Account Management – A Transferable Skill?

Quota® is launching our new Quota® Time & Territory Management™ (QTTM™) product this coming month. The research into the content led us to look specifically at Key Account Management skills and by inference, how well these skills transition into Sales Management roles. Successful Key Account Management requires a variety of skill sets including: Value Propositions; Goal-Setting; Forecasting; Time Allocation; Market/Industry Analysis; Account Planning; Investigation; Solution Selling and Negotiating.

On the face of it, these skill sets would seem to be very important for Sales Managers to possess….and they are! So why is that so many successful sales people don’t succeed in the sales manager’s role?

In many cases it goes back to three primary factors: Content, Intent and Application.

Content refers to understanding a skill not just as a practitioner but as a coach. While the successful salesperson may be effective at executing a skill, often innately taught, this doesn’t necessarily translate into consciously understanding the skill and where/how to apply it.

Intent refers to the Coach’s interest in developing their sales performer. Not everyone has the intrinsic make-up to be a successful coach. There are those sales people that are great at what they do but aren’t natural ‘nurturers’ that like to see other’s grow and succeed. The Sales Manager must have the ‘intent’ with every one of their direct reports to see them grow into elite performers.

Finally, application of skills. Understanding what a skill is, and when it should be used, is not the same as having the ability to apply it. Ultimately, success is not based on understanding but on execution.

In every case, knowledge is enhanced through proper training and coaching. Key Account Managers can become successful Sales Managers…if…they have the: Content; Intent and Ability to Apply!

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