15 Reasons It’s Great to Be a Key Account Manager

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About the episode

Craving a career that combines passion and success? Listen as we uncover the 15 awe-inspiring reasons why being a key account manager is an unbeatable choice.

You'll Learn

In this episode you will gain valuable insights into the world of key account management. We’ll explore the reasons why becoming a key account manager is not only an exciting professional choice but also a pathway to long-term success. From unparalleled opportunities for career growth and high earning potential to the chance to work with diverse industries and build strong relationships, this role offers a dynamic and fulfilling journey. 

Join us as we discuss why being a key account manager could unlock your professional dreams.

  • [00:50] Introduction
  • [01:32] 1. Opportunity for career growth and advancement within the organization
  • [02:19] 2. High earning potential through performance-based incentives and bonuses
  • [03:01] 3. Exposure to a diverse range of industries and clients
  • [03:52] 4. Opportunity to develop strong relationships with clients and stakeholders
  • [04:49] 5. Ability to work with and learn from experienced professionals in the field
  • [05:50] 6. Access to valuable training and development programs
  • [06:45] About The KAM Club
  • [07:23] 7. Opportunities for travel and global experiences
  • [08:10] 8. Chance to work on high-profile projects and initiatives
  • [09:03] 9. Opportunity to make a tangible impact on the growth and success of the organization
  • [09:37] 10. Opportunities to work with cross-functional teams and collaborate with other departments
  • [10:32] 11. Ability to develop a deep understanding of clients’ needs and challenges
  • [*****] 12. Opportunity to develop and implement innovative solutions to meet clients’ needs
  • [11:05] 13. Chance to work with cutting-edge technologies and tools
  • [12:13] 14. Ability to build a strong personal brand within the industry
  • [13:10] 15. Opportunity to build a robust professional network of contacts and connections.
  • [14:08] Outro
* Apologies – on editing the podcast I realised I forgot to talk about the 12th reason, that you get to develop and implement creative solutions. The whole point of appointing a key account manager is so that you can bring your expertise to the partnership and shine a light on problems clients have overlooked or neglected and then offer them a way to resolve them.

Resources

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 In this episode

  • Life After Key Account Management? What Happens Next? What are your options when you’re a key account manager and ready for your next move? Working in the same job for a long time can cause you to feel uninspired. To keep yourself motivated and happy in your work, it’s important to switch things up every now and then. We discuss how in this episode of The KAM Club.
  • Why Smart Key Account Managers Build a Personal Brand. More and more companies expect their key account managers to be thought leaders. If you’re smart, you’ll start building your personal brand now. In this episode of The KAM Club podcase we delve into the benefits of personal branding and a 3-step process to take control over your digital reputation.
  • How Much Money Does a Key Account Manager Really Make? An in-depth article and companion video that looks at key account manager salaries in the US, UK, India and Australia, compared to the national averages. The data reviewed is from LinkedIn, Glassdoor and the relevant countries bureau of statistics and also includes an assessment of earning potential with 5 years or more experience. It’s from 2020 but still a good indicator of salaries in each of these markets.

🌈 Want a career where your ideas matter? Key Account Management is the path! 🗝️ Unlock your potential, make an impact, and get recognized for your expertise. Tune in to discover the exciting world of KAM!

Episode transcript

Hello and welcome to the KAM Club podcast. Today’s episode is all about the perks of being a key account manager, from building strong relationships to being a strategic partner for clients. We are diving into 15 reasons why being a key account manager is one of the best jobs out there. So whether you’re a seasoned key account manager or considering a career in key account management, stay tuned to discover the many benefits of this exciting role. So, let’s get started.

[00:50] Introduction

Now, full disclosure, I am completely biased because I have been a key account manager and led key account management teams for the past 20 something years. Hate to admit it’s been that long, but I’ve loved every minute of it.

I personally think it is one of the most fantastic careers that you can have because it is such a pivotable role in terms of being the growth engine of your organization, in terms of helping make a massive business impact to your customers, and just in terms of fulfilment—professional development. It’s such an interesting and varied role. Let’s get into what I think are 15 reasons why key account management is the best job out there.

[01:32] Number one, there’s lots of opportunities for career growth and advancement within the organization.

Now, my last episode, a few episodes ago, I did Episode 26 is life after key account management. That explains some of the career paths that you can take when you’re done with key account management. But even within key account management, you have opportunities to take on more diverse accounts, bigger accounts, global accounts. You can become a team leader, a supervisor.

You get exposed to lots of different functions within your organization, so you get to work with other people. They get to know you. You get to build a lot of awareness about your capabilities and skills. So yeah, lots of opportunities can come your way, either because you become more proficient and skilled and experienced, so you have a lot more to offer different jobs, as well as people tap you on the shoulder and say, “We want you in our team.”

[02:19] Number two is high earning potential.

Now, key account management is a pretty decently paid job. I actually did a video where I examined key account management salaries in India, Australia, UK, and US. I compared those against the national averages and a bunch of other stuff. It’s from 2020, but still a good indicator. Check it out and find out what key account managers earn.

But all things being said, it’s a well-paid role. And on top of that, there is opportunities to earn incentives and bonuses by upselling, cross selling, delivering on your KPIs, all that stuff. So, if you’re looking for money, definitely a great job. Not as good as sales, but it’s up there.

[03:01] Exposure to a diverse range of industries and clients.

Now, this is what I love about account management because you’re usually working amongst a whole different range of verticals. In my career, I have worked with pharmaceutical companies, construction companies, government agencies, educators, security companies, defence organizations, retail banks, professional services, and the list goes on and on and on.

That’s what I love about it.

Even though my product has stayed the same, how it is used by my clients and why it is used by my clients is different, and the industries they are in is different. So, I get to learn so much about different industries, different roles, different markets, different countries, all these things that helps me become a more well-rounded professional as well as a better account manager, and just keeps things interesting. It’s never a dull moment because you’re dealing with such a diverse range of customers.

[03:52] Number 4, why I love key account management is the opportunity to develop strong relationships with clients and stakeholders.

Because this is a long game. I have had clients that I worked with for seven years. We really went deep in terms of business impact around stretched targets, setting really ambitious goals. And because I had the relationship over the long term, I was able to guide my client through that and to see it to its natural conclusion.

And the actual joy and reward and feeling of value that you get when you have been able to suggest something to a client from last year, know that it’s going to take a couple of years of hard work to get there, but the return on investment in time, energy, effort is worth it. And then you get to see them reap the rewards.

There is nothing like it.

And you don’t get that in a lot of other roles. You don’t get that in sales because once you run the business, you move on. The account management, you see it through, and that’s what I love.

[04:49] Number five is the ability to work with and learn from experienced professionals in the field.

Again, that’s relating to that diverse range of industries and clients. But when you actually deal with different roles, you’re dealing with CEOs, CFOs, sales directors, procurement directors, purchasing managers, you’re dealing with data scientists, and analysts, and engineers, administrators, the list goes on and on and on. I have dealt with every kind of stakeholder, every function, every business unit, every role imaginable over my career in key account management.

And as an account manager, you are boundary spanning. You’re dealing up and down the organization from the highest level to the lowest level on the org chart. And that helps you become better at adapting your message about communicating with people. And I love building relationships and learning from those people and thinking, how can I apply what they do and what they know into what I do?

It’s fascinating.

[05:50] Number six is the access to valuable training and development programs.

Key account management is a very pivotable role. I keep saying it again, pivotable. I’m going to find another word. It’s a strategic role. It’s an important role in a customer organization. And there is often attached to that a training and development program. Now, some of that might be peer led learning where you shadow colleagues, or you get mentorship. A lot of it is formal training.

And a lot of companies actually will pay for your professional development. In the past, I’ve had support—I didn’t get my degree till I was 41. And my organization at the time, American Express, practically paid for me to go to school. Between that and some tax breaks, I hardly left with any student debt. So, in that level of role, access in many companies to further education and supported training programs.

[06:45] About The KAM Club

Now, on that note, why don’t we take a break for our sponsor? Me.

The KAM Club is the world’s most amazing community of key account managers. It’s a learning-based community where we have courses, training, guides, templates, coaching, one to one coaching, and a library of something like 40 courses on everything and anything you could imagine, and more being added every month.

It’s very affordable. I try to keep the price low. It’s $24.99 a month, less if you want to buy an annual membership. I think it’s 20% off. So, if you’d like to check it out, visit  https://www.thekamclub.com. Let’s get back to the show.

[07:23] The seventh reason why it’s great to be a key account manager is that you have opportunities for travel.

You get to have global experiences. Whether it’s attending a sales kick-off, whether it is joining your client in another country to present their global review, whether it’s simply just being part of a global program. Even if you’re a local account manager, you’ll get to work with people in other countries and you’ll get to experience their cultures and understand how they do business in those locations.

It’s really exciting.

And I have travelled all over the world, thanks to my career in account management, from India to France to Spain to Italy to Morocco, multiple times to the US, all over the UK. Lots of opportunities simply by the nature of the role and the global nature of business and the clients that I’ve done business with.

[08:10] Now, number eight is that you get the chance to work on high profile projects and initiatives.

Key account management by its nature, looks after the most important, most valuable customers in your organization. That usually comes with more complexity, more demanding needs, more bigger, more impactful problems that need to be solved. And you get to be a part of those solutions and part of the planning and execution of the projects that help your clients get better results faster.

So it’s always really fascinating. It’s never a dull moment. It’s always something really interesting to sink your teeth into. It’s not just low level boring admin crappy tasks.

You will know at the end of those account plans that you have made a difference and you will have worked. Believe me, you will have worked to make a difference, but you’ll feel an enormous sense of achievement at the end because you know that it’s been very impactful, the results of your hard work.

[09:03] Number nine of the reasons why it’s great to be a key account manager is the opportunity to have a tangible impact on the growth and success of the organization.

I already mentioned this over and over again. Obviously, you’re working on high profile projects, you’re working with a diverse range of industries, you’re working with the most senior, experienced professionals in your client’s organization.

And of course, that means you get to really see the fruits of your labour. You get to deal with the people that make change that can help transform an organization and you play a part in that. And it’s so rewarding to see that.

[09:37] Number 10 is opportunities to work with cross functional teams and collaborate with other departments.

You don’t work in silos in a key account management role. You are the representative of your business to your customer and you know, inversely, the representative of your customer to your business. So you have a foot in both worlds and you have to represent both to the best of your ability. And that means dealing with a whole variety of stakeholders, especially within your own organization.

You need to be the orchestra… Sorry, the conductor that conducts the orchestra is the role. You need to motivate and inspire and secure all of the resources of the various people within your business to deliver exceptional outcomes for your clients.

And it’s fun.

You get to meet lots of different people and, again, help them be better and help yourself be better at the same time.

[10:32] Number 11 is the ability to develop a deep understanding of your client’s needs and challenges.

We’re not talking short term, like I already mentioned, we’re talking long term. So you get to explore all sorts of ideas. You get to explore all sorts of strategies and implement all sorts of strategies because we’re not talking about short term fixes here. We want to understand right at the root cause, the challenges that your clients are facing. Do that deep problem solving, and then execute the solutions to those problems.

It’s amazing.

[11:05] Number 13 is a chance to work with cutting edge technologies and tools.

Now, honestly, even if your own organization is a bit of a dinosaur and doesn’t have all the greatest and latest tech and isn’t necessarily at the forefront, although hopefully they are. But if they’re not, it doesn’t matter because many of your clients will be. Many of your clients are innovators, early adopters, or they are at the vanguard of their industry, and that they are working on projects and programs that are revolutionary.

And that’s exciting.

You get to be exposed to those things and even interact and engage with those technologies and platforms.

And of course, there’s nothing stopping you embracing new technology like chat GPT, like artificial intelligence. Lots of ways that you can utilize new emerging technologies in your own workflows and help you become more relevant. Make sure that you are securing your career and your future and not being left behind, that you’re not de-skilled, that you’re upskilling yourself because you’re working in the frontier of technology.

[12:13]  Number 14 is the ability to build a strong personal brand within the industry.

Key account managers are defined by their expertise. That’s why you are there to impart your knowledge and your experience and the lessons that you’ve learned over time and working with other clients to help your clients benefit from your wisdom.

And because of that, you can leverage that to build a reputation and a strong personal brand within your industry by networking and attending industry events, positioning thought leadership, or just within your profession, which is what I do. I don’t tend to focus on industries anymore. I really focus on the profession of key account management. And I’ve carved out a little space for myself on LinkedIn and YouTube and in the blogosphere.

So, you definitely have an opportunity to position yourself as an expert. Well, not position, you are an expert, but to build your digital reputation as an expert and grow your personal brand.

[13:10] And finally, number 15 is to build a robust professional network of contacts and connections.

Because you are an expert, because you are working with very important customers on very strategic projects, people naturally want to be part of your network. And more than that, because you’re working with those clients and those contacts and suppliers and customers, you will need to reach out and grow your contacts.

A big part of being a key account manager is meeting new people, learning what the challenges are, finding ways to be introduced to the owners of the problems, finding ways to be introduced to people that have budgets to pay for the solutions to solve those problems.

So that means over time, you grow a vast network of professional contacts. And even former clients that I had from 10, 15 years ago are still part of my network and they still help me out from time to time with a bit of advice. Or they introduce me or refer me when they join a new organization, as well as when we were working together, they helped me meet other people within their own organization as well to help us get things done.

[14:08] Outro

So that’s by far a drop in the ocean, my friends. It is a tiny fraction of what it means to be a key account manager and why it’s such a fantastic job. If you are looking for something that is interesting, where you can make a big difference, where you know that you have an impact, where you are appreciated for your knowledge and your experience and your advice. Key account management could just be the career for you.

Thank you for listening, Heroes. I appreciate your time. I hope you enjoyed learning about why I think key account management is an awesome career choice. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast to stay up to date on all the latest episodes. I try to release them weekly. If you got value from this episode, I’d love it if you’d leave a review and let me know what you think. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

Bye for now, Heroes.

 

Meet Your Host

Warwick Brown, Founder and Instructor at the KAM Club

Warwick Brown

Host

I was tired of hearing stories about great key account managers losing their way, left stuck and let down. 

I wanted to create a space where key account managers could thrive and be their best. To give them the right tools and mindset that gets results. And to eliminate overwhelm.

And so The KAM Club was born – the world’s most amazing community of key account managers. 

I’ve spent more than 20 years in the field as a key account manager. So I know what works, and what doesn’t. 

I’m now on mission to share the knowledge I’ve gained, to inspire and help key account managers everywhere reach their potential.

You can find me on YouTubeLinkedInmy blog and of course, The KAM Club podcast. 

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