A Comprehensive Guide To Account Management Skills
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 16 May 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Account managers collaborate with the company's clients and customers to build strategic partnerships. They ensure that the organisation is fulfilling the deliverable requirements successfully. Whether you are already an account manager looking to take on more responsibility, or considering this profession, it is helpful to understand the skills required to succeed in this role. In this article, we discuss account manager and the skills essential for the role, review ways to put them on a resume and provide steps to enhance your account management skills.
What is an account manager?
An account manager is a business sales representative who interacts with clients and customers on behalf of the company. Companies hire them to ensure that their customers' requirements are being met. Account managers regularly interact with the customers and address their queries and update them about their account. Depending on the client requirements, the account manager may have to make adjustments to their role. This includes working as a financial advisor, salesperson, customer service specialist and technical advisor. The account manager may work on smaller accounts at the beginning of their career and then manage larger accounts.
As a company invests a significant amount of resources to gain clients, it is crucial for them to collect feedback and ensure that the company provides satisfactory services so that the clients remain loyal to their business. Businesses hire account managers to coordinate these activities. Depending on their performance, they may promote account managers to roles such as vice president of account management or director of accounts.
What are account management skills?
Account management skills are a combination of hard and soft skills necessary to progress in the role successfully. These include client servicing and leadership abilities, among others. An account manager typically manages multiple client accounts while working in an organisation. To make sure that they satisfy their clients with the company's services and products, account manager require skills including communication, collaboration, problem-solving and quick decision-making. Account managers can also enhance their skill set by switching to different industries. Working in different projects of the same organisation, in-house training can improve and diversify your skills.
Account manager skills
Here are some essential skills to become a successful account manager:
Maintaining and building relationships
It is crucial for an account manager to nurture client relationships and ensure that they remain loyal to the company or brand. Building trust with the client requires patience and adaptability to deal with different customer or client demands. An efficient account manager can build connections with distinct personalities to guarantee client satisfaction.
A good account manager listens to the clients' problems with empathy and understanding. This aids them in providing better services to the client, identify the area of concern and initiate the steps to resolve the issue at the earliest possible. Strong interpersonal skills are also required in this role.
Often account managers are solely in charge of the client's account. This means taking control of all activities related to the client's account. Account managers need to lead all team members working on the client account and provide them with clear directions to meet the clients preferences. These leadership skills can help them gain respect not only from their time, but from their clients as well and attain career growth.
Account managers require good written and verbal communication skills. As correspondence is a major part of their daily tasks, it is helpful to have strong communication abilities. They may help to draft messages to the employees and clients. These communications may occur via calls, emails or in-person.
Account managers may work with clients to renew their contracts or even on-board them to the company. For this to be successful, they require excellent negotiation skills. It can help them sell more services to the client to increase revenue. Garnering sales using their negotiation skills is one of the primary job roles of an account manager.
An account manager might have to manage multiple client accounts at the same time. To ensure maximum efficiency, it is important to manage time wisely and have strong organisational and time-management skills. These account management skills can help them complete their tasks on time and efficiently.
One of the key goals of an account manager is to build strong relationships with the company's major clients and customers. Understanding the company and the clients and their requirements is essential to resolve their queries with conviction. The ability to devise strategies to address any client or customer dispute or grievance is a requisite. For this, the account manager requires a thorough understanding of the company's account strategy, goals, budget and market positioning.
Job duties of an account manager
Here are some common tasks an account manager may perform:
Collaborate with internal departments to ensure that they work towards fulfilling client needs.
Collect data to understand consumer behaviour.
Resolve client queries.
Communicate with clients regularly to understand their requirements.
Work on strategies that might improve the performance of client accounts.
Keep record of client activities.
Work towards developing and maintaining long-term relationships with the client.
Work closely with the sales team to gain prospective clients.
Work on forecast reports for individual client accounts.
Service multiple clients simultaneously.
Maintain harmony with team members working on the same client account to provide coordinated service.
How to improve account management skills
There is a lot of scope to develop yourself as an account manager and increase chances of career growth. Here are some steps to improve your skills as an account manager:
1. Attend workshops and short-term courses
An account manager requires to be confident and a good leader in the workplace. Attend workshops or courses that may help you learn these skills. For instance, leadership workshops can teach you how to manage and train employees for client servicing.
2. Participate in industry training
Extensive knowledge about the industry you work for can help you provide solutions to clients and help them overcome any issue with the deliverables or experience. You can gain this expertise is through training provided by senior industry professionals. You can also read blogs, industry articles and request mentorship from successful senior colleagues.
3. Pursue certifications
Another great way to upgrade yourself as an account manager is to earn additional certifications and add them to your resume. This enables you to learn skills that are specific to account management roles. For example, you may opt for certifications that teach you how to develop and maintain customer relationships, building strategies and communication skills.
4. Consider receiving a master's degree
Even though it is not compulsory, it might be helpful to pursue a master's degree in business administration or any specification related to sales and marketing. Most account managers hold a bachelor's degree, but having a master's degree can help you gain competitive advantage. It gives you an opportunity to advance yourself towards a senior position within the industry you work for.
Read more: Management Skills: Definition And Examples
Account manager skills for resume
To impress your potential employer, it is important to highlight your skills on the resume. It requires to clearly mention your soft and hard skills in different sections. One way to do so is to go through the job listing thoroughly and understand job requirements. Then, highlight those skills in your resume to make them feel more confident about your candidature.
Mentioning the work you may have done at your previous workplace can be an advantage while drafting your resume. You can mention these tasks in the experience section of your resume. If you have worked on data collection, add it as well. Showing the responsibilities you have undertaken helps to inform the hiring manager about the experience you can offer to the company. You may also list skills specific to the account management role you are applying for. Elaborate more about the above mentioned in your cover letter for a better impact.
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