Of all the sales roles out there, the job of the account manager is one of the more important ones. Tasked with being the face of the company, an accounts manager will work with both existing and prospective customers. The job is fundamentally about giving customers what they need to make their lives better, or their operation run more smoothly or profitably. From showing existing customers what fresh goods and services are available that will help through to working out how best to assist a new customer, the account manager role is all about securing additional business at the same time as providing outstanding customer care.
What tasks will an account manager perform?
Whilst the exact job specification will vary from company to company, in general, account managers will:
- Develop and maintain excellent relationships with current and prospective customers
- Provide a customer care service: answering technical queries, giving notice of updates or improvements
- Inform customers about fresh products, services or ways of working which will genuinely enhance their business
- Maintain relationships with stakeholders and other key partnersCompile, analyse and present sales reports
- Work towards achieving corporate sales targets and strategic objectives
What qualities are needed to be a successful account manager?
The key skill any account manager needs is the ability to communicate successfully. The role is very much about being a "people person": someone who has a genuine desire to listen to the needs of others and help them get what they require to meet those needs. It requires empathy and the ability to listen, understand what's required and provide it. Forget hard sells and steamrollering buyers into submission! Account managers must be able to relate and be relatable. They also need strong technical knowledge in their chosen field, so that they can speak with authority on their products and/or services.
What is the pay and/or commission like?
The average salary for an account manager is around £32,500 (somewhere between £20k - £40k). Account managers are usually paid a mixture of a basic salary plus commission, depending on sales volume. Commission, bonuses and profit sharing figures vary. For account manager jobs in London, candidates can expect to receive around 40K pa in salary, along with around 47K in commission, bonuses and related benefits. Salaries, commission and other benefits vary considerably depending on location, sector and the size of the sales being generated.
Where can account managers work?
Account managers are needed in virtually every sector! From selling primary manufacturing materials through to selling advertising, consumer goods, machinery, pharmaceuticals and more: most companies who sell their goods and/or services will employ one or more account managers. Account managers may work within a discreet sales team, or be part of a more general marketing/publicity role. In smaller companies, account managers will often have a more generic role, charged with maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty, whatever that may take.
An account manager role is key to the success of any company's sales strategy. If you want the challenge of using your company's goods to give customers what they need for success, an account manager role could be just what you're looking for.
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