connections is a vital skill to possess.
Building relationships for agencies entails identifying and enlisting the support of the most important internal stakeholders, as well as cooperating with them to improve the client experience. Even if you work alone, your job will never be segregated, therefore knowing how to build relations with others should be at the top of your priority to be effective and generate results.
6. Project Management:
As a key account manager, project management abilities can also help you stand out. You should be able to break down difficult tasks into manageable chunks and locate those who can assist you with different tasks.
With so many digital channels and new competition appearing on a regular basis, most agencies work on multiple projects at the same time. This implies you must be able to handle several tasks at the same time, prioritize critical efforts, and inspire others to succeed.
7. Skills in Empathy And Listening:
While it's necessary to resolve client complaints as swiftly as possible, it's also crucial to have empathy when doing so in order to comprehend how they're feeling. Empathy is essential for retaining clients and growing your marketing agency.
Since no two clients are the same, KAMs must be able to handle a wide range of client emotions, including delight, frustration, and fury. Clients’ feelings must be acknowledged by the account managers, which can be accomplished via active listening, making statements, and asking questions about what they have stated.
With such a broad range of key account manager responsibilities and skills required, you might need the right tools to stay organized and get the job done. For example, you can use chatbots to let clients reach out to you directly. And then there’s Clientjoy, which will help you as a key account manager to keep track of each client relationship and manage every touchpoint!
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Alishba Memon is a content writer at Botsify. She is a staunch believer in the theory of making anything happen. She specializes in SEO writing,
About the Editor & Reviewer
Tanmay pursued his undergraduate studies in Information Technology but marketing piqued his interest & he finished his postgraduate in Marketing & Finance from Macquarie University, Sydney. With diverse experience across different domains like Ed-Tech, Digital & SaaS. He currently serves as a Growth Head at Clientjoy - a platform that helps 13K+ Agencies & Freelancers in 90+ Countries acquire & retain happier clients.
Yash did Mechanical Engineering and worked as an Investment Banker before founding a Tech Agency that grew to 55 people team offering SaaS, FinTech and E-Commerce Web & Mobile app Development. He currently serves as Chief Executive at Clientjoy - a platform that helps 13K+ Agencies & Freelancers in 90+ Countries acquire and retain happier clients.