In B2B selling, a sales account manager is a hot career as the field is growing and, having the right set of skills, people can expect to make it a rewarding job. Sales professionals are in charge of sales activities. Depending on the company’s requirements, sales account managers can oversee the entire sales cycle, from generating leads to a company to closing high-ticket deals.
They are responsible only for the end of the sales funnel and ensuring clients are satisfied.
Although a sales job can include any stage of the sales process, i.e., growth hacker, lead generator, sales representative, and account executive, a sales account manager is typically a position that manages a team of sales representatives in a business. Sales managers communicate regularly with other sales and managerial staff to analyze sales numbers and implement strategies for improvements in a timely manner.
In this article, we will examine the skills, responsibilities, and job description of a sales account manager job from the side of recruiters and interviewees.
What can recruiters write about a sales account manager job?
When recruiters are writing job descriptions, they have two purposes: to define the role and attract the right candidate. Generally, each HR department can come up with a unique sales account manager job description that reflects their requirements. Typically, any job description has a title that defines the area of responsibility and technical requirements, skills, and qualifications to describe a candidate’s competency.
A job description can be short and just feature a title and a skeletal description of responsibilities and qualifications needed. A longer job description may include some information on the company: what makes it special, how teams cooperate, what set of values is shared inside the company, and so on.
If you want to create a detailed breakdown of everything a candidate needs to know about the role they are applying for, include the following in your sales account manager job description:
- Title of the job
- Where the role sits within the team, department, and wider business
- The company’s culture and values
- Key areas of responsibility and the deliverables expected
- Required education and training
- Soft skills and personality traits necessary to excel
- Location and travel requirements
- Who the role reports to, and other key interactions
- Remuneration range and benefits available
- Scope for progression and promotion.
Here’s a sample of a sales account manager’s job description
For our sales team, we are seeking a self-motivated, experienced professional with strong interpersonal skills to serve as a liaison between [company] and our clients. The successful candidate will be responsible for managing long-term relationships, with clients overseeing the sales process, and handling client inquiries. This position reports to the Director of Sales and acts as a point of contact for the company.
To excel at sales account management, you must be skilled at interacting with others, knowledgeable about CRM software, able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and have critical thinking skills.
Ultimately, a great sales account manager will provide excellent customer service, demonstrate strong business acumen, and possess problem-solving and leadership skills.
Sales account manager’s job responsibilities
As a sales account manager, you will need to:
- Handle objections and close deals for long-term success
- Manage sales accounts, interact with prospects and clients, and handle clients’ needs
- Supervise the associated sales representatives to ensure they providequality service promptly and satisfactorily
- Identify areas for improvement and come up with new sales strategies by reviewing sales quotas and sales goals
- Report to the director of sales on the status of assigned accounts and deals
- Direct sales representatives to better results, monitoring statistics and sales metrics
- Fill out forms and create sales reports, using CRM and other sales software.
Skills & qualifications
What’s it like to be a sales account manager?
When considering a career in sales, candidates want to know what holding a sales account manager position is like.
Usually, sales account managers work a standard 5-day work week, but many opt to spend an hour or two on a Sunday night to do some prep work for the week or look through email.
The way you structure your day largely depends on the industry you work in and the customs of your geographical region. In Mediterranean countries, where people have longer lunch breaks, many business meetings happen at cafés and restaurants. In the US, having business meetings over breakfast early in the morning is the norm.
A sales manager’s rhythm is important to creating a productive day. They are most effective when they stick to a set schedule. It often works best if sales account managers divide their time into segments, focusing on tasks such as prospecting, call scheduling, administrative duties, and analysis in turn.
For example, some sales managers find that they can have productive business meetings and cold calls only in the afternoon, which means writing emails late in the afternoon or early in the morning. Or, vice versa, you can come across your audience segment that is the most responsive at 8 to 10 o’clock in the morning due to the time difference between your geographical zones, so you build your sales activity around that time.
Here’s what a typical day in the life of a sales account manager can look like.
- 8:30 AM – quick email check. Fast communication is a must these days. Check out your inbox as often as humanly possible to respond to inquiries from prospects and key accounts.
- 9:00 AM – daily standup meeting. Join your team members to share status reports on ongoing work and go over important tasks for the day.
- 9:30 AM – prospecting and research. If you do your lead research on LinkedIn, prepare a post, check out a couple of profiles, and do quick research on prospects for outreach personalization.
- 11:00 AM – quick break. It’s essential to have breaks between chunks of work so you can switch between activities. So use this break for interacting with your colleagues rather than checking work emails over coffee.
- 11:15 AM – cold outreach. If you have researched the prospects enough, start putting together a personalized email campaign. Use email templates and add personalized lines. Update lead data in CRM and sales software along the way.
- 13:00 PM – lunch hour. Recovery time. Grab lunch and get your energy level up. Run up the stairs to stretch your legs afterward.
- 14:00 PM – discovery calls and follow-up. Run product demos, make discovery calls, and follow up on your conversations with prospects to create business opportunities.
- 16:00 PM – customer inquiries. You need to be in constant contact with existing clients. Ask existing accounts for referrals, inquire if they are happy with customer service representatives, and answer client inquiries in a timely manner, using sales support materials.
- 17:00 PM – email check. Final communications check before heading home. Take a quick look at LinkedIn and inbox.
It’s not the end of your working day, though. After you get home, you can use a window of opportunity and reach out to executives and other important prospects who are too busy during the day but can respond at night. That window of opportunity is usually open from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
How much does a sales account manager make?
Sales positions are often high-paying, but salaries for a sales account manager jobcan vary, depending on industry and location. Glassdoor.com reports an annual $63,000 as the average salary for a sales manager.
IT companies famously pay more, so a sales manager for a SaaS enterprise in Massachusetts can make more than a similar position at a manufacturing company in Georgia ($111,000 vs. $58,000 annually).
What’s the career path of a sales account manager?
Sales account manager positions require a Bachelor's degree. Candidates with a degree in business management, marketing, communications, or a related field can gain these skills on the job. After graduation, many new employees work as sales representatives or customer service representatives before becoming account executives.
After honing their skills and experience in the field, sales account managers can pursue promotions to regional sales managers, who manage sales teams in multiple offices. From there, former sales managers can then go on to become directors or vice presidents of sales.
How to get a sales account manager’s job?
Any sales account manager job description requires a relevant degree and proven work experience. If you meet at least the minimum criteria for the role, start your job hunt. Step One is to prepare and send out your resume to the companies where you would like to work.
Next, get ready for a job interview. Here’s a couple of interview questions and preliminary answers.
Recruiters glimpse a candidate’s character from their reaction to challenges. When you’re asked what your biggest challenge is in the role of a sales account manager, the recruiter wants to know whether you’re aware of the limits of your resilience. In your answer, acknowledge the difficulty of this role, mention the traits that make you resilient, and explain what you will do to succeed.
For example, you can say something to the effect, “The role of sales account manager will help me develop important resilience skills. I expect to have to hear “no” frequently, and I am a quick learner. I don’t give up easily and always see challenges through, and I can be critical of myself when it comes to my professional goals.”
As this role is essential for key account management, recruiters are set on finding a team player. When they ask you about your current or most recent team, they want to know how well you can get along and work with others. In response, describe the structure of your team and explain what roles are filled by whom and how everyone interacts. You can give an example of a team ritual that is particularly strong — whether it be the weekly team meeting that helps the team know what to focus on each week or the fact that one of your teammates is always ready to help you deal with a new customer.
Recruiters want to strengthen their sales team and will ask you about your achievements. It’s important to be honest as it’s easy to spot any lies.
Explain the sales techniques you use and mention the most impressive sales metrics in your sales history. Talking about revenue growth, use percentage rather than exact numbers. Sometimes, a candidate may not meet the stated goal for a certain time period. It's fine to share an honest explanation, but be careful not to make excuses or sound defensive.
If you need practice with these questions, you might want to ask a friend to help you. Once you write your answers in your own words, it will be much easier and more natural to talk about them in an interview setting.
Looking at a sales account manager job description right now?
When writing a sales account manager job description, recruiters can use templates or describe vacancies from scratch. A well-written job qualifications and skills section can help you sort out which candidates are most qualified for a sales account manager job opening. Streamline your candidate search by including some desirable but optional qualifications in addition to the indisputable, nonnegotiable ones required of a candidate for a sales account manager job.
When looking for the position of a sales manager, you’re already getting great practice for the position by preparing and practicing your responses to common interview questions, presenting yourself professionally, being confident and communicating clearly, sharing specific results you’ve achieved in the past, asking questions during the interview and being persistent but polite.
Belkins is always on the lookout for skilled sales professionals. Let us know if you’re considering a career in sales.