How to become an Account Manager

Account Manager

An account manager looks after a company’s customers. They work with a business’s clients on an individual basis to ensure that the company is consistently meeting their needs and goals; while at the same time looking for relevant sales opportunities.

Being an account manager is customer-centric. These employees will have long-term business relationships with their clients, and will know each individual client’s needs and goals very well. They will act as the ‘face’ of the business for customers, being their first point of contact. The aim for account managers is to keep clients with their company for as long as possible; reselling and upselling when possible. 

Depending on the size of the company and the level of customer interaction, account managers could look after one to hundreds of clients simultaneously. While there is some crossover with sales, it is actually a post-sales role; although account managers do often have sales targets for upsells or resells, and are often rewarded with commission for sales.

Typical account manager tasks include working with clients’ needs and goals and constantly demonstrating how the company can help them meet these, recording client transactions and budgeting and making presentations and pitches with the sales and marketing team.

The best account manager skills are being great at socialising and having the ability to listen to their client’s needs. They must know their company inside out and keep on track with the latest trends, so they can keep their clients updated with any relevant news about the company and match them to suitable campaigns. It’s also important for account managers to be flexible; they need to be available when the customer needs them so could often find themselves working evenings and weekends. 

Tertiary education is essential for most people who are becoming an account manager. Public relations, advertising, marketing or communications are ideal degrees – however most vacancies will accept graduates with relevant experience. After graduating, many people will take an internship to get started with this role, or build up marketing and sales experience. Creating a personal portfolio can also help with landing account manager jobs; this could be a website or a strong social media account.

What degree is most commonly held by an Account Manager?

  • BA of Marketing
  • MBA
  • BA of International Business
  • BA of Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services
  • BA of Psychology
  • BA of Business
  • BA of History
  • BA of Computer Science
  • BA of Management
  • BA of Business Management
  • BA of Communication and Media Studies
  • BA of Business/Commerce, General
  • BA of Business Studies

Career Transportability across Countries

As this is a heavily customer-centric role, career transportability is limited. Employers will be looking for people who know the local culture very well and speak the native language perfectly, as a huge part of an account manager’s job is forging business relationships with the customer. Some opportunities could arise in English-speaking countries or if the applicant is multilingual but they would need to demonstrate a high level of experience and expertise in the field to be chosen over locals.

What is the Salary of an Account Manager?

Experience Average salary | year
Account Executive 1-2 Years $85,000 £45,135 $82,500
Account Manager 3-5 Years $120,000 £49,238 $90,000
Account Director 5+ Years $185,000 £79,328 $145,000

What skills are needed to become an Account Manager?

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Account Management
  • Sales Management
  • Business Development
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing
  • Team Leadership
  • Microsoft Office
  • Social Media
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Marketing Strategy
  • New Business Development
  • Project Management
  • CRM
  • Negotiation
  • Business Strategy
  • Digital Marketing
  • Microsoft Word
  • Solution Selling
  • Time Management
  • Public Speaking
  • Strategic Planning
  • PowerPoint

Account Manager Courses

Taking some sales or customer service courses would be a great way to boost your account manager training. If you are wondering how to become an account manager, take a look at this contract management course, as well as this digital marketing for success course; these will help you with key skills that will greatly aid your development as an account manager.
  • Introduction to Financial Accounting

    Refresh your knowledge of basic accounting processes and discover recent changes in International Financial Reporting Standards

  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Accounting Principles

    Understand how to apply accounting and tax principles with this final course in a program about mergers and acquisitions

  • Bookkeeping for Personal and Business Accounting

    Learn how to balance your books and develop the skills to manage finances in personal and business environments

Account Manager Credentials

  • Customer Experience Management with Salesforce Training

    Learn how to implement CX frameworks using Salesforce CRM technology and become a more effective customer success manager

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