Top 10 Account Management Skills to be Highly Effective on the Job
The duties and responsibilities of an account management professional cannot be achieved without acquiring the necessary skills and qualities that the job requires, which will help him/her to handle tasks confidently and effectively.
This post shows you the skills you need to develop to improve in functions, but first, let’s look at what the account management career entails.
What is Account Management?
Account management is a profession that involves generation of sales for a portfolio of accounts; identification of new sales opportunities within existing accounts to retain a client-account manager relationship by up-selling and cross-selling, meeting deadlines for accounts, establishing budgets with the client and company, interacting and coordinating with the sales team and other staff members in other departments working on the same account, etc.
Now, back to the qualities and skills required for effective performance:
Best 10 Account Management Skills for Career Success
Having effective communication skills is obviously one of the most important qualities you need to have to succeed in your account management career.
It will help you to speak clearly and assertively about the product you are selling, and listen attentively to understand what the client is saying so you can interpret their needs more plainly to deliver excellent service.
Account managers always share important information with the right people, such as client insights to internal team members; they give clients update and present the state of account to key decision makers of an organization.
Account managers ask questions to learn, with the aim of positively digging into issues to get people to share with them; they also make expectations, priorities, and goals to be clear to everyone involved.
They also need to possess effective communication skill in making professional presentations to a team, establishing close relationship, writing detailed reports, and communicating via email and phone conversations.
2. Organizational Skills
Your clients trust you to keep everything together and organized, and to pay attention to the little details that they may overlook.
Therefore, you should be able to know where your stuff is as well as that of your customers in order to easily get whatever you need when you need it.
Creating daily checklists, setting weekly goals, and being detail oriented are just a few things that will help keep you organized.
Learn to manage yourself and your dairy effectively by prioritizing tasks and rearranging when necessary.
When you work on a project, it is important to keep note of every aspect of it in an organized manner, and juggle multiple accounts, contacts, and initiatives effortlessly.
In the account management system, you’re likely juggling multiple projects with a variety of clients all at the same time.
There are many meetings, deadlines, and project details to keep track of and in order to stay on top of it all, being well-organized is obligatory.
You need to be able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, keep full notes and checklists, and stay up to date on projects throughout all phases of production.
You need to also be able to prioritize tasks as required to make sure all projects are finished on time.
The relationship skills will make you to be a people person, with the ability to read and study people, and connect meaningfully with various personalities.
Build your confidence and develop the courage to slide those contracts across the desk for a signature.
Learn about customers and their businesses, and more importantly, the people who make up their team, family, and business.
It is important to know your clients and develop a rapport with them on a private level.
Your clients rely on you and hold you accountable for what you are selling to them.
Basically, if you say that you or your company will do something, go on and do it.
As you diligently work on all customer accounts, you are indirectly building a good relationship.
If the client requires an answer or asks for something additional to happen, then it is your responsibility to ensure that it is carried out.
You should be passionate about the product you are selling, and be able to transfer the passion to the person you are talking to.
Passion is seen in every form of an account manager’s communication, both internally and externally.
If you’re passionate about what you’re doing and truly believe that you and your company can make a difference for your clients, the passion that drives you will transfer over to them.
Your passion will help your clients to discover theirs or restore what they are passionate about. Do this every day with conviction and success will be yours.
5. Problem Solving Skills
Account managers, as the first point of contact in the department are presented daily with problems they need to provide solutions to.
Some of the problems you could face in an account management profession include last minute changes to campaigns before a meeting, steering an advertising campaign in a different direction after months of working on a campaign that was unsuccessful, dealing with an unsatisfied client, communicating unmet deadlines with your client, not over promising and under delivering, and many other challenges.
You should be willing and able to address challenges and help clients prevail over them.
You need to be a good critical thinker to become a good problem solver who always takes a proactive approach.
For you to be an excellent account manager, you need to have recurrent discussions with your clients about their overall goals and make recommendations for them to achieve the best results.
6. Time Management
Time management is truly one of the best skills you need in an account management career. It will help you to carry out both your day-to-day and future projects successfully.
Since you feel you don’t have enough time to handle everything with the same standard and quality, it’s quite essential to differentiate between what is primary and what is secondary, so you can effectively manage all of your tasks in a logical way.
You should try to read as much as you can about time management to save yourself a huge amount of time, and gradually change some minor things you handle on a daily basis.
You will be surprised how much more tasks you could accomplish within a period of time when you give all you have to acquiring the appropriate time management skills.
Your job as an account manager requires that you interfere with a lot of different people every day, such as colleagues in all agency departments and clients’ full marketing team, to achieve specific goals.
See yourself as someone who needs to be personable and approachable, and one that others find ease to work with. You need to also have a supportive team-player attitude.
You need to understand that you are dealing with two relationships – one with the client, and one with your production team.
You should also understand that there will always be new clients and new projects, but the agency team stays the same.
8. Results Oriented
It’s important that you lose not sight of the company’s goals and their role in generating results.
Therefore, you should focus wholly on getting results for the customer, by being proactive and not wait for the customer to notice you are not on track to achieve a particular objective.
See that you do what needs to be done, and not give reasons why you must not achieve a specific aim. By understanding the needs of the client, you can secure and maintain profitable accounts.
When account managers are driven by outcomes and not their ego, they will take the blame for failures and give credit to the team for successes.
They will monitor sales activity and actively seek ways to up-sell products and services.
You can use proven client retention strategy to generate referrals from existing clients and ensure that your clientele increases with time.
You need to think, discuss, and assess development in business terms such as revenue growth, profit, and satisfaction.
9. Leadership Skills
Leadership skill is the number one quality that any account manager should have because it consists of many smaller qualities within.
Leaders are accountable, enthusiastic and passionate. They can motivate a team, delegate, and keep learning and sharing information.
When you work with leadership skills, you will be able to initiate conversations and communicate with many different people.
Resolving employee work conflicts and building new connections are all parts of your day’s work as a good account manager. Why would someone want to join your team if you are not a good leader?
It is important to keep your colleagues happy in order to work effectively together and make an active effort to spend time with clients or prospective clients outside the office.
Always set your mind on keeping your clients happy and satisfied, and they will respect you.
You should be able to respectfully challenge and direct the customer in their best interest, and guide both customers and team members.
10. Business Acumen
You need good business insight, interpersonal, and goal-oriented skills. Don’t fall in the category of salespeople who are far too focused on closing deals and yet do not understand broader business issues.
Having good business acumen is essential to successfully secure, maintain, and increase client relationships that will achieve the organization’s objectives.
When you know your client’s short and long term goals, everything you do should help in achieving them.
By asking questions, you will learn the needs of your client and manage and execute programs that are in conjunction with their objectives, as well as yours.
Account Management Skills for Resume
If you are making a resume for an account management position, you can apply the skills and qualities provided above in completing the core competence section of your resume where you let the recruiter know the skills you are coming with that will enable you to succeed on the job.
You need to work on the above skills so you can perform your duties effectively and maintain a steady and successful account management career.
There’s no way you can be a good in any account management position without improving on these skills. They will help you achieve your company’s present and future objectives.