What is an Account Manager? Skills and role in CRM

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Account Manager
6 minutes read
An Account Manager builds relationships between a company and its customers. They are the main contact person for customers and they make sure the company gives customers what they need.

Account Managers keep customers happy and help the company succeed.

Sales vs. Account Management

Salespeople and Account Managers have different jobs in a company. In small companies with few workers, their roles might overlap some. But usually these are separate jobs. Let’s look at the main differences to understand them better.

Salespeople work to get new customers. They contact potential new clients and try to sell products or services. Account Managers work with existing customers. 

AM focus on keeping good relationships with customers the company already has. They make sure the company gives good service to keep clients happy. 

Salespeople find new Customers

Salespeople work to get new clients for a company. They make cold calls, follow up on leads, and try to close deals. Their main job is to bring in new business.

Account Managers work with Existing Customers

Account Managers start working with a client after a deal is closed. Once a salesperson gets a new customer, an Account Manager is assigned to them. The salesperson gives the Account Manager basic information about the new client’s goals. 

After that, the salesperson focuses on finding more new clients. The Account Manager takes care of the new customer’s needs to keep them happy.

This split in jobs helps companies run better. Salespeople work on getting new business. Account Managers build relationships with new clients and keep existing customers satisfied.

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Account Manager Responsibilities

They have an important job working with clients. Here are some of their main duties:

  1. Be the contact between the client and the company. Pass along information. Make sure work gets done on time.
  2. Look for ways to give clients more services to help them. Build a stronger connection.
  3. Watch over the client’s budget carefully. Explain costs clearly. Negotiate changes if needed.
  4. Stay up-to-date on industry news and competitors. Give clients helpful advice and ideas.
  5. Give complete progress reports to clients and managers. Make sure there is openness and accountability.
  6. Coach less experienced staff on working well with clients. Share knowledge and skills for the job.

The Account Manager role is key for keeping good, long-term relationships with customers.

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Account Manager’s Role in CRM

Account Managers play an important role in CRM strategies that aim to keep customers and boost sales.

In other words, they can encourage customers to explore and invest in new products or services, contributing to the company’s growth and revenue.

As they have a good understanding of the customer, they are the best point of contact for promoting cross-selling and upselling.

Skills Account Managers need

To be a good Account Manager, you need to have different abilities:

  1. Handle multiple clients and their needs at the same time
  2. Pay close attention to details in all client work
  3. Communicate well in speaking and writing to avoid confusion
  4. Understand clients’ needs and feelings to connect with them
  5. Listen carefully to what clients say about their goals
  6. Discuss to reach agreements that benefit everyone
  7. Solve problems and challenges that come up with clients
  8. Make plans to improve the client’s experience

Having this mix of skills helps Account Managers give great service. It helps keep clients happy and build long-lasting relationships.

Account Manager across Industries

AM may have different roles. But their core job is always to understand clients, meet their needs, and build lasting, profitable relationships. How they do this depends on the industry, but the focus on great client service and business growth is the same.

Advertising and Marketing

They connect ad agencies with clients. They learn what marketing goals clients have. They plan ad campaigns to meet those goals. They make ad proposals, choose where ads will go, and manage the creative team. They make sure campaigns match what clients want.


They link clients with tech teams. They get tech solutions that fit clients’ needs. They oversee tech projects for clients. They ensure tech products or services meet client specifications. They help with questions, fix issues, and improve communication between clients and tech teams.


They handle client investment accounts. They guide clients on smart money decisions. They give financial advice and update clients on markets. They make sure clients’ money goals are met. This includes managing assets, investment plans, and risk. Their expertise helps clients invest and manage wealth wisely.


Retail Account Managers work closely with store clients. They understand what inventory and products each client needs. They give product recommendations and manage orders and delivery. They build strong, steady client relationships. They help make sure clients get shipments on time and know about new products. This gets repeat business and loyalty and boosts retail success.

Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

In healthcare, they build relationships with doctors, clinics, hospitals, and drug companies. They help clients access and understand healthcare solutions, medicines, and medical equipment. They give clients support, information on new advances, and a smooth experience getting pharmaceuticals or medical services.

Hospitality and Travel

Account Managers work with hotels, travel agencies, resorts, etc. They handle bookings, negotiate contracts, and meet travel and stay needs. They maintain great client relationships, fix reservation issues, and provide customized travel solutions. This improves client trips and helps travel businesses grow.

Manufacturing and Supply Chain 

In manufacturing, Account Managers handle client accounts and oversee making and delivering products. They work closely with manufacturing teams to meet client demand and ensure on-time delivery. They are good at fixing production issues and keeping communication smooth between clients and manufacturing. They make sure products match quality and detail requirements in the contracts.

Account Manager Salary 

Account Manager pay can be very different based on location, experience, industry, and company. Here are rough salary ranges in the US, Asia, and Europe:

United States:  $50,000 – $100,000 per year. But it can vary a lot by state and city. Major cities often pay more because living costs are higher.

Asia: $30,000 – $60,000 annually. Salaries range widely depending on country and industry in this diverse region.

Europe: €40,000 – €80,000. But pay depends on country, industry, experience, and local living costs.

These are estimates. Salaries can change over time due to economic factors and industries. Pay at specific companies differs too, based on stability and the Account Manager’s responsibilities.

How to become an Account Manager

To be an account manager, you need to get certain education and work experience. You may also need to read books and/or extra training depending on your industry and company.

Meet Education Requirements

Account managers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree, usually in business or advertising. Classes cover basic business topics like budgets and management strategies. Some account managers major in marketing. This teaches useful skills like understanding customers and promotion. Public relations and communications degrees can also prepare you for this career.

Gain Experience

Paid and unpaid work experience helps you prepare to be an account manager. Your school may offer an internship to get real job training and network. Entry-level jobs include sales, customer service, and marketing roles. Jobs where you interact directly with customers can teach you relationship-building. You might also look for account manager positions.

Pursue a Master’s Degree

To move up from an account manager job, you could get a master’s degree. This usually takes two years after your bachelor’s degree. A master’s in business, marketing or public relations teaches more complex skills. These include relationship management, economics, and strategic thinking. Sometimes employers accept a master’s instead of work experience.

Consider Certifications

Another way to advance is through professional certificates. One example is the Certified Strategic Account Manager certificate. It takes 12-18 months to complete. To enroll, you must currently be an account manager with at least one active account. You also need sponsorship from a company leader.

Tools Account Managers use

To do their job well and keep customers happy, account managers use different software and spreadsheets. These tools help companies hold onto current customers, gain new ones, and increase sales. Some tools account managers use are:

Customer relationship management (CRM) software: This important software stores customer information, tracks communications, shares info between departments, and more.

Spreadsheet software: You can use this to track sales data and see the value of each account you manage. Spreadsheets can also track customers if you don’t have CRM software.

Email automation: These tools save you time on routine tasks. That way you can focus more on customers and staying in regular contact.

Performance analytics software: This measures things like customer satisfaction, reply time, and new customer rates.

Using the right tools makes account managers more efficient. It also helps them better understand and connect with customers.


Account Managers have a key job in maintaining good relationships with clients. By connecting clients and the company, they build trust, give great service, and help both sides succeed.

The role requires many skills. These include good communication, understanding clients, and strategic thinking. With these skills, Account Managers can make client relationships healthy and growing.

As companies see more and more how important strong client connections are, Account Managers will continue to play a critical role. Their work leads to success for both businesses and their customers.


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