The primary responsibility of the strategic account manager is to serve as the primary point of contact between a company and its customer base, including providing official communication in both directions. The strategic account manager works for the customer as much their employer, and it is their task to ensure the continuation of healthy client relationships by making sure that deals between both parties are fair and to the satisfaction of all. The strategic account manager typically spends much of their time developing and executing strategies to maximize sales by locating and increase the size of the client base, and ensuring the happiness of the existing base.
Though the practice of managing accounts is primarily done in the office, the customer-oriented nature of the strategic account manager's responsibilities may require significant amounts of travel in order to meet with new and existing clients.
Success at this position requires strong verbal and written communications skills to effectively reach out to clients and maintain existing business arrangements. Also important is the ability to manage time effectively, as strategic account managers are often tasked with meeting quotas representing either sales figures or raw client numbers.
Companies may hire strategic account managers on varying levels, with those atop the hierarchy responsible for entire regions or even countries. As such, there may be specific educational demands from employers, especially in positions which require international travel. For all levels, a bachelor's degree in business management or a related field generally is a requirement, and previous experience with account management is always preferred.
Strategic Account Manager Tasks
- Ensure execution of the developed sales strategies, objectives, goals and targeted revenue generation.
- Manage key or specific customer accounts.
- Maintain business relationships with accounts and develop new opportunities.
- Maintain contact with key markets by visiting and investigating the operations and local conditions.
- Provide customer service to assigned customer accounts; understanding business requirements.