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An account manager is a person who manages client accounts for a specific company. They deal with sales while representing the image of the company that they work for. For example, in the agricultural field, an account manager can work for a feed/seed company and deal with their clients to provide them with material needs. Account managers can be found in all industries. It is normal for account managers to have quotas they must meet; exceeding them can provide bonuses, and falling short could have negative repercussions. An account manager must be someone with exceptional communications and listening skills. It is important to understand the needs of clientele to maintain their business. The account manager is usually the only person the client deals with on behalf of the company.
Account Manager Duties
- Providing clientele with proposals
- Providing management with reports and data on results - can be quarterly, annually, semi-annual, etc.
- Analysing data, determining results and reporting to management
- Meeting with new and established clients
- Presenting to clients and management
- Goal setting
- Determining the client's requirements
- Provide customer service to client base to manage disruptions
- Meet or exceed set quotas
- Networking to meet new clients
- Maintain strong relationships with clients
- Marketing / consulting agencies
- Commercial organisations
- Agricultural companies - feed, farm equipment, seed, livestock management, pest control, etc.
- Construction industry
- Real estate
- Pharmaceutical companies
- All kinds of businesses / corporations
- Human resource companies
- Insurance companies
- Sales companies
Account managers are required in all industries that require sales and service, it all depends on the size of the company to determine the number of account managers.
Required Education and Training
The type of education an account manager has depends on the field or industry they are working in. For example, an account manager working in the agriculture industry should have some education in agriculture so they can understand their clients' needs thoroughly and recommend the correct products or services. In fields that are highly technical, further education may be required such as sciences, pharmaceuticals, and more. On top of having industry specific education, it is important to have a business-related degree such as accounting, finance, business management, marketing, or business administration. However, in addition to education, employers will look at past experiences and skills, as this is just as important as education.
Key Skills and Qualities
- Excellent listening skills
- Great verbal and written communications skills
- Sales and marketing skills
- Negotiation skills
- Relationship building skills
- Customer service skills
- Highly effective problem solving abilities
- Effective team working abilities
- Great attention to detail
- Strong financial and analytical skills
- Organisational skills
Account managers can be compensated in many ways. They typically receive a base salary and receive commissions and / or bonuses on top; some companies have it set so it is all commission based. On average an account manager can make £32,500, not including bonuses or commissions. This can range from £25,000 - £42,500 annually. Commissions typically depend on the number of clients / sales an account manager brings in (based on the value). Bonuses can vary depending on how the account manager did or how the company did overall. These compensations vary by company and industry.