Hiring Account Managers

Best Tips to Consider While Assessing and Hiring Account Managers

Published on December 4th, 2022


Who is an Account Manager?

Account managers are involved in providing customer care by acting as a contact between a firm and its clients. These experts play a critical role in addressing clients' requirements and issues while fostering a relationship to increase customer retention. 

Account managers are able to recognize the ideal times to renew a contract or upsell clients on another product or service, helping to expand the business, by keeping correct records and getting to know the accounts they manage.

Companies in the US claim that finding qualified applicants is difficult, with an estimated 72% of employers saying as much.

What does an Account Manager do?

Account management responsibilities include establishing solid connections with clients, getting in touch with important business executives and shareholders, and creating sales reports. Account managers also respond to client inquiries and spot potential clients among current clients.

A competent account manager will ultimately work with the sales team to meet targets while long-term customer retention and engagement with products and services are prioritized.

  • Serve as the lead point of contact for all customer account management matters
  • Build and maintain strong, long-lasting client relationships
  • Negotiate contracts and close agreements to maximize profits
  • Develop trusted advisor relationships with key accounts, customer stakeholders and executive sponsors
  • Ensure the timely and successful delivery of our solutions according to customer needs and objectives
  • Clearly communicate the progress of monthly/quarterly initiatives to internal and external stakeholders
  • Develop new business with existing clients and/or identify areas of improvement to meet sales quotas
  • Forecast and track key account metrics (e.g. quarterly sales results and annual forecasts)
  • Prepare reports on account status
  • Collaborate with sales team to identify and grow opportunities within territory
  • Assist with challenging client requests or issue escalations as needed

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Skills of an Account Manager

Great Communicators

Account managers engage in two-way communication. They invest a lot of time in understanding the needs, suggestions, and worries of their clients. They'll then have to explain changes and solutions to address those client wants.

Strong interpersonal abilities are a need for the position of account manager. The account manager serves as a direct conduit between the business and its clients, communicating often with both to make sure their requirements are understood and opinions are heard. They must be capable of speaking clearly and concisely on the phone, in person, and over email.

They Build Strong Relationships

It's all about playing the long game with existing clients. The most effective account managers develop long-term, strategic connections with their clients in order to manage and grow accounts over the course of time. 

Highly Organized

Effective account management is a requirement for account managers. They must stay on top of client meetings, question follow-up, and CRM system updates to do this. The finest account managers are those who, as a result of their well-organized working style, can respond quickly to the needs of their clients.

Detailed Researchers

Account managers must be on the ball and aware of the most recent developments in their industry to spot chances. The ability to provide the customer with new and improved products and services is provided by excellent account managers who can anticipate events like corporate mergers and legislative changes early on.

Negotiation Skills

There will be possibilities to optimize advertisements on both sides when a client's purchases of goods and services change. Due to their loyalty, long-term customers demand better prices. The finest account managers are skilled negotiators who are aware of this balance and strive to achieve the greatest results for both their clients and their own company.

They must become strong negotiators if they are to please both their clients and the business. They ought to develop mutually beneficial commercial connections and win-win tactics.

In-depth understanding of the organization

Account managers typically serve as the primary spokesperson for a company's brand in the eyes of their clients, therefore they must be informed about all business-related topics. 

The account manager should be knowledgeable about department operations and the company's overall short and long-term strategies in addition to having a thorough understanding of the company's products and services.

Leadership Qualities

Account managers who possess this talent are better able to pitch and carry out their ideas. To ensure that clients and management support their strategies, they should exude confidence.

Basic Computer Skills

Basic technological knowledge is needed to keep track of all accounts and their histories. This frequently denotes a thorough understanding of the word processing, spreadsheet, and customer relationship management (CRM) software used by the business.

Salary of an Account Manager

The average salary for an account manager is $62,577 per year in the United States and $18,000 commission per year.

An entry-level account manager gets $36,000 as their starting salary which goes up year after year. A highly experienced account manager, on the other hand, receives a salary as high as $108,446. 

These salaries are just provided for reference, the actual salary may differ depending on the organization and employee. 

Assessing an Account Manager

You can make use of pre-employment skill assessments to test the capabilities of your applicants for the job role. These assessments are usually handcrafted by subject matter experts and include both subjective and objective questions along with video questions(sometimes). 

An Account Manager's organizational abilities and ability to prioritize between pursuing new business and retaining current stakeholders are both put to test in this assessment. Management of stakeholders and how they can strike a balance between the needs of the business to expand and constantly provide the greatest results for all present businesses. Moreover, they should have the capacity to boost revenues from cold calling.

Their responses should show a range of skills, including the capacity to persuasively pitch the company to fresh leads and charm existing customers to keep them on board. Additionally, they'll exhibit the capacity to consider the big picture and strike a balance between commercial aims and the requirement to uphold the loyalty of specific clients. They ought to be charismatic, strategic, and have a positive attitude.

Strategy to Hire an Account Manager

Now that you are familiar with what a top-notch account executive should look like, move on to the next phase. Here is our five-step strategy for recruiting Account Managers for your company.

Make sure you are ready to hire an Account Manager

It's worthwhile to pause and make sure you're ready before hiring an Account Manager.

The process of hiring your first permanent team member can be challenging, especially for startups. Asking yourself these three questions will help you determine when to hire an Account Manager:

  • Are we established enough?
  • Do we have enough customers?
  • How do our customers feel now?

Build an Appealing Job Description

It's time to create a job description now that you're ready to recruit an Account Manager and are aware of the qualities that go into a great hire.

There are several templates available for job descriptions for account managers, but always add your personal twist to it. Use the JD to explain your company's vision, your typical clientele, and your goals for the services an account manager will provide.

In the end, you want to entice candidates who match your style, so use your tone of voice to convey your company's principles and culture and provide links to your website or social media accounts so candidates can discover more about you.

Get your job description out there and in the Account Manager community once it has been written. Your closest friends in this situation are job boards, social media, and the website of your business.

Test the Candidate’s Skills

We've noticed that exceptional account managers have a certain set of abilities that enable them to create and maintain fruitful connections. Why not try a skills assessment in its place as it is virtually impossible to verify these skills through a resume?

Get to know the Candidate

It's time to advance the top performers to the following round now that all of your candidates have been tested.

Candidates should be interviewed to learn more about them and ensure that they would be a great fit for your company both personally and professionally. In the end, your account managers will represent your company to customers, therefore you need to be sure that they share your values.

Always keep in mind that an interview is a time for prospects to get to know you. Consider the queries your candidate might have by putting yourself in their position. This may cover official requirements like salary and a holiday allowance, but don't forget to bring up additional benefits like social events, volunteer activities, and a remote work environment.

Make the Hire

Once all of your candidates have been interviewed, it's time to make the crucial choice and select your new Account Manager.

The hard work now starts! As soon as you can, get your new employee trained, onboarded, and introduced to the team. They can then start providing excellent service to your clients and get to work expanding those accounts!

Final Thoughts

Armed with this information, you should have a pretty good idea of what you need to look for when hiring an account manager.

Looking for people with a customer service background isn’t enough. And project managers are often a little too rigid for the role.

Get the right person in and keep track of the metrics. And of course, your training going to play a big part in determining whether the new hire is a success.

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Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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