7 Skills Every Key Account Manager Needs To Succeed

Post by
Alishba Menon
Last updated :
August 3, 2023
 | 20 min read
This is some text inside of a div block.
Download our curated 10 + Agency Growth Resources for free.
Download for free
Know Clientjoy under 20 mins

Table Of Contents:

A client's interaction with your agency will determine whether or not they work with you or not. And that's where key account manager responsibilities come in! Your conversation with clients will impact whether they become loyal and refer you to someone else or bad-mouth your services. That is why you must develop the right key account management skills to help you succeed in your domain.

Being a Key Account Manager is much more than just offering solutions to customers; it requires creating genuine connections with them. Key Account Managers must take the time to comprehend their customer's needs and show empathy to gain their confidence. This approach can result in greater customer satisfaction, new business opportunities growing from key customer relationships, and an overall boost in company revenue.

However, Key Account Managers can't operate alone; they must work closely with other teams, such as sales, marketing, and customer service, to guarantee an exceptional customer experience at every touchpoint.

Furthermore, managing personal information, privacy settings, and account access in the digital era is crucial.

Being a Key Account Manager (KAM) demands many skills, such as effective communication, strategic planning, negotiation, problem-solving, empathy, and even time management skills. Nonetheless, the most crucial element for success in this role is having a genuine passion for the job and a willingness to learn and adapt to the ever-evolving business environment continuously.

If you are wondering how to become an experienced key account manager yourself. In this blog, we'll discuss the top 7 professional key account management skills that you should develop right away!

An account manager career path can be a lucrative one. But first, let's see what responsibilities a key account manager holds and the difference between account managers and key account managers.

What does a Key Account Manager do?

As a small agency, there is a high chance that 80% of your new business comes from those existing 20% clients. Now, this figure may vary from agency to agency. Still, some of your "key accounts" drive most of your revenue. That is why losing even one of these clients could significantly impact 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 ensures the best client experience. 

A key account management strategy and manager is responsible for nurturing relationships with high-value clients and retaining them for as long as possible. Regarding the question about how much accounts managers make or about strategic account manager salary, the answer would depend on the candidate's years of experience, in depth knowledge, and how effectively he has helped the companies with customer retention policies.

Being a key account manager is a demanding but rewarding job. It requires building and maintaining strong relationships and communicating effectively with a company's most valuable accounts and important customers, understanding their needs, and providing them with the best possible service and products.

Key account managers also analyze customer data to identify opportunities for growth, develop strategies to increase sales, and ensure customer satisfaction. Their work helps companies keep their most valuable customers and grow their businesses.

To succeed in this role, key account managers need to be excellent communicators, strategic thinkers, and problem-solvers. They need to be able to build trust and show empathy towards their customers while working closely with other teams within the organization to provide a seamless experience. Additionally, being passionate about the work and always willing to learn and improve is crucial in today's constantly evolving business world.

A Key Account Manager (KAM) plays a critical role in the success of a business. The importance of a KAM can be summarized as follows:

  • The success of a project heavily relies on a Key Account Manager (KAM). Their role encompasses maintaining solid relationships with key customers, understanding their needs, and ensuring they are fulfilled to secure customer loyalty and repeat business. 
  • KAMs are also tasked with the internal teams, identifying new business opportunities and maintaining relationships with key customers, leading to increased revenue and growth for the company.
  • A key Account Manager plays a crucial role in ensuring customers' needs are met in a timely manner, and issues are promptly resolved, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction and a positive reputation for the company.
  • These professionals can coordinate multiple resources from various departments to provide the best possible service to customers, which results in increased efficiency and reduced waste, leading to higher profitability for the company.
  • A key account manager secures large, profitable contracts and maintains high sales levels with key customers, contributing to the company's overall success in closing sales and revenue growth.
  • A Key Account Manager’s responsibilities include valuable accounts, nurturing solid relationships retaining customers, identifying new opportunities, enhancing and improving customer satisfaction, improving efficiency.

Key Account Manager vs. Account Manager: What's the difference?

So what does an account manager do? Even though the responsibilities and skills of account managers & key account managers are similar, the two roles are distinct. Unlike account managers, KAM focus only on building post-sales relationships with key clients; they have a high long-term strategic perspective.

When discussing traditional account managers vs. key account managers, Account managers treat every client the same. In contrast, key account managers must customize their services per the client's needs. If you're curious about the salary gap between a regular account manager and a Key Account Manager (KAM), usually, the KAM earns a higher salary. It's worth mentioning that KAMs play a pivotal role in the company's triumph and must also possess sales skills to perform their duties exceptionally. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Building solid connections with key clients.
  • Identifying potential business prospects.
  • Enhancing customer experience.
  • Driving revenue for the organization.

To successfully carry out their responsibilities, KAMs require various skills to their role. These skills include excellent communication, strategic thinking, negotiation, problem-solving, empathy and active listening, time management, and organizational skills. KAMS must possess these skills to establish trust-based relationships with customers, understand their needs deeply, and offer solutions that effectively meet their requirements.

Furthermore, possessing the right sales skills enables KAMs to identify and leverage new opportunities, increase revenue, make profitable investment and substantially contribute to their company's overall success. Hence, it cannot be emphasized enough how essential it is for KAMs to acquire and enhance these important skills, and thrive in their role.

Top 7 Account Manager Skills you need to develop:

1. Strategic Outlook

The specific duties of a key account manager can vary from one agency to another. Nonetheless, in most agencies, a successful key account manager or sales rep, or account manager is a must-have who can handle all aspects of business administration related to the client and ensure their objectives are met. An important aspect of this role is tying each project to a specific purpose that takes into account the client's current business position and future aspirations.

In addition, strong communication skills are essential to negotiate with clients effectively and building lasting relationships. Finally, excellent organizational skills are necessary to manage multiple key accounts, and meet deadlines. Overall, a strategic outlook is needed to becoming a successful key account manager.

2. Data-Driven Mindset

An essential aspect of the account manager description includes surveys, and other data-collecting methods agencies can use to gauge client satisfaction. Key account managers work with management skills aim to identify the client's demands and challenges and provide tailored solutions to those needs. A Key account manager must conduct several surveys and metrics available to evaluate how satisfied your clients are. Still, the net promoter and client satisfaction scores are two of the most prominent, which are undoubtedly very important for the agencies.

Key account managers work to establish and expand relationships with large accounts (often other businesses) that have the potential to drive a significant portion of revenue. While quantitative, measurable data is vital, it's also critical to gather qualitative data to understand why a client gives an agency a particular rating. Combining data and subjective input to improve the client's experience will set you apart from the competition. It makes the KAM's role crucial to the project's success.

3. Communication Skills

As a key account manager, you must examine data and make wise choices that serve the client's interests. Nevertheless, good communication is also a vital part of the top account manager job description. Effective key account executives and managers possess the ability to explain their strategies to coworkers and other involved parties clearly.

As a Key Account Manager, building robust customer relationships and meeting customer needs is fundamental. This necessitates effective communication with clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders. To achieve this, a Key Account Manager must be a good listener, responding appropriately and understanding the customer's expectations. Without excellent communication skills, succeeding in this role and keeping clients pleased is challenging.

Communication and management skills are essential at every level to provide a seamless customer experience. Sales and customer service representatives and global account managers must be adept at communicating with clients, comprehending their concerns, and helping them resolve issues. A Key Account Manager must also be skilled at motivating and conveying the client's vision to their team members and accomplishing the work as intended by the clients.

4. Adaptability

One of the essential Key account manager's duties includes adaptability. Client experience is a rapidly evolving field. Since technology and how clients run their businesses are also changing continuously, KAMs must be agile, flexible, and able to adapt to new technologies. A client's experience is directly related to the key account manager job position.

It includes the ability to operate in a team or individually depending on the scenario and the ability to pivot to new channels and initiatives, learn new sales manager skills, and engage with evolving technologies. Whatever the case, you must make the appropriate adjustments to improve sales performance and your client's experience.

Today, more and more organizations realize the value of a positive client experience. That is why many agencies have started using CRM to provide a seamless client experience. Clients are an agency's livelihood; without them, the agency couldn't survive. 

P.S.: More than 4000 agencies use Clientjoy to enhance their clients' experience. Sign up for our lifetime deal at $129 to adapt using a CRM.

5. Developing Relationships

A successful key account manager requires technical knowledge, people skills, an unwavering commitment to providing the best possible client experience, and collaboration across different departments to build long-term relationships with clients and drive business growth.

Key account management incules building relationships for agencies, identifying and using key relationships, enlisting the support of the most critical internal and external stakeholders and 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

Project management abilities can also help you stand out as a key account manager. key account managers oversee the sales team and activities and develop relationships with key customers well. You should be able to break down complex tasks into manageable chunks and work with hiring managers to locate those who can assist you with different tasks. As a  key account manager, you should be able to lead across multiple work streams and teams and have effective negotiation skills to maintain customer momentum.

key account managers take care of an organization's financial bookkeeping and records. Their duties include recording transactions, payments, and expenses and processing invoices. With so many digital channels and new competition appearing regularly, most agencies work on multiple projects simultaneously. This implies you must be able to handle several tasks simultaneously, 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 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. A key account manager must acknowledge clients' feelings, which can be accomplished via active listening, making statements, and asking questions about what they have stated.

Key Account Managers (KAMs) play a pivotal role in developing and nurturing connections with key clients. One ability that separates top-performing KAMs from the rest is their capacity to exhibit empathy and actively listen to their client's requirements. When KAMs genuinely understand their customers' needs they can build professional relationships based on trust and reliability. These strong relationships can last for a long time and prove highly valuable for the organization and clients.


A successful Key Account Manager understands the dynamic nature of the business landscape and continuously seeks to improve their knowledge and skills. They have an insatiable appetite for learning and always stay engaged and proactive. 

By regularly expanding their horizons and capabilities, they earn the admiration and respect of their peers and customers alike. KAMs are always looking for ways to enhance their performance in all areas.

To excel as a Key Account Manager (KAM), one must continuously develop and enhance your skills. Having the right skills will help establish reliable relationships with clients, recognize prospects for new businesses, provide practical solutions, and increase revenue for the company. 

Various ways to improve your skills include:

  • Participating in training programs.
  • Attending industry events and conferences.
  • Networking with other KAMs.
  • Obtaining feedback from clients and colleagues. 

Additionally, actively seeking opportunities to practice and apply your skills in real-world situations can help you build confidence. By taking the initiative to develop your skills, you can become a more effective key account manager and add significant value to your company. So, take action today to build the skills you need to succeed as a Key Account Manager.

With such a broad range of key account management responsibilities and skills required, you need the right tools to stay organized and get the job done. For example, you can use chatbots to let clients contact 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!

About Author

Alishba Menon
Content Writer
FacebookTwitter logoLinkedin logo

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

Facebook logoTwitter logoLinkedin logo

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Facebook logoTwitter logoLinkedin logo

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Agency used righteously allows light to dispel the darkness and enables us to live with joy and happiness.

~ Robert D. Hales

Tip for you

bringing in complementary skills by engaging freelancers as agency members. This is the most common path for existing freelancers to take.

Insightful Fact

Open rates of cold emails increases when it’s highly personalised to leads.

We are on a mission to help agency grow,
fulfil and earn. Check out our


We write weekly on agency growth topics like Client management, Growth & retention, Client Payments etc.

Youtube videos

We create videos that Helps a Million Agencies and Freelancers Grow, Fulfil and Earn with Strategies, Tactics and Tools.


We write weekly on agency growth topics like x, y, z

Find Work

We have a marketplace that connects freelancers/agencies to clients.
Go to marketplace

Client Portal

We have customisable client portal to share all deliverables, embed third party apps like project management.
Book a Demo

Subscribe to Grow your Agency
blank page
Over 32,000 Agency Owners and Freelancers from 90+ Countries have subscribed to this blog to learn how they can Run and Grow their Independent Business. You should too.