Ever thought about being an internal account manager? Relationship management and passion for your company are key to success.
If you’re from a sales support background, advancing to an internal account manager could be the natural next step in your career trajectory. Think it could be for you? Learn what the role actually entails from an internal account manager at a gas distribution, transport and storage business.
What are the key responsibilities of an internal account manager?
In short, my role entails managing relationships between my business and our customers. Within that broad ‘management’ team, there are a variety of components to my role, from handling contracts, communicating and negotiating quotes to order tendering. As the point of contact for a number of our clients, a key part of the job is ensuring our customers ultimately have realistic expectations, and they are clear of what we can deliver, and when we can deliver it.
How did you develop to become an internal account manager?
As I have a background in sales support, this gave me an excellent grounding both from a service perspective and in terms of gaining a full understanding of the entirety of a sales process from beginning to end. However, I prefer the recognition that I get from the business for account management and sales – my achievements are quantifiable and make a direct impact on the business financially.
Time management is essential when you are responsible for multiple accounts – if you can’t manage your own time, how can you manage a customer?
What skills are required to be an internal account manager?
Passion is key. To sell a company’s product, you really need an interest in the business to understand what makes it the best in the market. On top of that, I think understanding and being able to relate to your customer is vital. To upsell to them, you need to thoroughly understand their requirements and how they operate. Taking an interest in their business is therefore crucial.
In terms of soft skills, it’s important to have strong relationship management skills with internal business stakeholders as I need to lean on lots of different people internally. This means I need to appreciate everyone’s job is important to the ultimate success of both me and the business. Time management is also essential when you are responsible for multiple accounts – if you can’t manage your own time, how can you manage a customer?
What keeps you motivated?
I thrive on having a constant interaction with customers and having the feeling that I’m having an impact on driving the business forward. I also like being on the front line and having a really good idea of what’s going on in that part of the company.
What advice would you give to aspiring account managers?
Before you have accepted a job, ensure you know everything about the product or service that you will be responsible for communicating to customers – so ask as many questions as you need to at the interview to feel prepared and invested in the business. You also need to bear in mind it’s likely to be demanding, and you’ll need to apply yourself. But, at the same time, the job reaps multiple rewards.