Duties & Roles of an Account Manager
An Account Manager creates long-term and trusting relationships with customers. This the key part of the Account Manager job description. By doing this, they are able to identify opportunities to solve the customer’s problems with the solutions within their portfolio. A typical account manager will manage about 7 customers. If they are a key account manager, they will manage one strategically important customer and a few smaller ones. This is also known as a Strategic Account Manager. An Account Manager is targeted to achieve a sales target, and may also be targeted to achieve a profit target.
The difference between an Account Manager and a Category Manager is becoming very narrow. In some companies, they are the same, and in others completely separate titles and people. The traditional difference has been that an Account Manager manages money and a Category Manager manages data. Therefore, the core skill of an Account Manager has been to negotiate well, and the core skill of a Category Manager has been to analyse data well.
Assuming that the roles are separate, an Account Manager ‘looks after the client’ on a day-to-day basis. Helping the customer to achieve their goals by solving their problems. For example, if the Account Manager supplies fresh chicken, then that AM acts as the lead communicator between the Buyer and the Supplier. Maybe a delivery is short or the quality is poor. The Buyer will inform the NAM and they, in turn, will speak with the Supply Chain team, or the Quality team. In some cases, the teams will talk directly to each other, e.g. Supply chain Supermarket to supply chain Supplier.
The Account Manager job description is below. A Junior Account Manager would be promoted into this role:
Title of the Job Description
Where does the Role Sit within the Team, Department and Wider Business?
The Account Manager sits within the ‘Commercial team’, or also known as the ‘Sales and Marketing Team’.
Who the Role Reports to
Reporting to a General Manager, who is responsible for production. The General Manager, in turn, reports to a UK General Manager. To illustrate, key interactions would be with the Site General Manager, the Commercial Team, and the customer, <supermarket>. Sometimes the Account Manager reports to the Sales Director or the Sales and Marketing Director if that role exists.
Key Areas of Responsibility
Areas of responsibility will involve delivering the money performance of a group of products:
- Company budget, e.g. Sales £ and Profit £. Maybe waste too.
- Customer’s targets, e.g. Sales £ and Profit £. Maybe waste too.
- Sales budget.
- Profit budget.
- Waste budget.
Duties that this Job will Involve
- Be the first point of contact for all customer queries.
- Build and maintain strong, trustworthy, and long-lasting client relationships.
- Negotiate to win sales and profit opportunities.
- Regularly seek feedback on themselves, and the business, to understand where to improve.
- Create and maintain performance dashboards to ensure that the customer understands their performance.
- Seek best practice from other members of the sales team, in order to improve the account’s performance.
- Identify new sales and profit opportunities regularly.
- Keep up to date with appropriate changes in the law.
- Continually increase your understanding of the customer, throughout their business.
- Know the shopper of the products, their motivations and barriers to purchase.
- Work experience as a Junior Account Manager.
- Demonstrable an ability to communicate, present and influence key stakeholders at all levels of an organisation, including executive and C-level.
- Solid experience with CRM software.
- Experience delivering solutions to customer’s problems.
- Proven ability to juggle multiple account management projects at a time, while maintaining sharp attention to detail
- Excellent influencing, negotiation and presentation skills.
- Proven track record of achieving a budget.
Scope for Progression and Promotion
There is an opportunity to progress to the title of Senior Account Manager within 18 months. Additionally, beyond this the opportunities within the company are vast. The 3 most likely opportunities are to become x, y, or z.
Required Education and Training
The ideal candidate would have x years as a junior account manager. They will have worked with <supermarket> for x years. In addition, they should demonstrate, through examples, an ability to win new business, achieve a budget, and solve customer’s problems.
Soft Skills and Personality Traits Necessary to Succeed
Furthermore, useful skills would be Category Management, Conflict Management, and Time Management. A ‘thick skin’ can sometimes help in a customer-facing job. Particularly with a challenging customer like <supermarket>.
Location and Travel Requirements
You will be based in <location>, on-site, with your team. You are likely to meet with <supermarket> at their Head Office once per week. Holding face-to-face meetings in other countries is essential to meet your targets. Consequently, you are expected to be visiting one country every other week.
Remuneration Range and Benefits Available
<This is where you can state the salary and further benefits. Currently, the average salary for a Category Manager, for example, is between £25,000 – £42,000. The UK national average is £32,500.>
The Organisation’s Culture and Identity
<In this section, you can provide further information about the organisation. Typically, it is best to be simple and give three bullet points.>
The Company’s Values
<Here, you will provide some background to your core values. Additionally, providing a link to mission and vision statements could be useful. This will help prospective candidates identify if they share similar beliefs.>
Summary of this Account Manager Job Description
The advantage of using this job role for an Account Manager is that it will help you to ‘cover all the bases’. This means that you will be clear on what you want and the NAM will be clear on what they are taking on.
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