How to Become an Account Manager

If you think you can excel in the sales field and have the disposition to be a good manager, you may be considering a position as an Account Manager. This article will provide all the information you need about typical Account Manager job tasks, required skills as well as average pay and job prospects.

 

What Does an Account Manager Do?

An Account Manager is the main point of contact for their firm’s clients. This position is responsible for managing client relationships and bringing in new business by serving as a liaison between internal staff and customers. Account Managers work in many different industries, such as advertising, sales, finance and media.

Account Managers are responsible for:

  • Communication tasks, such as interacting with clients and stakeholders
  • Organizational tasks, such as keeping records of clients’ contact information, orders, etc.
  • Technical tasks, such as tracking key account metrics
  • Sales tasks, such as upselling existing clients and bringing in new business

Account Manager Skills

Having sales and technical skills is only part of the requirements of being a successful Account Manager. This individual must be able to effectively communicate with a variety of individuals at all levels, from internal staff members to VIP clients and stakeholders. They must be able to anticipate their customers’ needs, often without being told, and be a good problem solver in case an issue arises.

Other key Account Manager skills include:

  • Ability to multi-task
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Good negotiation skills
  • Excellent relationship building skills

 

How Do You Become an Account Manager?

Education and Training

In a survey of open Account Managers positions throughout the country, we found that most preferred applicants to possess a bachelor’s of business administration (BBA) degree. These degrees prepare candidates for their future role by offering classes in management, finance, communication, business and accounting.

Some industries, such as public relations or marketing, accept candidates with a bachelor’s degree in those fields. To further chances of advancing in this career path, it is recommended to receive a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

An internship in the field of customer service, sales or administration can help in securing a job.

Finding a job

Financial Manager open positions, which include Account Managers, are predicted to rise by 7 percent through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This will create 37,700 new jobs in the next eight years.

A well-written Account Manager resume will include educational and professional experience, as well as skills that will make you succeed in this role.

Utilize JobHero’s lists of Account Manager job openings throughout the country.

When writing a cover letter to state why you are interested in a position as an Account Manager, make sure to highlight personality traits that would make you excel in the field, such as leadership and communication qualities.

 

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.

  1. New York – $165,600
  2. New Jersey – $143,800
  3. Delaware – $142,000
  4. District of Columbia – $139,500
  5. Colorado – $137,000
  6. Virginia – $132,400
  7. Pennsylvania – $131,000
  8. California – $129,500
  9. Texas – $128,900
  10. Rhode Island – $126,600

 

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.

On LinkedIn

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.

Books

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.

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