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Key account management, or KAM, is a business strategy for managing and growing a set of organization's important clients to maximize value for both sides and build a mutually beneficial relationship. This ultimately leads to better profitability, deeper penetration of products and services as well as client delight. Effective key account management calls for seamless execution of a company’s business strategy across the various project phases – from requirements gathering to system implementation and beyond.

Organizations face their biggest challenges while executing this strategy on the ground. This is where advanced negotiation skills training can help account leaders and project managers. The primary areas where negotiations skills training can help the key account management strategy include:

1. Stakeholder management – for effective Key Account Management, leaders must engage with multiple client and partner stakeholders and drive agreements, when faced with conflicting priorities. Negotiation skills training can elevate the stakeholder conversations and develop ‘way forward’ plans by gaining their commitment.

2. Consultative Selling – Negotiation skills training enables a paradigm shift in the way products and services are sold to clients by embedding “consultative selling” practices. This can help organizations achieve better premiumization/pricing of their products.

3. Conflict and Complaint management – Projects are becoming more complex with the rapid adoption of digital tech and integration of multiple partners/stakeholders. This process inevitably means more opportunities for more conflicts and complaints. Advanced Negotiations skills can empower leaders to professionally handle customer complaints and ensure that these do not impact long-term client relationships or the project momentum.

4. Cross Sell and Upsell – Effective key account strategy calls for maximizing value from every opportunity through the introduction of adjacent products and services. Advanced negotiation skills empower leaders to be alert to these opportunities and deploy practical strategies to deepen client relationships.

5. Achieve ‘Win-Win’ – Stakeholders remain committed to outcomes only if they see value for them. This can be a challenge as many conversations end up as a zero-sum game where one stakeholder gains at the expense of others. This approach can result in well-meaning key account strategies, to fail. Advanced negotiation skills training helps leaders to look at the situation through the lens of all stakeholders and construct win-win outcomes through practical tools and techniques.

In summary, for the Key Account Management strategy to be effective, the leaders need to be enabled with practical “execution” skills. This is where Advanced Negotiation skills can be a powerful enabler to achieve the company’s business goals.

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