Strategic Account Manager

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Who is a Strategic Account Manager

A Strategic Account Manager (SAM) is responsible for managing and nurturing relationships with key clients. They focus on understanding client needs and aligning company solutions to meet those needs effectively. SAMs play a crucial role in driving revenue growth and fostering long-term partnerships through strategic planning and collaboration with internal teams.

According to industry estimates, the role of a Strategic Account Manager is highly specialized, with a focus on delivering exceptional value to key clients. Recruiters often seek candidates with a proven track record in account management, strategic thinking, and business development. In a competitive market, sourcing, screening, and hiring top-tier Strategic Account Managers require innovative approaches to identify the most qualified individuals for the role.

What does a Strategic Account Manager (SAM) do

1. Relationship management: As a Strategic Account Manager, you'll be tasked with building enduring relationships with key clients, acting as their primary point of contact and trusted advisor within the organization. The role involves deeply understanding their needs, challenges, and aspirations, and fostering a sense of partnership and trust. By leveraging interpersonal skills and industry knowledge, cultivate loyalty and advocate for the client's interests, ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship that drives long-term success.

2. Strategic planning: Strategic planning lies at the core of your responsibilities as a Strategic Account Manager. You'll develop customized account plans that align with clients' objectives and your company's overarching goals, leveraging insights gleaned from market research, data analysis, and client feedback. The candidate’s Strategic acumen will enable you to anticipate industry trends, identify growth opportunities, and proactively address challenges, ensuring accounts remain positioned for success in a dynamic business landscape.

3. Revenue growth: Driving revenue growth is a primary objective of your role as a Strategic Account Manager. Through proactive identification of upselling and cross-selling opportunities, you'll maximize the value of existing client relationships while uncovering new avenues for revenue generation. Collaborating closely with internal teams across sales, marketing, and product development, you'll develop innovative solutions that address clients' evolving needs and differentiate your company in the marketplace, ultimately driving sustainable growth and profitability.

4. Collaboration: Collaboration is key to your success as a Strategic Account Manager. You'll work closely with cross-functional teams to ensure seamless delivery of products or services, advocating for client priorities and facilitating communication between internal stakeholders. By fostering a culture of teamwork and shared accountability, you'll leverage the collective expertise of your organization to deliver exceptional value to your clients and drive mutual success.

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Why you should hire a Strategic Account Manager 

Hiring a Strategic Account Manager is crucial for organizations looking to maximize the value of their key client relationships and drive sustainable growth. Strategic Account Managers play a pivotal role in the following ways:

1. Strengthening client relationships:

Strategic Account Managers are adept at cultivating strong, enduring relationships with key clients. They understand the intricacies of client needs, challenges, and objectives, fostering trust and loyalty over time. By serving as a dedicated point of contact and trusted advisor, they ensure clients feel valued and supported throughout their journey.

2. Driving revenue growth:

Strategic Account Managers are instrumental in driving revenue growth through strategic account planning and proactive identification of opportunities. By leveraging their deep understanding of client businesses and market trends, they uncover avenues for upselling, cross-selling, and value-added services, ultimately maximizing revenue potential within key accounts.

3. Strategic planning and execution:

Strategic Account Managers excel at developing and executing tailored account plans aligned with both client objectives and company goals. They leverage data-driven insights and industry expertise to anticipate challenges, mitigate risks, and capitalize on opportunities for mutual growth. Their strategic mindset enables them to navigate complex business landscapes effectively, ensuring clients achieve their desired outcomes while driving business success.

4. Cross-functional collaboration:

Strategic Account Managers facilitate seamless collaboration between internal teams, including sales, marketing, product development, and customer success. By advocating for client priorities and aligning internal resources, they ensure clients receive the highest level of service and support. Their ability to foster a culture of teamwork and shared accountability enables organizations to deliver exceptional value and exceed client expectations consistently.

Skills and qualities to look out for

Given the importance of Strategic Account Managers, they need a strong set of technical and workplace skills with superior personality traits.

Technical skills:

1. Proficiency in sales techniques, account management strategies, and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

2. Ability to develop and execute strategic account plans aligned with client objectives and company goals.

3. Deep understanding of market trends, industry dynamics, and competitor landscape to identify growth opportunities and mitigate risks.

4. Ability to understand financial metrics, analyze revenue trends, and develop pricing strategies to drive profitability within key accounts.

Workplace skills:

1. Excellent verbal and written communication skills to articulate complex ideas, negotiate contracts, and build rapport with clients and internal stakeholders.

2. Strong teamwork and collaboration skills to work effectively across departments, facilitate cross-functional collaboration, and align internal resources to meet client needs.

3. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills to identify client challenges, develop creative solutions, and address issues proactively.

4. Effective time management and prioritization skills to manage multiple accounts, meet deadlines, and deliver results in a fast-paced environment.

Personality traits:

1. Strategic Thinker 

2. Customer-focused 

3. Adaptability 

4. Leadership

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Strategic Account Manager job description template

This job description for the position of Strategic Account Manager has been optimized for job boards as well as career pages and is ready to be deployed. Simply customize it for your organization and hire your next rockstar.

Job title: Strategic Account Manager

Job description: We are seeking a self-motivated, committed, and ambitious Strategic Account Manager. You will collaborate directly with our clients as a Strategic Account Manager, forging bonds with them along the way as you support them in reaching their objectives.

Strategic Account Manager roles and responsibilities

  • Analyze the demands made by customers.
  • Attend to any professional problems that arise.
  • Develop trusting connections with clients, particularly with sponsors and important clients.
  • Never stop working to give customers an outstanding experience.
  • Control client expectations
  • Ensure that every deliverable meets the needs of the clients and arrives in good order and on schedule. 
  • Establish KPIs and monitor important account data.
  • Inform internal and external stakeholders of the progress.
  • Work together with our team to accomplish development and growth that is sustainable. 

Strategic Account Manager requirements

  • X years of experience in a position equivalent to that of a Strategic Account Manager
  • expertise overseeing several stakeholders and projects; a focus on the needs of the client and an attentive listener
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills in English X degree or above.
  • The feeling of pride and ownership in your work and how it affects the success of the firm
  • Possessing analytical and problem-solving abilities a cooperative team member
  • Excellent time-management abilities
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities
  • familiarity with sales software, such as Salesforce 

You can take a look at more job descriptions, visit: Strategic Account Manager Job Description Template

How to hire the perfect Strategic Account Manager

Craft a compelling job description

Whether you are hiring an entry-level Strategic Account Manager or an experienced one, the job description should truly represent the roles and responsibilities of the position. It should mention the organization's values, benefits, and career path for the position. It is bound to attract highly qualified candidates who resonate with the organization.

In addition to the job description in section 5, you can explore more job descriptions here.

Discover relevant candidate

While the talent pool for Strategic Account Managers is quite large in the US, the number of active candidates is significantly small. That’s why recruiters should tap into passive and hidden talent pools to uncover relevant candidates who are likely to join the organization.

Recruiters can use job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Glassdoor to find active job seekers. They would need recruitment tools to find passive job seekers. 

EasySource’s Candidate Discovery Module can instantly surface relevant SDRs from active, passive, and hidden talent pools based on your job description or simple prompts. 

Screen candidates

Most of the ATS and candidate screening tools rely on keywords in candidates’ profiles or resumes to filter them. It may lead to relevant candidates being eliminated from the process simply because their profiles or resumes did not have the right keywords. Worse, it may lead to irrelevant candidates being filtered in one go because they focused on the right keywords.

To avoid this, EasySource’s Candidate Screening Module uses persona-based screening to map the ideal candidate profile based on your job description or prompts and finds SDRs with relevant skills, profiles, and work experience. This persona-based screening also ranks candidates based on their relevancy so that recruiters can prioritize their outreach.

Assess candidates

Skill assessments can be used to ensure only qualified candidates get in and that the health of the talent pipeline is robust. They can also help in making faster hiring decisions without bias.

EasyAssess offers pre-built and customized adaptive skill assessments that validate Strategic Account Managers' technical and workplace skills as well as personality traits. These pre-employment tests create a level playing field so that recruiters can build winning teams with qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.

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Interview candidates

Here are some interview questions that can draw out complete responses from candidates.

1. Describe your experience managing strategic accounts and building relationships with key stakeholders.
2. How do you develop and execute strategic account plans to achieve business objectives?
3. Can you share a challenging situation you faced with a strategic account and how you resolved it?
4. How do you collaborate with internal teams to support the needs of strategic accounts?
5. What are the key factors for maintaining long-term relationships and driving growth with strategic accounts?

Click here >> for more Strategic Account Manager interview questions and answers.

Automated video interviews can be a great way to go beyond the resume and learn more about candidates. Whether you are hiring one Strategic Account Manager or at scale, EasyInterview gives recruiters the edge to hire diverse and exceptional talent from across the globe. Also, hiring managers can be involved in the recruitment process to make hiring decisions faster.

Engage candidates

Reaching out to qualified digital marketing executives and engaging them throughout the hiring process requires recruiters to engage with them 1-on-1. It can be quite tedious and time-consuming which may result in losing qualified candidates. Recruiters should use communication tools that allow them to build personalized messaging to keep their candidates engaged.

EasySource’s Candidate Engagement Module ensures that candidates are engaged with highly personalized strategies and messaging across multiple platforms to compel them to join your organization. 

Conduct reference checks

Once you have shortlisted the candidates, verify their work history and performance in previous roles. This step is essential in ensuring the authenticity of their claims and understanding their strengths and areas for development. 

Also, enquire about the candidate's ability to work effectively within a team and adapt to the company culture as this role required collaboration across multiple teams.

Selection and onboarding

An offer letter is important because it helps to protect both the employer and the employee. Share a comprehensive offer letter with the candidates that includes information about the position, such as the title, duties, salary, and benefits. It must include the start date, the probationary period (if any), and the signature of the employer.

In the onboarding program, introduce the Strategic Account Manager to the organization’s culture, values, and mission, as well as, specific product or service knowledge and buyer personas.
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