What is a Key Account Manager (KAM)?
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering… “What’s the difference between a KAM and a CSM?” We get it. There’s confusion and overlap between various sales titles used at different organizations. What’s more, titles are often changing and adapting to industry trends.
The fast-growing, competitive nature of the SaaS industry has created an environment where new titles are needed to accommodate for completely new positions. What’s more, (slightly) different titles – à la Sales Development Rep vs. Business Development Rep – are created to sound more relevant, modern, and in line with company values and culture.
If you’re new to all this sales jargon, look no further! We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out exactly what a key account manager does, average salary for KAMs, career outlook, and available KAM jobs.
In SaaS, the acronym KAM generally stands for Key Account Manager. KAMs usually work in customer success, solving issues for clients and being a reliable source of relevant knowledge and support.
Key Account Manager Job Description
Key account managers are part of a company’s customer service (a.k.a. customer success) department. Customer success professionals guide clients from the sales to the support phase, by being a reliable, friendly and knowledgeable resource for customers. These employees are key in maintaining and improving customer satisfaction.
What does a Key Account Manager do?
KAMs not only troubleshoot client challenges and provide relevant information, they also build relationships with their portfolio of clients and are an advocate for their needs within the company. Similarly, customer success teams also advocate on behalf of the company and encourage upsells and cross-sells to existing customers.
KAMs generally have more experience than customer success representatives, and provide support to certain large clients who generate a significant amount of monthly recurring revenue. Effective key account managers increase a customer’s lifetime value and improve customer retention rate (CRR), encouraging loyal customers who not only continue with the company, but also upgrade and purchase premium products and services.
Another relevant concern of a key account manager in SaaS is reducing churn, or limiting the number of customers who cancel their memberships or plans. By providing excellent customer service and meeting the needs of clients, KAMs can reduce churn and even increase CRR by up- and cross-selling.
As their title suggests, key account managers may also be responsible for one or many direct reports on the customer success team, and can be involved in training and managing a small team of customer service professionals.
Key Account Manager Salary
Key Account Managers make, on average, $94,210 per year in total pay in the US (source: Glassdoor). However, this number can vary significantly based on the portion of the pay that is base vs. performance-driven. Salaries also vary based on company size, location, and years of experience.
KAM Career Outlook
With the abundance of automation, software, and complex cloud-based tools available on the market today, it may come as no surprise that customer support positions are projected to grow rapidly in the future. In fact, LinkedIn named customer success as one of the top emerging jobs in the US in 2020.
If you’re looking to grow your career in the customer success industry, don’t worry - as the market outlook for key account managers is positive, with a large portion of new opportunities being created in the SaaS field.
Key Account Manager Jobs
Looking for available KAM jobs? Here are a few resources to help your search:
- Key Account Manager Jobs on LinkedIn
- Key Account Manager Jobs on Indeed
- Key Account Manager Jobs on Glassdoor
Which customer success role is right for me?
The right role for you depends on your experience and expertise, but customer success can be a good industry to get your start if you are entering the job market for the first time!
Some key characteristics of great customer support professionals include:
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Great communicators
- Passion for what they are selling
- Willingness to roll up their sleeves and get the job done
- No fear calling and following-up with clients
- Positive attitude
- Creative and passionate about helping others
- Sincere empathy for people and clients
- Ability to multi-task across different platforms and forms of communication
- Ability to work well under pressure and with a team
Does this sound like you? Kixie is hiring, and we’d love to hear from you! We are looking for jovial, hard-working colleagues to share our journey as we change the landscape of business telephony.