27 October 2011
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The Profile of a Successful Strategic Account Manager – Best Practice SAM Behaviors, Competencies / Aptitude, Skills, Style and Intangibles (Part 3 of 5)

As we continue on Part 3 of our journey through the profile of an effective and successful Strategic Account Manager (SAM), we are now ready to explore SKILLS.

  • Behaviors – The way in which one acts, or conducts oneself (Part 1)
  • Competencies and Aptitude – Capabilities or abilities; innate or acquired capacity for something (Part 2)
  • Skills – Proficiency, facility, or dexterity of an art, trade or technique, that is acquired or developed through training or experience
  • Style – The way in which something is said, done, expressed, or performed
  • The Intangibles



It is recognized that skills can be taught and learned. They do need to align to a particular task, or role, as well as an individual’s personal learning capacity . Often these are best characterized by the individual’s behavior profile and a job match pattern.

Once it is determined that an individual is the right person for the role of SAM the following is the recommended skill set they will need to effectively execute their job on a daily basis. We recognize that you may have identified additional skills required of a SAM specific to your organization; however, in this post we are referring to the top 7 cross industry skills that SAMs need to be proficient in to succeed at their job.




Effective Communication / Listening  

Demonstrates the ability to be an active and involved listener. Able to process concepts as presented regardless of their own background and behavior style. Uses language and concepts that align to their contact and client.



Able to identify all ongoing negotiating situations (almost all situations are negotiating situations) and facilitate WIN/WIN outcomes. Can fairly represent the client as well as their company.


Linking (concepts to actions) Can create and effectively communicate solutions to challenges or visions that a client may need and/or share. Solutions may not have been clearly defined or executed. Does not need an existing solution template in all cases. Effective at free-form solution development and relationship management.


Planning & Organization  

Manages opportunities, time, projects, relationships and account knowledge all in an organized and documented manner. Enables others on internal and/or external team to be informed.



Shows the way for their team by representing extraordinary standards of practices relative to behaviors, values, time management and client development. Leads and inspire by example.  Earns respect of others. Always thinking Team not I.


Problem  / Conflict Resolution  

Thinks and acts logically (does not react) to challenges and problems. Has a goal of root cause and resolution – enabling issues to be resolved and not return. Can maintain self composure and calm of situation through complex and emotional situations. Keeps everyone on task and sensitive to needs of all parties


Relationship Building  

Adapts to and accommodates many diverse personalities, behaviors and needs of individuals. Able to place their own styles and behaviors in a secondary position to accomplish their task. Relationships are important to them. They are authentic. They focus on the other party; more outward in than inward out approach. Can mesh with diverse people, cultures and interests.



…Up next, part 4; Style of the SAM.