Great account managers are a critical aspect of your organization. They connect with your customers, and humanize your business.
While account managers come in all shapes and sizes, experience levels, and backgrounds, most great account managers share at least some common characteristics.
Get to know the common traits of great account managers below and incorporate these tips into your hiring and development process so you can maximize the talent you’re bringing in, and their success within your company.
Common Characteristics of Successful Account Managers
Great account managers have an innate need to want to grow and nurture things. While sales reps are often referred to as the “hunters,” account managers are considered “farmers” instead.
The aggressive nature of a hunter is perfect for a sales rep, but you want your account managers to be able to nurture relationships. They need patience, dedication, and the desire to build relationships, and grow accounts.
An account manager who doesn’t have the patience, or doesn’t care enough to put the time into managing their business will quickly ruin client relationships, hurting your organization.
The most skilled account managers love to communicate, communicate, and communicate more.
Success in their role is based on their ability to communicate and maintain positive relationships with their clients. And if your reps are really great, they’ll understand communication isn’t all about the verbal factor.
93% of communication is non-verbal, so make sure your account managers are well versed in every aspect of the skill.
Account managers who truly excel at their roles are focused on building relationships.
They love getting to know people at a deeper level, and that’s part of what makes them great at their job. Instead of feeling like a revenue generator for the company, they help clients feel like they are truly cared about by your organization.
Making a personal connection with customers helps them stay connected to your business, and ultimately helps with retention. 89% of companies see customer experience as a key factor in driving customer loyalty and retention, and your account managers are a big part of driving the experience.
Top account managers must be organized. They often deal with a multitude of clients and need to balance several responsibilities.
The utilization of a CRM system can be an important foundation for account managers to keep track of clients, notes, history and other communications, but they need to have the innate skills as well.
Account managers who regularly lose or miss client communication requests will ultimately burn bridges with customers, something that can greatly affect your bottom line.
Almost even more than their communication and relationship building skills, is their ability to be authentic.
Account managers are able to best build relationships when clients feel a sense of comfort with them. Customers need to feel at ease, and need to trust their reps. Authenticity goes a long way in creating the ability to have a trusting relationship.
The better foundation there is for a lasting relationship between your customers and your company, the better chance you have at keeping them for the long haul.
In order to be great communicators, account managers need to have unbelievable active listening skills.
Active listening allows top account managers to see beyond superficial communications and complaints,s and dig deeper into client wants and need. The best account managers will anticipate what will delight their clients before they even ask for it.
While not all customer complaints are avoidable, if your account management team can anticipate problems or negative trends before they surface, they can provide critical insights to your entire organization.
You may not be able to clone your top account managers, but you can use these traits to identify the best possible candidates during the hiring process. You can also focus on these characteristics when developing your account management team training plan.
If you’re not currently investing in developing your account management team, make sure you learn why you need to.
Have other common characteristics you’ve seen among the best account managers? We’d love to hear about them.