National Account Managers (NAMs) are at the heart of many sales organisations, acting as the primary interface with key customers and often having responsibility for a large proportion of the company’s sales revenue. A successful NAM needs to be highly skilled in understanding the needs of their customers, fostering a strong relationship with key decision-makers, building effective business plans that create joint value and then selling, negotiating and implementing them. There is nothing new in that, or is there?
Over the last few years, the rapidly changing marketplace has put new demands on the NAM skill set. From the significant impact of digital on shopper behaviour, to the swift growth of discounters, to customers needing to find new ways to drive profitable growth – the need for NAMs to know how to respond is intense. Not only must they develop new skills in areas such as revenue growth management, shopper marketing and digital, they must also drive value creation across the customer’s entire enterprise and effectively collaborate with their internal multi-functional partners. For instance, when the customer changes a promotional price or front end location commitment, this needs to be communicated across the entire business immediately.
Added to this is the critical need to be more agile than ever in responding to a world where customer plans are changing on an almost daily basis and the marketplace is evolving rapidly. The pressure on NAMs has never been greater.