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How to Become an Account Manager

Updated on Oct 16, 2020 2756 views
How to Become an Account Manager

Who is an Account Manager? 

The job title might confuse you. After all, it appears self-explanatory. Account manager equals a person that manages accounts. However, that is not what it entails. An account manager is not concerned with the day-to-day running of accounts.

 Instead, they are responsible for strengthening a company’s relationship with its clientele. Basically, an account manager is charged with ensuring the clients keep making use of the company’s products and services by regularly catering to their needs. 

An account manager is a person tasked with managing sales as well as maintaining relationships with customers. Note the emphasis on the word, maintaining. That is, an account manager isn’t tasked with building new relationships but managing old ones. 

Although if an account manager brings new customers, it’s highly unlikely that the company would turn them down.

As you must have seen repeated several times, account managers are for relationship-strengthening. This is why a client is typically assigned to a particular account manager. These relationships are built over time and are too complicated to just keep rotating managers. 

The role of the account manager is basically a mashup of that of a  salesperson and customer service representative. If you are a people’s person, then the role of the account manager suits you. 

 Duties of an Account Manager

Now that you have an idea of who an account manager is, it is only right you learn what they do. At the basic level, they connect the consumers to the sellers (the company). But there’s more to them than acting as liaison officers. An  account manager does the following:

  • Creates deals with customer accounts, including strategically pitching 

  • Negotiates contracts that favor both the clients and company 

  • Creates and keeps up long haul associations with accounts 

  • Ensures requested goods and services are delivered to customers 

  • Imparts customer needs and requests to manager organization 

  • Figures and tracks customer account measurements

  • Oversees ventures inside customer connections, attempting to complete customer objectives while meeting organization objectives 

  • Develops and works on business growth with existing customers 

  • Works closely with other members of  staff designated to the account to ensure synchronization

  • Works together with the sales team to conduct outreach programmers to expand clientele 

  • Manages the accounts of various customers simultaneously and seamlessly 

  • Tracks customer exchanges

  • Tends to customers’ requests and problems

Requirements for an Account Manager

If you wish to pursue a career in account management, the following list is an accumulation of what hiring managers look out for during recruitment: 

  • Experience relevant to account management, Key Account Management, sales management, and so on

  • Track-record of relationship building and maintenance with customers 

  • Ability to provide services to multiple clients simultaneously, while still paying strict attention to details and achieving results 

  • Excellent listening, negotiation, and presentation skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills

  • Bachelor's Degree in Business administration or any relevant field 

  • 5+ years of marketing experience

  • Ability to use digital web tools

  • Experience in any target-driven and goal-centered organization

  • Possession of interpersonal skills

  • Ability to collaborate with sales, marketing, and other teams 

  • Knowledge of website development, marketing, measurement and analytics, content management, digital marketing, and internet technology

  • Excellent time and project management skills. 

 What are the Top Skills an Account Manager should have?

The above-stated duties are not easy to fulfill. You would require a particular set of skills to not only perform them but to also bring results. In addition to the soft skills, you will also be required to be vast in the following you’re interested in account management:

  • Prospecting Skills

  • Teamwork

  • Planning

  • Attention to Detail

  • Interpersonal skills

  • People Skills

  • Initiative

  • Customer Focus

  • Emphasize Excellence

  • Manage Multiple Projects

  • Multitasking

  • Communication skills

  • Display empathy and emotional intelligence

  • Negotiation skills 

  • Solve problems

  • Strategic thinking 

 Account Manager Salary

Account management makes up for its strict entry requirements with its attractive pay. In addition to your basic salary as an account manager, you would also be given bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing based on performance.

In South Africa, the average salary of an account manager is R274,675.


 Read more about the job description of an account manager here

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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