Why Does Key Account Management Feel Like a Battle Sometimes? 

 February 11, 2022

By  Warwick Brown

Why does key account management feel like a battle sometimes?

Is it just me? Sometimes it feels like whenever key account managers ask for help from another team, they face a battle.

Don’t we all want what’s best for our customers?

Isn't it strange that so much conflict is needed to accomplish so little?

Most of a key account manager’s role involves co-ordinating internal resources to get results for our clients.

But we’re all responsibility, no power.

Which means we need to manage a wide range of complex internal relationships.

But research has shown that key account managers constantly deal with some form of internal conflict.

Sometimes it’s short-term micro conflict through to long term systemic conflict.

And instead of dealing with the problems, we become adept at avoiding them.

As chameleons, we change our behaviour to ensure the best possible outcome and get our internal teams to work together effectively.

Whatever it takes to get a result, right?

We compete, avoid, accommodate, compromise and collaborate.

And sometimes the internal conflict is so great, it becomes dysfunctional.

Why aren't we doing more to prevent conflicts, given how common they are?

Learn the wisdom of compromise for it is better to bend a little than to break ~ Jane Wells

How do we begin?

Maybe with a conversation?

Get together with your most important internal partner. Not necessarily the most senior, but the one you work with the most and who’s cooperation and support you rely on.

Let them know you’d like to chat about

  • How we work better together this year?
  • Our priorities and goals.
  • How we can make each other’s job easier?

Warwick Brown

Warwick Brown has led business development and account management teams in Australia and Europe for more than 15 years and worked with some of the world's most prestigious firms, including Merck & Co, Deutsche Bank, McKinsey & Company and Vodafone. His mission is to help account managers everywhere who are short on time and big on ambition get results.

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