Strategic Account Manager Job Description
Strategic account managers create and maintain large accounts with the sole purpose of generating strategic growth for their employer. This means that strategic account managers are often responsible for fewer accounts that are much larger in size and revenue. They are charismatic and work extremely well with people. This position also requires extensive experience in account management. Strategic account managers work in traditional office settings but often travel to client offices for meetings. They’re usually expected to work traditional office hours but can work varying hours of the day depending on their clients’ needs. Strategic account managers often work independently, but they typically report directly to the vice president of strategic accounts or similar management.
Strategic Account Manager Duties and Responsibilities
Specific job duties for strategic account managers vary between different employers. However, there are several core tasks common to all strategic account managers:
Establish and Maintain Client Relationships
The primary responsibility of a strategic account manager is to establish and maintain product relationships with large clients, both new and old. These accounts are often assigned directly to the strategic account manager from upper management.
Coordinate Support for Clients
Supporting large clients requires the involvement of many other personnel. Strategic account managers coordinate this support and involvement. This includes identifying which staff can help with client accounts and how they can be of service.
Create Client Strategy
Strategic account managers are responsible for creating an appropriate sales strategy for each of their clients. They identify what needs the client has and create strategies to meet those needs.
Report on Strategy and Sales
Upper management is often directly involved with large client accounts like the ones that strategic account managers maintain. Because of this, strategic account managers are responsible for providing comprehensive reports on client sales and strategy.
Answer Client Concerns
Strategic account managers are the client’s first point of contact with the company. As such, they need to be on call to answer client questions and concerns. They are knowledgeable about everything their employer provides so they can accurately answer any questions or concerns.
Strategic Account Manager Skills and Qualifications
Strategic account managers are excellent planners and salespeople. They are dedicated and loyal, providing clients with a high level of support. Most employers hire candidates who have extensive backgrounds in account management along with at least an undergraduate level of education. Strategic account managers also demonstrate the following qualifications and skills:
- Account management – successful strategic account managers have an extensive amount of account management experience. They know the ins and outs of managing high-profile cases and all the complications that might be involved
- Sales experience – strategic account managers are skilled salespeople, which includes in-depth knowledge of everything their employer offers in the way of products or services
- Team management – managing strategic accounts often involves a large team, and strategic account managers are skilled team managers. They know how to involve every member of the team and manage conflict when it arises
- Communication skills – managing accounts appropriately requires a lot of communication, and strategic account managers know how to communicate well. They use their skills to express ideas clearly and efficiently to better provide value to their clients
- Customer service – strategic account managers are customer-service oriented, and they understand the principles behind creating an excellent experience for any of their clients
Tools of the Trade
Strategic account managers employ many tools in their workflow, including the following:
- Client relationship management software (Salesforce, Zoho, HubSpot, Insightly)
- Project management software (Basecamp, Asana, Workfront)
- Microsoft Office Suite (especially Outlook and Word)
Strategic Account Manager Education and Training
Employers hire strategic account managers who have at least a bachelor’s degree in business management or a related field. However, many employers value experience over education and will often take that into account over a candidate’s specific degree. Strategic account managers often also go through on-the-job training to get caught up with their employer’s current client list and products.
Strategic Account Manager Salary and Outlook
According to PayScale, strategic account managers make a median annual salary of around $76,000. This annual salary can vary depending on previous experience – and to some extent, education – with strategic account managers on the high end making around $120,000 per year, and those on the low end making around $50,000 per year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), strategic account managers can expect to experience job growth of around 7 percent over the next 10 years.
Read some of these helpful resources to learn more about becoming a strategic account manager and the responsibilities it entails:
Account Manager Tips – if you need quick and easy-to-digest tips on being a strategic account manager, check out this website. It’s regularly updated and covers a wide variety of topics, like the top three qualities of account managers and how to become an account manager. It also includes job resources and video content
Customer Growth Blog – this blog contains a wealth of information for any kind of account manager looking to increase their clientele. It’s regularly updated and covers topics like customer retention and building trust
The Art of Client Service – this book is billed as a “practical guide for providing exceptional customer service,” which is an essential skill for strategic account managers. The text builds a pathway to success for each reader, touching on topics like building and regaining trust with clients
The New Successful Large Account Management: Maintaining and Growing Your Most Important Assets – Your Customers – this book is dedicated to helping you manage and maintain large clients, which are the clients that most strategic account managers work with. It delves into topics like the different long-term strategies account managers can implement with their clients
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