10 Important Account Manager Skills and How To Improve Them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 16 October 2022

Published 17 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An account manager is a professional within the sales and marketing industry who works with clients to ensure the company meets their needs. There are many skills needed for them to perform their duties effectively. Learning about these skills can better prepare you to take on the challenges and responsibilities of the job. In this article, we discuss what a good account manager is, explore 10 important account manager skills, review how to improve your skills and examine how you can emphasise and apply them.

Read more: Account Management vs. Sales: Similarities and Differences

What makes a good account manager?

A good account manager possesses the abilities and traits necessary to thrive in their role. These are typically a combination of hard and soft skills that revolve around effectively communicating with clients and nurturing a lasting relationship with them. An account manager works in an organisation's sales or marketing department and can manage several client accounts. They ensure their clients are content with the product or service offered by the company and find ways to enhance their experience. A highly capable manager understands how to interact and engage positively with all involved parties.

Related: What Is an Account Manager? With Duties, Skills and Salary

10 essential account manager skills

Here are 10 of the most important account manager skills to succeed in the role:

1. Leadership

Leadership skills are necessary for directing clients and supervising employees. Effective leadership demonstrates your ability to be professional, while also expecting the respect you give to be returned from your customers and colleagues. A good leader can handle unexpected disruptions and encourage their employees to complete their work.

Read more: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

2. Listening

Listening skills are essential for understanding what your client needs. With this skill, you can better comprehend what your client is saying and take the necessary actions to accommodate their demands. This means actively listening to what they want and demonstrating attentiveness by showing them eye contact.

3. Communication

Communication skills help account managers work effectively with their clients and colleagues. Proper communication ensures that everyone comprehends what's going on, which helps to avoid misunderstandings or confusion. Written communication skills are just as important, since you may draft and write documentation and emails.

Read more: 10 Helpful Tips for Communication Skills in the Workplace

4. Management

Management skills involve being competent at managing multiple client accounts. This means you can handle all the necessary and important tasks to be completed with minimal errors or delays. With this skill, multitasking becomes easier to do since you know how to prioritise your responsibilities.

Read more: Management Skills: Definition and Examples

5. Adaptability

Adaptability is essential for working with many clients and adjusting to meet their needs. While completing one task, it's sometimes necessary to change your focus on a more important matter. Your clients can change their minds, and knowing how to adapt to their demands is critical to keep them satisfied.

6. Time management

Time management skills help account managers stay on track with the progress of their work. It ensures that they can meet their deadlines and keep customers satisfied with fast delivery times. While timeliness is important, it's also essential that the service and work you provide are of high quality.

7. Interpersonal

Interpersonal skills are necessary for account managers to form meaningful relationships with their clients. A client is more likely to trust you and listen to your advice when you have a good relationship with them. Making yourself readily available for help and providing meaningful customer care can improve your interpersonal connection with them.

Read more: Interpersonal Skills: Definition and Examples

8. Organisation

Organisation skills help account managers identify what tasks are the most important, so they can complete all their work in a timely manner. This means being able to keep track of all your clients and their needs. When you're organised, you are less likely to make mistakes.

9. Empathy

Empathy is a skill that allows account managers to understand the feelings of their clients. Sometimes clients have concerns, and it is your responsibility to consider how they feel and try to help to the best of your capabilities. A client is often going to be more receptive to you when they believe that you care about their complaints.

10. Negotiation

Negotiation skills make it easier for account managers to develop terms that accommodate the needs of both parties. This means understanding the nuance of good timing and being able to present information confidently so that clients are more persuaded by what you're offering. This is also a skill that helps you to convince clients to purchase your company's services.

How to improve your account management skills in 3 steps

Follow these three steps to help you improve your account management skills:

1. Take part in workshops

One way to gain leadership skills is by attending workshops that serve to teach you about the fundamentals of management. Most account managers work in a leadership role and need these types of skills in order to display confidence and maintain authority in their work environment. Your newfound skills can help encourage both employees and clients to listen to your advice and instructions related to work matters.

2. Join industry-specific training

Consider joining industry training to improve your ability to better appeal to customers and effectively show them that your services can help them handle challenging business matters. This training can provide you with the fundamental knowledge that's necessary to thrive in this industry. Practical experience training with highly skilled professionals and experts in the industry can help you develop your account management expertise. You can also improve your industry knowledge by reading relevant articles and going to seminars or management conferences.

Related: How To Develop Skill Sets in 9 Steps

3. Earn more certifications

Consider earning additional certifications since the process for obtaining them is going to help you develop your account management capabilities while providing you with marketable credentials. During the programme, you can expect to obtain skills related to the daily duties and responsibilities of account managers. You may learn how to form beneficial customer connections or develop customer strategies as well.

Tips for applying your account management skills in a work environment

The primary focus for this type of manager is to provide excellent service and a positive experience for their clients. The following are some suggestions on improving how you apply your skills in a workspace:

Take a proactive approach when assisting a client with their needs

One way you stay proactive is by meeting with professionals and colleagues from other departments who have similar clients to you. Try to figure out what these types of clients usually request or need. This can help you develop strategies and action plans to meet your clients' future necessities.

Focus on building stronger interpersonal relationships with your clients

Prioritise forming and maintaining deeper relationships with your clients by consistently checking in with them to make certain they're being taken care of. You might also inform them that you're readily available in case they need you to perform any extra tasks. It's also important to inform them about regular updates on new developments and improvements. This makes it easier for the client to create plans of their own.

Keep yourself reliably available for your employees and clients to contact

If the client has a request or concern about a project or service, they trust you to communicate this clearly to the employees. Similarly, if employees are finding it challenging to complete a task for a client, they may trust you to relay this to a client. They're likely going to expect a logical solution to the problem as well.

Provide a comprehensive action plan

Customers gain a clearer understanding of how your organisation can help overcome their industry challenges if they see it laid out in front of them. Use your problem-solving and organisational skills to list out plans of action for your clients when starting a new project. Keep them informed on your team's progress with their project and what to expect from the outcome.

Emphasising your account management skills

While searching for jobs, many companies are going to expect you to describe the account manager skills you possess. Here are a few suggestions on how you can highlight your account management skills appropriately:

On your resume

Your account manager resume may clearly list your hard and soft skills in different sections. Review the job posting of the role you're applying for to see what the hiring manager listed as required or preferred skills. Highlight these keywords and mention them throughout your resume. You can mention how you've used your skills in the past to bring in impressive results for your company. Try creating a separate skills section on your resume and list each account manager skill you possess.

Related: 12 Account Manager Resume Objective Examples (With How-to)

In your job interview

During your interviews, find opportunities to mention your skills and provide in-depth explanations and circumstances of when you directly applied these skills toward your time in your role. You can also describe how your specific work experience has given you the skills needed to perform effectively in the role you're applying for.

Make sure to pose your stories and answers in a way that informs the interviewers of how you plan to apply your skills directly toward their position. This helps them envision you within the role and makes it easier to identify if you're a good fit for the company and job role.

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