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What Skills Do You Need to Make it as a Successful NAM?

12 November 2019

Are you an existing National Account Manager or looking to make the step into National Account Management? Want to know what skills it takes? We asked our Leeds office Sales gurus, Managing Director Mike and Business Manager Andy, for the skills that they believe are absolutely necessary for success within a NAM role.

National Account Managers look after some of the company’s biggest customer accounts.They are responsible for developing and maintaining partnerships so it’s important to have excellent relationship building skills. These relationships will determine sales and profitability for the business so it’s important that National Account Managers have the skills to not only build relationships but maintain them. As the customer’s key point of contact, it’s important to personify ALL of the company's values so that the customer gets a true feel for the company.

 A skill that employers tend to look for in candidates is their ability to stand up and be heard, and influence those around them, be it internally or externally. Influencing externally speaks for itself, it’s important for individuals to be able to influence external customers, as this is where sales and profits are generated from. This can be done by using excellent relationship building skills, and pulling together knowledge of sales techniques to persuade customers to invest in the business’ brand/product. In terms of internal influencing, it is the job of the National Account Manager to advise internal teams on how to increase sales. After all, they interact directly with the customer so know the customer best. There may be times that require you to influence internal teams to get on board with your ideas and this requires a lot of confidence and persuasion. Sales is all about strategy so those that work in the industry constantly need to review, evolve and improve their methods of working to keep up with the changing market landscape and customer needs, in order to keep up with the competition. An adaptable approach is therefore absolutely essential to the role of a National Account Manager.

 Developing relationships with customers also requires strong commercial acumen. Knowledge and experience of sales techniques will help keep the customer on-board. A strong understanding of the business world, as well as the market that the business operates in, including key competitors and market trends is important to the role. If you think you are lacking this commercial knowledge, make sure you stay up to day with current affairs within the industry and market you work in, consider and reflect on what you have learnt in your last job, and perhaps take the time to learn from other people. You could even seek out a mentor to get you up to date with, and help you brush up on your Sales knowledge. This will help you secure your first/next role in National Account Management and increase your success within the role.

 This role requires an individual who can work well with colleagues and collaboratively with customers. National Account Managers must always be looking out for the win/win - solutions that suit not just the customer, but also the business that they work for. This requires an excellent combination of the skills above. In order to keep up with industry trends, it’s key to learn from those around you and take advantage of the skills that you can learn from your colleagues.

National Account Managers should have excellently refined communication skills. These individuals sit at the heart of the Sales team and therefore must communicate with a variety of people, internally and externally. Good communication skills will enable National Account Managers to build relationships with customers and colleagues, and these skills are central to the role. Liaising with customers requires excellent listening skills, and the ability to retain and process information before finding a solution. National Account Managers may also need to manage direct reports and share their knowledge and experience with them.Good communication skills will come in here too! They are totally key to the role of a National Account Manager and underpin everything that they do.

 If you are an existing National Account Manager seeking a change, or you’re looking to take a step up into the role, give us a call on 0845 2000 741 for a confidential chat with one of our expert recruiters.

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