Q&A: What Is a Strategy Manager? (With Duties and Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 9 August 2021

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.

Strategy managers are professionals who set goals for improvement by developing strategies for long- and short-term objectives. Many successful strategy managers have extensive educational backgrounds and advanced skills. If you are interested in becoming a strategy manager, it is important to learn more about what they do and how much they earn. In this article, we explore what is a strategy manager, their responsibilities, necessary skills, career opportunities, annual salary and the steps you can follow to become one.

Related: What Is the Role of a Manager?

What is a strategy manager?

Strategy managers are the individuals responsible for curating an organisation's long- and short-term growth plans. They assess the organisation's overall goals, determine if they are realistic and collaborate with executives to plan actionable goals and timelines. Strategy managers also assess organisations' strengths, weaknesses and potentials and create strategies to maximise their efficiency. They implement processes to cultivate growth within an organisation.

Strategy manager positions involve strategic thinking and problem-solving. These professionals usually hold advanced leadership positions in their organisations. They can find work in most industries, including finance and insurance, public administration, manufacturing, healthcare, accommodation and food services.

What does a strategy manager do?

A strategy manager has several key responsibilities such as analysing data, recommending business objectives and setting organisational goals. Here are the responsibilities of a strategy manager:

Analyse data

Strategy managers perform data analysis by evaluating their organisation and industry to suggest effective strategies for improvement. They compare their company's products and services to that of their competitors to identify areas for improvement. A strategy manager may also gather data to curate annual metric reports.

Develop strategies to achieve business goals

A strategy manager's primary responsibility is recommending intelligent, strategic and viable steps to achieve the company's overall business goals. They may focus on many projects and curate a comprehensive model for the company's growth and trajectory. This also involves making financial and statistical models to highlight the return on investments and set expectations for the results of their strategies. A strategy manager's recommendations can involve changes in the company's internal structures, workplace culture, product or service offerings, development strategies or price structures.

Related: Your Guide To the Strategic Management Process

Collaborate with other departments

Business strategy managers work with other departments to execute their plans after approval. For example, they may work with finance, human resources and development teams. Strategy managers may collaborate with the finance team for budgeting purposes, communicate with the human resources team to hire new employees, re-train or replace existing employees and make product or service recommendations to the development team.

What skills does a strategy manager need?

A strategy manager is an analytical thinker with creative problem-solving and leadership capabilities. They translate complex ideas and data into easily understandable reports . Therefore, the strategy manager role calls for a broad range of hard and soft skills. Strategy managers typically have the following soft skills:

  • Project management

  • Multitasking capability

  • Mathematical knowledge

  • Statistical knowledge

  • Decision-making skills

  • Effective communication

  • Analytical skills

  • Financial analysis

  • Organisational skills

  • Marketing skills

  • Product development skills

Strategy managers may also have the following hard skills:

  • VRIO analysis

  • BCG matrix

  • Microsoft Office

  • SWOT analysis

  • Balanced scorecards

Related: Importance of Soft Skills in the Workplace

How do you become a strategy manager?

Strategy managers require a broad understanding of business processes. To succeed as a strategic manager, it's important to undergo several years of advanced education and training. Here are the steps you can follow to become a strategy manager:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

After graduating from high school, earn a bachelor's degree in a relevant program, such as business administration, economics, finance or industrial management. These programs set the foundation for your specialisation in strategic management in the future and equip you to work across various industries. Depending on the university, course and your work ethic, you may earn your bachelor's degree in three to four years.

The following are the most relevant bachelor's degrees to pursue:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration

  • Bachelor of Management Studies

  • Bachelor of Business Management

  • Bachelor of Commerce

2. Gain entry-level work experience

After earning your bachelor's degree, consider seeking initial work experience. Pursue opportunities within a relevant field that interests you. If you want to become a strategy manager in healthcare, for example, gain initial work experience at a hospital or medical clinic. Not only does this give you additional knowledge within this specialisation, but it may also impress your future hiring managers in the healthcare field.

3. Earn a master's degree

Consider furthering your skills and with a master's degree in business administration. Pursuing a master's degree can improve your qualifications and increase your chance of receiving an offer for a strategy management position. You can usually complete a master's degree in one to two years, depending on the program and university.

4. Pursue industry-specific certifications

Consider pursuing an industry certification to help you advance your abilities and make your resume more effective. While undergoing an executive certificate program is not unnecessary, it sharpens your skills and may increase your chances of career advancement. Before applying for a certification program, you may need to acquire two to three years of work experience. Both IIM Bangalore and IIM Kozhikode offer strategic management courses.

5. Gain professional work experience

Pursue professional work experience to help you further refine your skills and improve your resume. As you gain more experience, you may qualify for high-level strategy manager roles. You may also manage more responsibilities like leading large teams, coordinating with executive teams and adopting mentorship roles.

Related: How To Make a Resume (With Examples)

What career possibilities are available for strategy managers?

As a strategy manager, you can pursue various career possibilities and roles, including:

Business analyst

A business analyst, or systems analyst, is an expert who examines the functions, operations and business plans within an organisation and offers suggestions for improved efficiency. They identify problems within the business model and propose solutions while developing new strategies and plans for success. They may also participate in quality checks and training sessions for other team members.

Compliance officer

Compliance offers ensure adherence to policies and procedures within organisations. They maintain regulatory standards and aim to avoid errors or issues with violation of laws or industry rules. Depending on the size of an organisation, compliance officers may function as members of their own compliance department, or they may work independently. Compliance officers also help reduce the amount a company pays in fines each year.

Financial analyst

A financial analyst is a professional who prepares financial reports and projections using data. They evaluate a company's current financial situation and offer suggestions for improvement. Strategy is very important for financial analysts, who create plans for financial gain and improvement regarding profits and expenditures.

Marketing consultant

A marketing consultant is a marketing expert who can work independently or with others in a firm to assist companies by marketing their services, brand and products. These consultants offer their clients specific expertise on how to take advantage of marketing software and attract high volumes of clients. They facilitate better search engine optimisation, provide social media marketing, create content like videos and articles, strategise and direct marketing plans.

Project manager

Project managers are leaders who plan for success and oversee the completion of projects. They develop actionable plans for projects, gather experts to create effective teams, collaborate with other professionals, manage the financial aspects of each project and provide training and coaching to their team members. Project managers have advanced skills including leadership, management, financial knowledge, team-building, negotiation and quality assurance.

Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master

How much do strategy managers earn?

The average annual salary for a strategy manager is ₹7,79,400 per year. Their earnings can vary depending on many factors including their location, experience, education and how long they have been with their company. For example, the city with the highest-earning salary for strategy managers is Gurgaon, with an average annual salary of ₹12,44,418 per year.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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