COO & Co-Founder, DemandFarm
Who is an account manager and what do they do?
An account manager does the overall management of sales and relationships with the various customers of the company. The main roles of an account manager are the following:-
- Maintaining and developing relationships with customers by addressing their concerns
- Building strong strategic relationships with clients
- Explore white spaces with clients to retain business and crack opportunities
- Enhance business prospects with long-term relationships
While all account managers need hands-on experience managing customer relationships, there are wide ranges of other (equally important) account management skills that are critical for the role.
Find out 3 unique ways how John grows his key accounts as a strategic account manager.
5 Must-Have Skills for Account Managers!
1. Good listening and understanding capacity
The key to effective working relationships with clients is good listening. This enables building trust and reduces conflict to build objectives and find opportunities in every client interaction. This helps account managers anticipate the needs and exceed expectations of the client.
2. Collaborative and Customization ability
In the current world of business where customers are situated globally, companies don’t compete on pricing or product alone but also have to show that the customer experience they offer is the best. Account management is never a solo game but a collaborative effort. Collaborating with customers to make them fully participate in the process can help build strong relationships, in turn, drive sales forward. Additionally, an account manager has to ensure that internal teams are in coordination with each other.
3. Leadership and Ownership capability
Account Managers who are leaders should inspire and challenge clients to take brave decisions. This can help build strategic account planning for disruptive transformations. Only by embracing changes in every process can you yield better and larger results. Account managers should have the foresight to focus time and attention on the development of key accounts.
4. Dynamic Business Analytical knowledge
Being able to analytically think about the process and dealing with the load of information from various sources is part of the critical actions that an account manager does everyday. The ability to identify the cause and effect relationships quickly is vital to being a good account manager.
5. Excellent communication skills
To build strategic relationships with clients and retain them, an account manager will need to have excellent communication skills. They need to keep each team informed and maintain coordination. An Account Manager needs to be highly skilled, clear and concise in his communication to ensure that long – term client relationships are maintained. Key Account Management is a continuous process that keeps evolving. Not only does it require a highly skilled account manager, but it also requires account managers to be equipped with the right key account management tools and account planning tools that can assist them through their journey (Fun Tip: Check out this cheatsheet on choosing the right sales account planning tool).
DemandFarm’s Account Planner makes account planning ridiculously easy. Perform whitespace analysis, relationship analysis and financial analysis to forecast growth potential. Gain enhanced visibility in order to analyze your key accounts.