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On the surface, account management and sales have a similar set of goals: build strong relationships with clients and increase profitable revenue.
Both functions are important in order for your organization to be successful, but they require two different skill sets:
Most of us know what the role of a salesperson includes.
Account management is a client-facing, post-sale role. Once the deal is won, the account manager continues to build a strategic relationship with the customer—ensuring they’re achieving the highest level of satisfaction and advising them on long-term growth strategies.
Account managers keep customer service and customer success top of mind. They also focus on business development and growing accounts through upselling, account management training, and cross-selling opportunities.
Both sales and account management are critical roles, but not every company will have a dedicated team of account managers. Depending on the size of your company and sales force, the two roles may be combined.
Even if your sales team is responsible for strategic account management, it’s important to understand the different skills required so that both roles can be executed successfully.
A strong sales representative will typically have a “hunter” mentality & should have the skills to move a prospect through each stage of the sales process:
The role of an account manager requires more of a “farmer” mentality.
Account management training emphasizes the following skills needed to be successful:
Both Account Management teams and Sales teams have the end goal of increasing revenue, but the paths they use to get there can be very different.
Whether your business has a dedicated team of account managers or you’re relying on your sales reps to fulfill both roles, you should be sure your people have the skills necessary to build and maintain long-term relationships with key clients.
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