Key Account Manager of the Year 2020
The judges said Maggie Free showed exceptional focus,
resilience and tenacity as a key account manager.
She started with a relationship that had soured after her organisation suffered a serious setback with a strategically important customer. Key accounts have long memories and Maggie had a big job to re-build trust with the customer, a major player in the transport sector.
Maggie worked out a long-term plan with a clear focus that allowed her and her team to maintain their perspective over an extended period, despite complex hurdles and pushback, internal and external. This sustained focus, together with deep, attentive listening to the customer, led to well-matched responses that transformed customer engagement.
Internally, Maggie had to refuel the appetite to grow with this customer, which meant close interactions and challenging conversations with senior management and global operations. The role of Human Resources is often overlooked by key account managers, but Maggie needed their help to recruit and train a cross-functional team to construct the value proposition. Her engagement with HR resulted in a collaboration that produced a team capable of putting together the proactive proposal of a new solution needed to address the customer’s challenges.
(Ed.: We notice that high-performing key account managers like Maggie are consistently persistent; work with a team; and deal pro-actively with internal issues.)
The story doesn’t end there: not only did Maggie and her team win some really high-value business, but they also created further opportunities ahead. Maggie’s sustained application of KAM has been crucial in transforming the relationship and its prospects.
Maggie Free has been an account manager for almost 20 years. She started her career as a librarian and included property management consultancy on the way.
(Ed. We suspect that diverse work experience is really useful to key account managers: it makes them more rounded and resourceful.)
Maggie says she really enjoys meeting people and establishing meaningful relationships. But KAM is a challenging job – she finds there are not enough hours in the day sometimes to complete all of the things she wants to accomplish for her clients!
Maggie is very interested in learning what has worked well for other account managers in their careers.
Why not email her @ [email protected] and exchange experiences?