What is account management and what does an account management professional do?

Account management is a revenue generating role that focuses on developing client relationships to ensure a long-term commercial partnership.

Account management professionals have two primary objectives: to retain business from existing clients and to grow those opportunities. They increase a company's revenue by building lasting relationships with regular clients by acting as a daily point of contact and ensuring they are happy with the product or service.

Account management professionals typically work with a dedicated group of clients and will be responsible for the delivery of high levels of customer service, often acting as a combination of salesperson, customer service representative and project manager. They will invest in genuinely understanding the commercial drivers of their clients and should have a wide knowledge of products and services their company offers. As account management professionals typically have sales targets, this knowledge allows them to propose the customised products or services that will generate revenue by meeting their client's business needs.

Key responsibilities

Responsibilities will vary, but examples include:

  • developing and managing strong, long-lasting relationships with clients
  • negotiating contracts and closing deals to maximise profits
  • developing new business with existing clients and/or identifying areas of improvement to meet sales targets
  • ensuring timely and successful delivery of solutions according to customer needs and objectives
  • following up with lapsed clients
  • collaborating with sales team to identify and grow opportunities
  • monitoring and reporting on performance against agreed sales targets
  • preparing reports on account status
  • keeping up to date with current market conditions and competitors.

Why are they important?

Building strong relationships with customers helps companies develop stable revenue streams. Successful account management is essential for companies with key accounts to leverage customer loyalty, achieve profitability and meet their growth potential.

Skills needed for this role

Account management professionals require excellent communication and interpersonal skills paired with strong sales and negotiation skills. They need a results-driven approach and should be able to manage multiple account projects at a time whilst maintaining strong attention to detail.

Strategic Professional Options examinations linked to this role

Advanced Performance Management

Career opportunities presented by this role

Account management professionals are employed across a variety of industries. Successful account management professionals may advance on to an account director position, which involves overseeing several account managers. Further promotion opportunities include becoming a commercial director and ultimately reaching leadership positions in roles such as chief revenue officer.

Competencies

High level competencies required by account management professionals include:

  • Advisory and consultancy

    A. Gathers and understands financial and non-financial information to develop complete knowledge of the client business and the environment in which it operates.

    B. Provides expert advice that will add value to the business and gain advantage.

    C. Identify and advise on business partnering to develop strategic relationships to create opportunities, improve performance and solve business problems.

    D. Prepare and present business plans and advise on the actions to implement these plans.

     

  • Data, digital and technology

    A. Identifies strategic options to add value, using data and technology.

    B. Analyses and evaluates data using appropriate technologies and tools.

    C. Applies technologies to visualise data clearly and effectively.

    D. Applies scepticism and ethical judgement to the use of data and data technology.

     

  • Stakeholder relationship management

    A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

    B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.

    C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

    D. Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.

    E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.
     

  • Strategy and innovation

    A. Applies business acumen and commercial awareness to deliver business objectives.

    B. Recommends a range of suitable strategic options from which to develop sustainable plans and objectives.

    C. Evaluates, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.

    D. Adopts and applies innovative methods to implement strategy and manages change.