What Is The Difference Between Key Account Management And Sales?

By Jeremy Blake on September 27, 2021

It is common for entrepreneurs, companies, organisations and business owners to be concerned about the difference between Key Account Management and Sales. After all, these are practices they'll always be involved in, to help achieve company business goals.

While Key Account Managers and Salespeople work closely together, the Account Management and Sales jobs differ significantly.

Reality Training offer a Key Account Management Training Programme and Sales Training Course that both offer great insights into each topic.

Here we'll discuss the difference between the two important departments for any business.


What is Sales?

Simply put, Sales is the process of prospecting to find new clients which includes meeting their sales quotas, therefore converting potential consumers into buying customers.


What is Key Account Management?

Key Account Management is a post-sale, client-facing role. This means it happens after sales.

After a salesperson has converted prospects into buying customers, a number of these may become regular clients. It then becomes the responsibility of a Key Account Manager, to identify the big or most important customers aka "Key Accounts", and ensure a strategic relationship is established with the customer.

Key Account Management ensures clients receive the highest level of satisfaction. The job also requires the responsible leader and teams, to know and practise workable long-term growth strategies.

Key Account Management involves keeping the already sold to customers happy, in order to bring more value to your business. For this reason, the Key Accounts Management team must prioritise the service and success of their customers.

It also involves business development and account growth strategies through Account Management Training, Upselling and Cross-selling opportunities.


What Skills are required in Sales?

As you consider these skills, it's important to understand that company or organisation jobs differ, due to the variation of environment and unique set goals.

Nevertheless, there are skills all Salespeople aka Sales Executives, should have.

It is true that you'll need to have a "hunter" mentality as a Salesperson which you combine with skills such as:


• Excellent Prospecting; be persistent and have self-management.

• Rapport Development Skills; be able to identify buyer's behaviour style to tailor your communication to match that. Being curious and inquisitive are the personality traits that make this easier.

• Good Questioning; be able to ask open ended questions to know the wants and needs of prospects, then listen with the intent of understanding, not just to respond. Listening to what’s not being said too. Sometimes the slience can be deafening!

• Influencing; possess strong product knowledge to confidently demonstrate how its benefits align with the customer desires.

• Closing skills; have the confidence to ask for the sale and make the return on investment clear.

As Zig Ziglar taught us all you sell when you believe the product or service you are selling is worth more to the customer than they money they’re paying for it.


What Skills are Needed in Key Account Management?

Key Account Management looks to nurture the relationship of important customers and the company, to help it grow to its full potential brining mutual value.

To practice effective Key Account Management, you should have;


1. Relationship building skills; including effective communication skills and consultative, buyer-focused approach when interacting with clients.

2. Prioritisation: be personable and able to happily help your clients and prioritise the Key Accounts, keeping them satisfied in order to retain them, for maximised revenue potential.

3. Long-term oriented thinking; focus on long-term relationships by creating the most satisfying customer relationship, to protect poaching from your competitors.


Key Account Management is a long-term investment.

Contact us today at Reality Training and we'll help you and your team develop the right behaviours and principles to be more successful.