Relationship Manager Job Description
A relationship manager strives to develop positive relationships with either the customers or firms that a company does business with. Customer relationship managers strive to help a company retain current customers by analyzing and meeting each customer’s individual needs. They function as a trusted and loyal advisor regarding business challenges clients are facing via identifying competitive threats and recommending helpful strategies to help clients realize their business goals. Business relationship managers work with internal departments in a large company, as well as suppliers and other firms the company has a relationship with, to improve communication and strengthen loyalty, with the end goal of increasing profits.
Relationship Manager Duties and Responsibilities
No matter if the relationship manager is focused on the customer side or the business side, there are some common general core tasks. Based on our review of job listings, these include:
Relationship managers understand, at least in a broad sense, the service or product offerings of clients and businesses they work with. Relationship managers develop and maintain a solid network with expert individuals who can assist in achieving customer or business goals, and embrace the fact that it will take the expertise of many to be successful.
Developing and Maintaining a Personal Network
The relationship manager is known as an expert in one or more areas by both colleagues and clients in the industry. He or she has an established personal network to call upon for referrals and references and can offer value to any relationship he or she creates. The relationship manager is also able to consistently form new relationships.
Assessing Needs of Customer or Business
A relationship manager understands business functions or customer goals to create possible strategies. The relationship manager also analyzes all benefits, risks, and costs of proposed strategies to determine whether they are viable.
Participating in Planning Sessions
Helping customers or businesses develop a framework for improvement is a key duty of a relationship manager. For example, the manager will identify key processes to achieve successful results and document a plan of action.
To ensure clients are satisfied with their products and services, relationship managers must conduct satisfaction surveys and reviews. Additionally, they must monitor performance results against plans in action and flag potential issues for further review.
Relationship Manager Skills and Qualifications
Relationship managers work in a variety of industries and are experts at networking. Employers also look for applicants who possess the following abilities:
- Verbal and written communication skills – because relationship managers are expected to reach out to contacts, clients, experts, and people in various departments of a company, excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential to building trust and respect
- Team management skills – the relationship manager doesn’t achieve results on his or her own. Rather he or she develops and leads a team with members that exemplify the right combination of skills and experience for each particular client or business
- Relationship-building skills – a relationship manager builds trust with clients by demonstrating integrity and professional competence consistently. He or she is also empathetic and demonstrates a genuine interest in client and business needs. Progressing relationships in a positive direction is a relationship manager’s specialty
- Thought leadership skills – a successful relationship manager is recognized as an expert and cited in publications as such. Clients clamor to have a relationship manager’s input when discussing strategy or operations goals, and are open to his or her influence when it comes to decision making
- Interpersonal skills – the ability to project charisma, adjust tone, and develop a strong rapport with a diverse group of clientele is crucial to a relationship manager’s success
Relationship Manager Education and Training
When hiring relationship managers, employers typically require a bachelor’s degree in management, marketing, communications, public relations, or other related fields, along with several years of proven work experience. Some universities offer customer relationship management certifications at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that can be added to a degree.
Relationship Manager Salary and Outlook
PayScale lists the national median annual salary for a relationship manager as $65,487 with a median hourly wage of $31.48. A relationship manager in the 10th percentile earns approximately $41,654 a year (or $20.02 an hour), while the highest paid in the field make $119,338 a year ($57.37 hourly).
Relationship Manager Helpful Resources
When trying to decide whether a career as a relationship manager is right for you, it might help to find out more. We’ve made it convenient by searching the web to find some of the best industry resources for relationship managers:
Inside CRM – Inside CRM has established itself as an industry leader in research and information for sales and marketing professionals who want to get the latest CRM news, research, and advice.
Business Relationship Management Institute (BRMI) – BRM Institute provides world-class professional membership and development programs to advance the art and discipline of business relationship management worldwide.
Customer Relationship Management: The Foundation of Contemporary Marketing Strategy – this second edition, co-authored by Roger J. Baran and Robert J. Galka, provides students with a comprehensive overlook into the world of customer relationship management through case studies, key terms, questions, and exercises.
Customer Relationship Management: Concept, Strategy, and Tools – co-authors V. Kumar and Werner Reinartz detail the strategic aspects of customer relationship management, making this a comprehensive guide for undergrads to executives.
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