Account management is the practice of providing clients & customers with support and reccomendations to increase their adoption of a product or service, further retention, and cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
The account manager often is the quarterback of the team. At a services company, the account manager must understand all the specializations and offerings and be able to bring them forward to a client to help them solve thier challenges.
Account manager skills are abilities and traits account managers need to thrive in their role. These are typically a combination of hard and soft skills that revolve around effectively communicating with clients and nurturing a lasting relationship with them
Account management is a post-sales role that focuses on nurturing client relationships. Account managers have two primary objectives: retain clients' business and grow those opportunities. They accomplish these objectives by learning what their clients' goals are and helping their clients achieve them
Account management is very much about the art of active listening. A great account manager knows how to litsen for clues, signals, feedback and client needs and translate that back to the teams to help create solutions.
The account manager is ultimately responsible for growing and expanding business within key segments and regions. renewing & up-selling within the customer base, customer satisfaction, solution delivery, value creation and overall client relationship
Account Management Is A Fantastic Career Option
Being an account manager or in client services is a great career option. Account management and client services is part of a general management track in some ways. You hone very transferable skills around trust building, problem solving, management, and understanding of complex problems and related solutions.
An MBA is not needed to have a great career in account management and client services. You can be a world-class account manager and client partner and go all the way to the C-Suite without an MBA.
This differs from agency to agency and from consultancy to consultancy, however, the notion is that your pay and remit grow as your book of business grows.
There is a case to be made that account management is an important as ever. There is a case to be made that a great account manager can truly make or break a team and a client experience.
A great account manager is like the quarterback on the field. They help make everyone better by helping create a game-plan. For any services business, your team is only as good as the ability to understand the client's challenge, understand their unique situation, and craft a plan that will end in a great solution.
A great account manager has active listening skills. Active listening is the art of being focussed, planned and orderly in how you listen. This is the art and science of asking open questions which allow you to glean detailed instructions and insights that you can pass on to your client team. Active listening is taking the extra step to ask a client "I would love to know your top 3 ideas, in rank order, and to understand why the ranking you selected?" A question like this gets you the feedback needed to bring to your analytics or creative partners to help them improve the product.
Further, a great account manager should use the active voice in all communications.
You should use the active voice when writing email for business. In the active voice, the subject is doing the acting. With the passive voice, the subject is being acted upon. Passive voice often results in sentences that are longer than necessary, or where the subject that the verb relates to is needlessly obscured.
Passive: The current status report has been attached, and there are highlights around the important figures in question.
Active: I have attached the current status report, and I highlighted the important figures that vary by more than 20% off forecast..
Like everyone, clients and business partners relish straightforward conversation and speech patterns. Don’t say “an error has been made and we are very sorry” when you can and should say, “Our team made an error. The cost implication is $12,000. We will format a plan to rebate that money by January 12th. Thank you for your patience and we are sorry.”