What does an account manager do?

Account manager job description

The account manager’s work is awe-inspiring due to the varied everyday work. Those who hate the thought of 40 hours a week in front of the computer could find this position as an excellent alternative to conventional commercial activities.

The account manager’s main task is to acquire new and existing customers – to a certain extent, he forms the link between the company and its customers. This happens in particular through personal contact. The direct dialogue with the (potential) customer can be described as the most important sales representative’s responsibility. Here he/she represents the company and its products or services.

As part of the acquisition of new customers, potential clients must be researched, usually in B2B (business-to-business). The focus is on companies that might be interested in the range of services to be sold. With whom, ideally, a long-term, high-turnover business relationship could be entered into.

The first contact can also be omitted from the account manager’s range of tasks. The potential customer can be approached by phone, email, or a personal introduction. Appointments of this kind must be prepared thoroughly. For example, the salesperson must present his / her offer convincingly and research as much knowledge as possible about the requirements and needs of his / her counterpart. This is the only way to ensure a productive basis for discussion and negotiation.

Of course, appointments with existing accounts or customers also have to be meticulously prepared and followed up. Purchase and service contracts are drawn up from agreements made, with which both sides are optimally served. Requests and points of criticism must be recorded and necessary measures discussed, for example, with product development or the budget manager. Medium- and long-term customer development plans are also drawn up in professional account management with the business partner and continuously evaluated.

The number of customers for whom these services have to be provided depends on the company structure. An account manager can, for example, look after several small customers in a particular region. On the other hand, a key account manager is sometimes only responsible for an extensive and essential customer.

Account manager responsibilities and requirements

The account manager position is desirable because of the usually commission-driven remuneration and an excellent financial perspective. But the profession requires a particular type of character.

It is no coincidence that the term “relationship manager” is also common – account managers control and maintains the relationship between companies and customers. Therefore, you have to be more than just good salespeople: strong characters who exude trust and reliability. Not only are you good negotiators, but you are also good listeners. Ultimately, a mutually beneficial conclusion of a contract is the ultimate goal.

Due to the complexity of the tasks, a robust organizational talent is essential. Also, there is enthusiasm. The account manager should know their products and their value and be able to convey this honestly. Depending on the area of ​​application or customer base, many job advertisements require a great willingness to travel and foreign language skills.

The qualifications to be brought along also diverge. A commercial apprenticeship or an economics degree is often required. Depending on the product’s type and complexity, IT specialists, engineers, or industrial engineers can also be addressed. But lateral entrants in all disciplines have also become successful account managers.