The Definitive Guide: How To Become An Account Manager
Are you chatty, friendly, confident and great with people?
If this sounds like you, with the combination of being hardworking, persuasive and sales driven, then an Account Manager position could be perfect for you.
What is an Account Manager?
So, what does a Account Manager actually do?
As an account manager you will be working in an office environment and have the responsibility of managing a portfolio of clients, building relationships and generating sales of certain companies, usually B2B. You will need to be a people person, as you will be liaising with clients over the phone, via email and in person. As well as delivering great customer service, you will be increasing sales by acting as the first point of contact and keeping your clients happy. This includes working with clients to identify their needs and meet their requirements. In order to be a successful Account Manager, you will need to invest time in getting to know your clients and in understanding them. Ultimately, you are there to keep the client happy and ensure that they continue to make purchases.
You will need to periodically contact your clients to check and persuade them to make a purchase or you will need to chase payment, so it may seem as though your calls are sometimes unwanted, however this is where your people skills will come in handy. You will need to build a relationship with your clients in order to create loyalty.
Hours of Work
Typical office hours could be any time from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, however you may need to be flexible and work evenings or some weekends depending on the industry, the company and the workload. Account Managers are expected to travel to meet clients and attend networking events.
So, what will your main responsibilities be as an Account Manager?
Duties typically include:
- Liaising with clients over the phone, via email and in person
- Responding to client inquiries
- Building and maintaining relationships
- Ensuring that clients pay on time
- Administrative duties
- Selling products
- Attracting new clients
- Keeping up to date with clients and their business strategies
Key Account Manager qualifications
Now that you know what an Account Manager does, do you have the qualifications to get the job?
Typically, employers will prefer to hire degree-educated candidates in fields such as business administration, business management, marketing, communications or PR. Some other courses you could look into are:
Vital Account Manager Skills
Want to know if you’ve got what it takes? These are the skills you’ll need for the role
Aside from the obvious; excellent customer service and communication skills, you will need:
- Administrative skills
- Organisational skills
- Works well under pressure
- Good listener
- Ability to work towards and hit targets
- Ability to negotiate and sell
- Ability to work towards deadlines
What is an Account Manager’s salary?
How much will you take home?
The salary will depend on the size of the company and the location, however the average salary ranges from around £18,000 - £30,000. You will also earn commission on top of that – which means the harder you work, the more you will earn.
How to become an Account Manager
Now that you know what an Account Manager does, how do you become one?
Aside from any qualifications you may have, it is beneficial to have some previous customer service or sales experience on your CV. Some employers may offer training schemes however those who apply with some prior experience will be favoured over those who don’t.
Even if you don’t have account management experience, as long as you have had any customer-facing role, this will benefit you, as you will already know how to deal with customer queries, complaints and generating sales.
You will need to show how outgoing and friendly you are during your interview, as this is a trait that employers will be looking for. You could have the highest-level qualification, but if you don’t show that you have the skills or experience to do the job well then you may find it difficult to get the job.
How to develop your Account Manager career
The next step after gaining experience and proving yourself as an Account Manager is progressing to a Senior Account Manager, which gives you more responsibility and some authority, of course with a higher salary.
If you wish to continue to climb the ladder, you could even progress even further to an account director, or take further training to become a brand manager, marketing manager or sales manager. There are many opportunities within the sales, marketing and communications fields for you to explore.
If you are enjoying the role, but want to step it up a notch, you could choose to work for a larger company, with a bigger client base.
You can find some of the best Account Manager roles with brands such as Gail's Bakery, Debenhams, Firmdale Hotels and more.
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