An account manager works as an ambassador of a company, builds relationships, and generates sales.
To do their work efficiently, account managers need to understand the features of the company’s products and services.
With the necessary skills, education, and training, account managers can successfully serve their company and customers.
In the article below, you will find a comprehensive overview of the account manager position, including career outlook, working hours, and more.
Article Table of Contents
What Does an Account Manager Do
Account managers should inform, persuade, and encourage the buyers of the goods and services of the company.
This position deals with customer service and sales.
Account managers should communicate the features of services and goods, improve customer satisfaction, give advice for the improvement, and answer customers’ questions.
Account managers should be skilled in building and maintaining relations with customers.
- Demonstrating, explaining, and showing new products to current and potential customers.
- Recommending or suggesting services, goods, and additional features to meet the clients’ needs, preferences, and interests.
- Delivering or sending out catalogs, product samples, and other sales items, service descriptions, and literature to customers.
- Informing customers of prices, discounts, services, and warranties.
- Providing customer support.
- Collecting customers’ feedback about the services, company, or satisfaction with goods or services.
- Finding potential customers at trade shows, obtaining and following leads and referrals from existing or previous clients.
- Review industry or business trends for impact on accounts and customers.
Responsibilities of account managers can depend on the setting or sector.
For instance, account managers in the commercial or industrial sector have to frequently visit sites to show how to use the equipment.
Account managers in pharmaceuticals may work with physicians informing them of regulations or formularies of insurance companies.
In the financial or securities area, account managers have to monitor and explain the market conditions to the client and direct them with the investment decisions.
Account managers should provide clear, informative as well as persuasive answer and descriptions to clients.
They should also carefully listen to customers’ concerns, questions, and recommendations.
Written communication skills include providing terms of sales, warranties, or refund policies.
Account managers should be able to influence or change customer behavior to attract customers and generate sales.
Account managers should build relations with customers.
With interpersonal skills, account managers can get a full understanding of customer’s needs, convey concern, and willingness to serve the customer.
Computer and technological:
Account managers use computers, applications, and wireless devices in their work.
They can schedule appointments and calls with customer service management software as well as new service or product suggestions, tips, etc.
They should also efficiently use emails, database systems, and analysis software.
How to Become an Account Manager
Account managers need education, training, and experience in the industry of the employer.
This is especially true for the aspiring account managers entering the commercial or industrial sales area.
Additionally, some employers may provide training for entry-level account managers to learn the products, operations, and other aspects of the company.
Training and Qualifications
Usually, account managers have some college degree.
As O*NET reports, about 77% of account managers hold a bachelor’s degree.
In non-technical industries, a high school diploma and some sales experience may be enough.
However, those employers who sell technical, scientific, or other specific products, are likely to require a college education or bachelor’s degree.
Account managers aspiring in a particular field can qualify for the position with coursework in this specific area.
For example, account managers working for the companies manufacturing medical devices need courses or degrees in healthcare, biology, chemistry, or engineering.
Financial account managers may have to study business administration, finance, securities, or banking.
Account managers dealing with securities should be registered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority as well.
An account manager should be familiar with the products and services of the company.
Such training can take about one year with a focus on educating the trainee about the products and other essential aspects of the company.
Typically, account managers can gain work experience in sales or customer service positions.
Some companies provide training and supervised work which will bring the experience to the entry-level employees and may eventually lead to the position of an account manager.
Some manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, especially those involved in technology and narrow specializations, may require a candidate to have experience as an account manager or in their industry.
Some employers may hire account managers based on the combination of their skills.
They usually expect the managers to have education or experience in the industry of the employer.
O*NET categorizes account managers with the sales representatives, and project the employment rate of those to increase by 5-8% by 2024.
This translated to 392,300 job openings.
The top employers for account managers are “Wholesale Trade” and “Manufacturing” companies.
The best employment prospects exist among manufacturers and wholesalers.
Retailers use customer service reps at call centers, as well as online support reps, and knowledge bases.
On the other hand, account managers are in demand in business-to-business companies.
There they should interact with customers, by answering their questions or visiting them.
In wholesale and manufacturing, the expertise and services of account managers are harder to replace.
According to O*NET, the median salary of account managers and other sales reps was $55,730 annually, as of May 2015.
The median salary for manufacturing and wholesale areas was $76,190.
Additionally, with more experience and better performance, account managers can move up to the position of a sales manager or other executives in sales.
Account managers’ responsibilities include attracting and keeping customers with their companies.
They need in-depth knowledge of products and services and external factors to build relations with the clients and guide their decisions.
In technical and scientific equipment manufacturing, account managers should know the industry well.
Employment opportunities for account managers are strong in the industrial and commercial sectors compared to the retailers.
Account managers are in demand in the business-to-business area.
The reason for this is their expertise in answering and explaining technical questions and features.