Your account managers have a challenging role: they have to balance the demands of your clients with your business needs. Their roles often include business growth, project management and backroom support.
With so many expectations upon them, it takes those with a special set of traits to be the very best account managers. Here are five of the most essential traits.
Account managers will have a number of different projects working concurrently. Each project is likely to be with different clients and internal stakeholders. The speed at which work will be thrown at them to complete can be pretty fast and would daunt a great number of people.
Therefore the best account managers are extremely organised; they will be clearly aware of what stage each project is at and what needs to be completed next.
Of course this doesn’t mean it is all in their head. They could simply utilise good spreadsheets, diaries or records in order to perform this duty.
2. Excellent Business Judgement
An account manager must have the best interests of the business at heart first and foremost. Because their work often includes identifying opportunities and selling to clients they need to have good business judgment. This means they know the risks and advantages of taking on certain work, what price it can be done for at a profit and whether certain clients might be interested in new offerings.
To do this, the account manager will need to objectively consider huge amounts of data, experience and gut instinct to arrive at a solution. Once they have calculated the best plan of action they will execute their plan.
It doesn’t matter what sector or where in the world you operate, your account managers should be highly knowledgeable your industry and business. They will embrace and enact your business’ core values and set out to achieve the strategic goals and mission.
They will also know their competitors extremely well. They will understand the strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities of all the options which are available on the market. From this they will draw up plans on how to successfully compete and push your products / services to the clients.
There is nothing more important for an account manager than to be customer / relationship orientated. The best account managers will gain the trust of their clients by nurturing relationships and will be aiming for long term success of the business.
By going that extra mile, being honest about prices, terms and processes, and consistent over the long period will make clients feel valued.
With the trust that they build with their clients they will generate loyalty from your customers, even if a better priced solution is out there.
5. Results Orientated.
Having an aspect of sales within a job description almost automatically guarantees that the account manager needs to be motivated by results. It can be difficult to judge success outside sales analysis and with account managers it isn’t always about how much they sell. Sometimes it’s about deadlines being met or projects coming in under budget.
A good account manager will also be proactive in business decisions, self auditing and inspire new projects to help your business grow.
Being the best account manager is difficult; there are many demands in this tough job. If you have an applicant or a current account manager with the right traits you should keep hold of them. They are likely to develop strong business-client relationships, generate significant income and continue to support your business in more ways than you can count.
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