Profile of an Account Manager
As a client centric business, one of the key roles within our business is that of Account Manager, and recruiting, training, motivating and developing our Account Managers is a priority for us.
Acting as the day to day contact with clients, this is a varied, demanding and rewarding role that requires quick thinking, resilience, a passion for people and a determination to make a difference.
We asked several of our Account Managers what the role involves and what it takes to be successful.
What does a typical day involve?
Simply put, the Account Manager role exists to ensure that clients’ needs are being met. In order to do this, they need to listen and understand the clients’ pressure points, take that information and turn it into effective solutions that resolve the issue. Of course, building good solid relationships is key.
There is no real typical working day as each client’s requirements vary according to their industry, location and business model. However, generally speaking, it’s a mix of relationship building with existing clients, planning and executing strategies to fulfil their requirements and new business development calls and meetings with potential new clients.
Checking in with colleagues to keep on top of what’s happening in other markets is also essential. There is a lot of collaboration between teams across the business, and this helps improve understanding of clients’ projects and requirements as well as sharing best practices across the business.
Training and support
There is a mix of formal and informal on the job training. Our in-house training manager offers bespoke training and group courses and external sector specialists are brought in to provide expert insight into the sector if required.
The guidance and support of senior, experienced colleagues was also seen to be extremely valuable.
“The management team is a great source of knowledge, very willing to pass on learning gained through their experience.” said one Account Manager.
Direct Managers are heavily involved in on the job training, and are instrumental in helping with career progression; clear, transparent targets and objectives are set out to help people achieve milestones and promotion.
Having said all that, as an Account Manager, the onus is on the individual to take ownership and responsibility for their area, with the support of colleagues and Managers. Regular monthly meetings take place with Managers to review the month’s activity and KPIs, set goals and talk about what the individual wants to achieve next.
What skills do you need to be a successful Account Manager?
The most important thing isn't a skill, it’s an attitude! Success depends more on personality, resilience and confidence than on the hard skill set.
Confidence and strength are essential; one week, you can be on a high, another week, everything can go wrong. You need to be able to cope with all situations, think on your feet, act independently, be decisive and bounce back from disappointments with a positive mental attitude
Business understanding and good commercial sense, excellent knowledge about your clients and their industry are required, but they are all things that can be taught through formal training, peer support and the experience gained through working closely with your clients and colleagues.
“If you really want to succeed, and you have the right mentality, then it’s likely that you will. If you don’t have this, no amount of company support or training will change it” was a comment from an Account Manager in Amsterdam.
Adding value through client partnerships
Whatever job you are in, there will be some people you prefer to deal with than others. The ability to relate to people and just get on with them is often as important to clients than the business service you deliver.
More often than not, a business relationship with a client will endure if you develop a strong relationship and deliver a quality service. Offering insight into the market place, informing clients about trends and running business events are also ways in which our Account Managers add value through the service process.
Of course, relationships will develop more naturally if you have a genuine interest in people.
“From the first client meeting to each subsequent contact, I make sure I continue the dialogue regardless of whether we have any live projects. Whether a client wants to place business with us, or just wants some friendly advice, I want to provide the best service I can” was the view of one of our team.
We are currently looking for strong Account Managers and Business Developers for a number of roles in the Netherlands and Germany. Contact our internal recruitment team for more details.