A guide to account management
Before I joined the team, I remember researching and researching everything there was about being an account manager in a B2B marketing agency. The results – finding first-hand experience was limited.
So, what is an account manager?
Jumping into the role, I had experience in B2B account management, but I never realised how much that term is thrown around before understanding what an account manager was – the glue. The glue that holds an agency together. You’re the link between the specialists in your agency whilst always having a view of the bigger picture.
Some companies will use the term account manager as an add on to an existing role e.g., Sales & Account Manager. In a marketing agency, you quickly learn it’s quite the opposite. Account managing is your sole purpose, liaising with the client and the internal team whilst keeping both sides happy.
Keeping your client happy…
This is essentially the number one goal of being an account manager. Happy client, happy life, right? But having a happy client, doesn’t just mean there’s nothing else you can do. What trends can you spot if, and when, issues arise to prevent this happening? What are your client’s competitors currently doing that seems to be working well, are they running an effective marketing campaign? Is your client happy but could do with more support in a certain area? Always keep an ear out for opportunities to upsell, yes, we are supporting the client, but we’re also running a business. They need it, we can do it. But be genuine, no one appreciates a pushy non-related upsell.
What skills do you need?
- Listening: I’ve always followed the saying ‘you have two ears and one mouth for a reason’ cliché? Of course, but it’s true. Being an account manager, you need to be able to listen, understand, digest and feedback.
- Communication: You may think this is an obvious one, but when you’re working within a team, successful communication skills are the difference between a cohesive productive team and a crumbling one.
- Problem solver: You need to be able to look at a situation, analyse it and figure out the best solution for both teams.
- Organisation: If you can’t organise your own admin, how will you ever manage your clients? Top platforms I’d recommend, Trello, when client facing, keeps everything in one place and Evernote for personal notes, tick lists and everything admin – lifesaver!
What other things are beneficial to have?
- I’d say these skills aren’t a must-have but will come in useful.High emotional intelligence: Being self-aware, knowing when you’re making mistakes and knowing how to correct it is beneficial to have in an account manager role.
- Understanding people: At the end of the day you’re dealing with people, we’re all human (yes, even CEO’s!!) so it’s beneficial to be empathetic and considerate to their needs and aims.
- Thirst for knowledge: constantly learning and developing on yourself is beneficial to you as well as your team and clients. The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon has been recommended to me recently, and one I can’t wait to read.
Account managing is highly rewarding, you get out of it what you put into it. And we put everything into it here at Halston Marketing, so do you think you have what it takes? Click here to join us and see for yourself!