When it comes to keeping the customers engaged and satisfied, the role of an account manager cannot be over-emphasized. There are many aspects that fit into the criteria of an account manager job description. But what differentiates them from others is that they are the key persons who oversee the relationship with the client. They are able to determine the client’s short-term and long-term needs and ensure that the company delivers them.
They serve as the link between their employer and the specific client accounts they look after. If a client gets stuck while using the company’s product then the account manager steps in to resolve the issue. They know exactly who to reach to for the right solution.
The account manager comes into picture only after the marketing and sales professionals have done their jobs. How they differ from the sales people in large organizations is that the sales people focus on bringing new customers. Unlike in smaller organizations where their responsibilities overlap in some areas.
They bring in business through actions such as cold calling or following up on the leads generated through marketing efforts.
After the customer on-boarding, the sales department hands them over to the account manager. They give them a proper briefing on the customer’s profile, goals and other information. This helps an account manager to foster a positive relationship with the new client.
The above brief up is just to elaborate where the account manager stands in an organization. Now, let’s look at the essential attributes you must mention while building an effective account manager job description. This would help you attract the right candidate to your firm.
As an employer, clear communication comes at the top of the desired skills you look for in an account manager. It is the most important part of their daily work activities. They have to interact with all kinds of roles in multiple levels in both the client and the host organizations.
They must be able to communicate their thoughts clearly to the C-suite executives. At the same time coordinate with the product managers and representatives from the sales department.
A clear flow of information between different teams and departments to fulfill client’s needs is facilitated by the account managers. Hence, they must know whom to contact and for what information. They should be able to speak in the language and terminologies which others understand.
Expertise of product and customer
There are mainly two key attributes needed in an account manager to develop a working relationship with their customers. They are: the sound knowledge of the product their company is offering; the customer’s niche, if not the technical knowledge.
Only by possessing this knowledge would they be able to add value to the customer business and guide them towards the right solutions.
Out of all the accounts appointed to the account manager, the key client needs special attention and expects best service. Hence, they should not be served with the off-the-shelf solutions. The solutions must be properly customized to meet the clients needs and blend with their business.
Hence, the account manager should be able to understand all parts of the business. They should know how that are going to work together to provide the bespoke solutions to the clients.
For advanced technical involvement in the configuration of the client systems the right persons in servicing team must be appointed. All this has to be done by Account Manager while keeping the accountability up to themselves.
To develop business the account manager orchestrate various actions strategically to build long-term and fruitful relations with the customer.
Their strategy should be able to consider all aspects of the customer’s journey. They should be able to gauge the depth of relationship with customers before approaching them for any new deals.
The account manager should timely approach the customer. And every interaction must add some value to them. That’s how they develop a long-term relationship over a period of time.
The account managers must not be eager to sell new deals to the customer and they must be patient to bring clients to the right mindset, through adding continuous value to meet their expectations and sometimes even surpassing them, before they present them with new offerings for further expansion of the business.
Best account managers are great leaders. They must be able to direct customers and lead employees to move the business forward. Even though they are not into technical development of the service or the product, they must earn respect from the technical team. A command for the completion of the job to fulfill customer’s needs is what they should possess.
They must be able to create the right balance between what they are serving to the customer and the growth of their own business to steer the internal team into the right direction. A clear vision for the company and a capability to lead initiatives with the help of their team is what separates a great account manager from a good one.
Creating a bigger lifetime value of a customer is one of the most important account manager responsibilities and should be added in the account manager job description.
Although the customer interest must be kept at priority, it is equally important for them to be able to negotiate with customers to make them agree on their terms and conditions.
They have to keep in mind what customers are demanding and how feasible it is for their team to deliver. They must refrain to promise something that would later turn out to be an overload for the team.
Hence, an account manager should have a greater sense of timing in their interaction with the customer and must possess a clear judgment about what to ask for and when to push back the customer.
These are the broader attributes one should look for while hiring an account manager. But the core skills that a candidate must possess while applying for the managerial positions cannot be overlooked. Those skills include multi-tasking, attention to details, problem solving skills and an ability to empathize with the clients.
In most of the cases the account managers would be directly reporting to the higher executive managers and hence they must be able to align their account’s vision with that of the company.
They should be able to create strategies to be able to achieve long-term goals of the business while keeping the customer satisfied at all stages of development.
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