19 Attributes of Successful Key Account Managers

I get asked all the time what attitudes, skills, and attributes make a great Key Account Manager.

Here are the ones that come top of mind. A successful Key Account Manager is:

  1. Empathetic – deeply understand the goals, drivers, and needs of others
  2. Service-oriented – ready to go the extra mile for their clients
  3. Strategic – doesn’t get trapped in the weeds, understands the bigger picture
  4. Proactive – doesn’t wait to take action, is in charge
  5. Responsible – takes responsibility for their actions and outcomes; is accountable to other
  6. Good communicator – writes and speaks for impact; confirms that the other side has the same understanding
  7. Is prepared – doesn’t get hit with surprises; does the preparation work that others skip
  8. Great listener – active listener, makes sure the other side feels head
  9. Asks meaningful questions – deep questions designed to elicit insight and emotion, not just surface content
  10. A closer – knows when to ask for the business; isn’t afraid to discuss value or money
  11. Forward-looking – doesn’t just look in the rearview mirror; always asks “what’s next?”
  12. Fact-based – based in reality; knows that “hope is not a strategy”
  13. Always learning – invests in their skills and knowledge to keep driving forward
  14. Fearless – takes the knocks; willing to have the tough conversations
  15. Team Player – looks out for the team; collaborative
  16. Good Negotiator – looks for the win/win in every situation; grows the pie
  17. Authentic – comfortable with their true self
  18. Trustworthy – earns and deserves the trust of customers and colleagues
  19. Problem Solver – hustles to find a solution; willing to roll up their sleeves to get the job done

Thanks to the following people for feedback on this post: Dave Croft, Michael Green, Robert OrtegaMeghan DeshpandeEd SanfordRoy HilliardDominykas Cibulskas and Devayani Choubal

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CEO at Kapta
Alex Raymond is the CEO of Kapta.