What does an account manager do?
The responsibility of an account manager is to develop and sustain strong relationships with clients. You will be responsible for creating connections with key business executives and various stakeholders. As an account manager, you will respond to customer queries, identify new business opportunities with the existing customers, and prepare sales reports. You will coordinate with cross-functional internal teams such as product development and customer care to enhance the overall customer experience.
Interaction with customers
As an account manager, you will have the most one-on-one interactions with specific customers as the business representative managing their accounts. You will perform the day-to-day maintenance of clients’ accounts and address customers’ needs and concerns. The roles differ as you adjust your focus, depending on individual customers' particular situations and their satisfaction with the current status of their accounts. You will be the point of contact that provides technical support, customer support, and general relationship management.
In charge of accounts
An account manager will oversee several small accounts or focus on a few large accounts. You will determine clients’ needs and what they might be looking to achieve in the short-term and long-term. You will work with the sales and marketing teams to plan sales pitches and presentations, handle client communications, and design marketing strategies and media proposals.
What is the average salary of an account manager?
The average salary for an account manager with one to four years of experience, which includes tips, bonuses, and overtime, in the USA is $59,515 per year as of May 2022. However, the account manager salary range normally falls between $52,200 and $69,300 per year. Various important factors cause the wide variation, such as education, experience, and additional skills. According to 565 salaries, an entry-level account manager with less than a year of experience can expect an average total salary of $47,712 per year.
The possibility of earning more
If you are successful in the position of an account manager, then there is the possibility of earning more. It will make you move from handling small accounts to working with larger accounts, hence an increased salary. You could also improve your marketability by getting a degree in related fields such as business, marketing, or finance. Getting certificates in any one of the following areas will also enhance your qualities as an account manager, thus increasing your salary:
- Sales engineering
- Public relations
- Program management
- Direct marketing
- Enterprise resource planning
- Performance management
- General ledger accounting
- Information technology support
- Microsoft access
Working as an account manager
An account manager is responsible for developing cordial relationships with clients to increase revenue. You will pursue relationships with new clients and seek business expansion opportunities with the existing clients. This means that you need to have detailed knowledge of the products and services offered and ensure that they consistently meet the clients’ needs. You may have to visit client locations at times to ensure client satisfaction while promoting ongoing contract renewals.
Account manager job description
Account managers work as the link between their employers and particular accounts (customers) that they manage. You will listen to a client’s needs and determine ways to achieve their objectives. In case a problem occurs, such as a delivery mix-up, then you will work with the other internal teams to resolve the situation. Whenever customers have questions, you will be the one they will contact for prompt and reliable answers. The other responsibilities of an account manager include:
- Informing clients about other products, services, or actions that might lead to greater success
- Acting as a liaison between customers and internal departments by conveying understandable information that produces the desired results in a timely and accurate manner
- Monitoring the customer’s expenditure/budget, explaining costs, and performing negotiations for new terms where necessary
- Keeping tabs on the competitor actions and market trends/changes that might affect their client
- Providing sales and progress reports to upper management and clients
- Training junior employees on how to manage an account
- Tracking and forecasting key account metrics
- Monitoring and analyzing how customers use your product
- Resolving complaints and following up on all processes that are related to the client’s desires
- Collecting and analyzing data that concerns consumer behavior to determine the changing needs
- Keeping correct records that pertain to inventory and account notes
- Keeping up-to-date knowledge about the company's products and services
- Acting as a client advocate while focusing on improving the buyer experience
What type of equipment do account managers use?
For you to be a successful account manager, you don’t just have to be smart and driven; you also need to know how to make good use of your time to stay on top of client relations. Account management is a big and complex job, so you will need to invest in the right technology to help you become more effective. Certain tools that make your work a lot easier include:
- Video conferencing applications
- Pipeline management tools
- Quote and proposal creation tools
- Contracting and e-signature tools
- Sales forecasting software
- Project management platform
- Social media management tools
- Appointment scheduling tools
An account manager works in the office most of the time and will need to communicate with clients, thus the telephone is a vital piece of equipment. Besides talking on the phone, you will also be sending emails often, so the internet is also important. At certain times you will visit your clients at their businesses; therefore, it would help if you had a car.
What is the work environment of an account manager?
Account managers normally work in an office, either on-site or off-site. Some also travel to meet with clients and have the opportunity to work remotely from home. Since the people you serve expect responsiveness, account managers need to be available on weekends and in the evenings. As an account manager, you will spend most of your time listening and talking to clients either in person or on the phone. It is a fast-paced environment that can be quite challenging.
Who are your colleagues as an account manager?
Account managers work closely with sales and marketing professionals and customer care to make sure that the organization meets the objectives and needs of the clients. Your colleagues in these areas include help desk support professionals and salespeople. You also work with the production team to ensure that the products meet the client’s expectations. As an account manager, you will need to regularly report the progress of the sale to your superior. You will be dealing with anyone in the organization that contributes to the success in customer satisfaction.
What is the work schedule of an account manager?
Account managers often work long hours as it is essential to their performance. Although you will often have holidays off, you may work through the weekends and evenings to fulfill your responsibilities. The normal working hours are from nine to five, but sometimes you work overtime, especially when you travel to meet clients or want to catch up with administrative work. Sometimes, you will take work home to complete in the evening.
What is the career outlook for an account manager?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, careers in this field and related fields will escalate by 7% through 2030. The available jobs remain industry specific. For example, the automobile industry might experience a slump in the positions of account managers, but there will be an increase in the medical sector.
Career path of account managers
There are various career development opportunities for the career of an account manager. Successful account managers have the opportunity to become account directors and then directors of account services. Account directors oversee several account managers in different territories, set goals and quotas, and encourage them to meet their goals. A director of account services manages the entire department and works at the executive level.
What are the advantages of working with Spherion as an account manager?
If you are actively looking for a job or just checking what's out there, Spherion is the answer. The Spherion team will help you with your search for employment by matching you with an account manager job that fits your skills. As one of the leading staffing companies, Spherion has connections with a wide range of businesses. The Spherion team offers plenty of networking opportunities to help you find the right office for your work style. Whether you prefer to work with a small family business or a major company, Spherion has options for you. Working via Spherion offers you several advantages, such as:
- Weekly pay
- A contact person to fall back on and ask for help
- A range of jobs in your area
- Personal contact to assist you with your job search
- Training opportunities for gaining more advanced account manager skills
- A quick and seamless interviewing process
What education do you need as an account manager?
The minimum qualification required for you to be an account manager is a bachelor’s degree in marketing/advertising, sales management, or business administration. However, you can get the job with any other bachelor’s degree if you have work experience in the same field.
Account manager skills & Competencies
Working as an account manager requires various skills and competencies. You will make a good account manager if you have the following skills:
- Negotiation skills
- Attention to details
- Listening skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Strategic thinking
- Problem-solving skills
- Empathy and emotional intelligence
- Technology savvy
- Presentation skills
- Customer service
If you are interested in working as an account manager, you likely have several questions about the role. The following FAQs give you some additional insight into what it's like to pursue this career option.