Sales account managers – the unsung heroes behind every project
Meetings. Sales forecast. Sales target. Achievement. Demanding markets. Difficult clients. Strategy. Vision. Commitment. Relationships. Networking. Business judgment. Product knowledge.
I’ll let all readers out there guess the job all of these words describe. If you did not match the title with the first paragraph – I’ll write the name once more – Sales account managers: the unsung heroes behind every project. I still forgot to mention one last word that partially describes the job: magicians. Because every skillful account manager I’ve met makes good use of his magic wand upon discussing and sealing deals with high end customers. It’s more than a job, it’s about positioning yourself as the “go to person” inside the company, it’s about putting a face on the organization and it’s about providing the customer with the best return in investment he could possibly dream of. And more than once, in the current most competitive business environment, this equals magic.
What makes good account managers stand out?
- They are focused on continuous self development. They are not afraid to ask questions, either inside their company or relating to the customer’s business. They know knowledge is power and the more they know, the powerful they get;
- They are relationship builders. An account manager will always have two relationships to take care of and juggle with: the one with the customer and the one with corporate. If these two can be brought together, on common ground and somehow a way is found that the customer feels satisfied, even with the corporate restrains and limitations, that means that the sales deal is practically signed and delivered;
- They are not afraid of saying NO to customers, but they do not set out false expectations;
- They adore networking. An elite account manager knows that a great web of acquaintances (may they be colleagues, partners or clients) pays out the best interest. It’s about knowing where to get the info and who can provide it for you;
- They have vision. Whenever they encounter a new account or a new customer, they do their best to know as much as possible about the history of the company in question: what kind of business do they run, who are their clients, who are their main competitors, what are they looking for in terms of profit? This way, they can set up a vision in regards to their accounts, they know what to expect in the future and how they can deliver the best product on the market;
- They have deep product knowledge. It’s about establishing a relationship of trust between the company and the client and a great account manager will always know that this can be achieved by deep product knowledge. This is how they sell better, this is how they transmit confidence and power;
- They stand up for their team. They are respected and because they respect at their turn. They may not be the official team leaders of the team but they sure know how to position themselves as one. They will go the extra mile for the team, holding its best interests and will not be afraid to speak their minds. They are sincere, objective and trustworthy.
All of these attributes require a firm and opened mind, a person willing to go the extra mile for their team, company and clients. Account managers borrow the customer’s eyes and change perspectives whenever they are required to. They are attentive, honest and driven!
I raise my hat for all of the accounts managers out there, experienced professionals that through hard work and determination make each and every project succeed! May the companies they work for appreciate them at their true value!
Author: Daria Ionescu