Account managers advocate for customers’ needs. This highly competitive role requires the right mix of skills, personality and experience. Read on to learn how to pursue a career as an account manager, salary opportunities and hiring criteria.
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What Does an Account Manager Do?
An account manager is the main point of contact for the firm and brings in new business by liaising between internal staff and customers. Account managers work in various industries, such as advertising, sales, finance and media.
They must build meaningful relationships with their contacts to find the products that best fit their needs. They also serve as liaisons between consumers and internal departments by gathering information and success stories generated from client data and complaints and identifying industry trends.
Candidates should have exceptional communication, computer and problem-solving skills to succeed in this position. You should be resourceful, analytical, adaptable and organized, and able to build rapport with clients.
Account managers are responsible for:
Communication tasks, such as interacting with clients and stakeholders.
Organizational duties include keeping records of client’s contact information and orders.
Technical tasks, such as tracking key account metrics.
Sales tasks, upselling existing clients and bringing in new business.
Identifying industry trends.
Assessing clients’ needs and discussing product value.
Building lasting relationships with clients.
Collaborating with internal departments for consumer insights and fulfillment.
How to Become an Account Manager
Financial manager open positions, which include account managers, are predicted to rise by 5% through 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Professionals in this field can make up to $127,490 per year. Here are the steps to becoming an account manager.
Earn a bachelor’s degree:
To become an account manager, consider a major or minor in business administration, sales, marketing, communications, business management or other related fields.
Consider a master’s degree:
To secure a senior leadership role and increase earning potential, pursue a master’s degree, usually in business or marketing. However, the success of this career relies on experience; employers may see a master’s degree as a substitute for experience requirements.
Some schools offer postgraduate educational or college consulting certificate programs. You can obtain certifications online or on campus. Online programs can usually be completed within a year. The certifications provide career assessment tools, financial planning, testing theories, counseling techniques and a Human Resources Development Model. Here is a list of the best certifications that you can take online:
Create a job-winning resume:
A solid resume will help you introduce yourself as a leading account manager. Showcasing your best credentials will ultimately determine whether you get hired. When submitting your account manager resume, consider matching it to a cover letter for an opportunity to outline your best skills and experience. Check out how other professionals present their qualifications in our professional cover letter samples.
Account Manager Skills
Sales and technical skills are only part of the requirements of a successful account manager. This individual must effectively communicate with various individuals at all levels, from internal staff members to VIP clients and stakeholders. They must anticipate their customer’s needs and be a good problem-solver if an issue arises.
Account manager hard skills:
Account manager soft skills:
Insights from an Account Manager
JobHero connected with John Chie, former Account Manager at Commander, and current CEO at Palo Alto Staffing, who shared his thoughts on pursuing this career choice.
What is the common career path for an Account Manager?
A common path for an Account Manager is to come through inside sales or customer service departments.
What should someone consider before becoming an Account Manager?
It is important to self-assess and decide if you like working with customers every day. Do you feel like you are able to work with difficult situations to retain clients and resolve complex client challenges?
What type of person excels in this job?
A solution-oriented, customer-centric individual who gets pleasure out of satisfying the customer and providing them with high touch service. The position can often require sales skills in both the customer retention part of the position and up-selling additional products to them.
What are some of the most important skills for an Account Manager to have?
Excellent working knowledge of the product or service the customers are purchasing. The ability to think quickly and sometimes deal with difficult customers.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being an Account Manager?
When I was in the role of Account Manager, I found it most rewarding to find a solution to a customer's business problem or when I was able to turnaround a customer that wanted to leave our service so that they stayed onboard.
How Much Do Account Managers Get Paid?
Financial Managers, including Account Managers, make an average of $118,000 per year. The highest paid professionals make $187,200 while the lowest paid make $63,000.
Top 10 States for an Account Manager’s Salary
Financial Managers, including Account Managers, in the following states make the highest median salary in the US.
Account Manager Resources
Utilize these resources to find more information about a career as an Account Manager.
On the Web
Certified Strategic Account Manager (SAMA)
SAMA’s certification program was developed to proactively promote world-class management practices in strategic account management.
Global Account Manager Certification Program (GCP)
A five-module, certification program that transforms high potential account managers into true global business leaders.
Account Manager Group
Account Managers and Executives across all industries focused on client and customer relationship operations and development through sales and marketing.
Channel, Sales & Account Management Experts
A group for Channel Managers, Account Managers and Salespeople to connect together and share experiences and best practice in sales & marketing.
The Seven Keys to Managing Strategic Accounts
Provides decision makers with a proactive program for profitably managing their largest, most critical customers--their strategic accounts.
Key Account Management: The Definitive Guide, Edition 3
Distilled, practical wisdom for key account managers and their directors.