Senior Key Account Manager
A Senior Key Account Manager has the main objective of supporting the Head of Key Account Management and overseeing the activities of the junior account management personnel. The Senior Key Account Manager directs and optimizes the business’s most valued consumer relationships. The Senior Key Account Manager brings a strong analytical acumen and business development knowledge to the table.
Additionally, he avails this capability to establish and build good working relationships with both internal and external consumers, which is vital to the successful execution of duties in this role. The Senior Key Account Manager has a can-do personality, is disciplined in his work habits, and possesses strong attention to detail.
The role of the Senior Key Account Manager involves account management, delivery development, building on sustainable relationships by playing an active role in account manager recruitment, and hands on problem resolution.
Objectives and Responsibilities of the Senior Key Account Manager
Management: The Senior Key Account Manager plays a managerial role over several account managers and oversees strategic commercial negotiations, for example, cost savings, pricing, supply agreements, and payment terms for key accounts. In this capacity, the Senior Key Account Manager also drives the sales force in order to encourage the development and discovery of key accounts.
The Senior Key Account Manager, in conjunction with the Head of Key Account Management, determine and set budgetary needs for the key account department and also set the key account sales targets and strategic plans for the achievement of those targets.
Strategy: As mentioned above, the Senior Key Manager plays a strategic role in the account management department. In this role, the Senior Key Account Manager plays the role of mapping key account and monitoring competitor activities for the purpose of formulating informed strategies that will reduce business churn and give the business an edge over competition. The Senior Key Account Manager also encourages the enhancement of relationships with key consumer influencers and develops a stronger understanding of consumer behavior through a deeper analysis of consumer decision-making criteria.
This information is then used to formulate approaches that appeal to key consumers and, hence, attract and retain them in the business. In this capacity, the Senior Key Account Manager also strives to ensure that any developed key account sales strategy is aligned and consistent with the overall volume objectives of the business.
Analytics: The Senior Key Account Manager plays an analytical role where he conducts research and gathers data on consumer, market, and competitor activity with an aim of encouraging key account client acquisition and retention. In this role, the Senior Key Account gathers data and information, analyzes it and provides formal reports to senior key account management for use in informed decision-making and strategy formulation.
He regularly coordinates cost-benefit analyses and shared projects, and reviews key account plans on a regular basis as part of process to avail insights for departmental performance improvement. The Senior Key Account Manger also measures departmental performance and weighs it against targets and the business’s KPIs, and subsequently presents proposals for strategic approaches that lead to the attainment or surpassing of targets.
Collaboration: The position of the Senior Key Account Manager is a collaborative one, where he partners with other sales and marketing departments in order to actively develop aligned marketing goals that ensure no conflict of interests between these departments, and works to create a unified and stronger front in the quest to achieve the business’s objectives.
He consults with the customer support department on key consumer supply issues and determines what the best communication plan would be for key accounts. In conjunction with senior key account management, the Senior Manager also liaises with the finance department in determining the budgetary allocation for the department, voicing any concern of additional financial necessities in order to ensure optimal performance of the department.
Knowledge and Opportunity: The Senior Key Account Manager has the responsibility of constantly gathering information on the best practices and market/consumer trends that will enable the account management department to stay up to par or even ahead of competition in the market.
He gathers important information by attending tradeshows, attending sales seminars, indulging in relevant publications and so forth.The Senior Key Account Manager, in this capacity, also identifies key account prospects and opportunities in addition to identifying, upgrading, and maintaining value added accounts.
Account Management and Maintenance: The Senior Key Account Manager, however, does not simply oversee key account management; he also personally manages and maintains high-level accounts. In this position, he monitors the account sales performance and engages at the consumers’ level in order toincrease the levels of engagement with these key clients, hence, ensuring the occurrence of repeat business. The Senior Key Account Manager increases the revenue from existing key accounts by cross-selling new products to these key consumers seeing as they are already loyal to the brand.
Other Duties: The Senior Key Account Manager performs similar duties as may be necessary for the effective execution of his duties and duties as delegated by the Head of Key Account Management, the Director of Sales, or the Chief Sales Officer.
Required Qualifications of the Senior Key Account Manager
Education: The Senior Key Account Manager will have a bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) in Sales, Marketing, Business Management, Customer Relationship Management, Communications, Business Administration or any other related field. The equivalent of this in working experience is also acceptable for this position.
Experience: A candidate for this position must have had at least 5 years of working experience in key account management within a fast-paced and highly competitive business environment, preferably working as a Key Account Manager. A suitable candidate will have proven and successful experience in high-value client acquisition, satisfaction, and retention working as a Key Account Manager. He must also possess proven experience of having driven sales initiatives and achieving or surpassing business targets.
Communication Skills: This is a highly consumer oriented position, dealing with high-value clients accounts and, as such, communication must be of the highest quality both in written and in verbal form. The Senior Key Account Manager must be able to clearly and concisely communicate back to consumers with regard to any issues or concerns they may have in a satisfactory and comprehensive manner. He must also be able to convey information and instructions clearly to junior Key Account Managers, which will be a major determinant of their effectiveness.
The Senior Key Account Manager drafts proposals and reports on various analyses that he presents to senior key account managers for further review and consideration. He must, therefore, be capable of relaying presenting this information in a clear, simple, and convincing manner, tailoring even the most complex concepts in a way that resonates with the audience.
Ms Office: The Senior Key Account Manager must demonstrate high proficiency in Ms Word, PowerPoint, and Ms Excel, which will be necessary for the creation of both visually and verbally engaging reports, presentations, and proposals for the senior account management as well as commercial materials for the high-value key account clients.
Analytical Skill: A candidate for this position must portray a passion and keen interest in consumer and market research and analysis along with the insights derived from such analysis. This candidate must have the ability to show an understanding of the workings of standard sales analyses. The candidate will have the capacity to derive useful insights from raw data and information, availing strategies and approaches that enable acquisition, retention, and enhancement in sales volume.
Interpersonal Skills: The Senior Key Account Manager must be highly motivated, be a consumer and result-oriented individual, have a positive can-do attitude, work effortlessly in a fast-paced and highly competitive environment, work comfortably in group and cross-functional settings, and have an ability to work on multiple projects which will include effective prioritization and the timely completion of deadlines. The Senior Key Account Manager must also demonstrate composure during times of stress and uncertainty, being an example to junior account management.
People Skills: People skills are a must for the position, especially since the position involves regular interactions with high-value consumers. The Senior Key Account Manager must be approachable and likeable with an ability to form strong and long-term relationships with consumers, hence, guaranteeing their retention.
People skills will also enable the Senior Key Account Manager to acquire new key accounts easily as well as enable him to gain the trust of junior account managers, and that of senior account managers in regard to his insights and judgments.