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What Does a National Account Manager Do?

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  • Written By: Maggie Worth
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2016
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A national account manager is responsible for overseeing customer relationships with large-account customers, most of whom do business on a national or international scale. Depending on the size and structure of the company for which he works, this professional may be part of the sales or project management teams. National account managers typically manage a very small number of accounts and may, in fact, be dedicated to a single client. Duties often include taking and processing new orders, ensuring that projects are completed accurately, suggesting new products or services, assisting in marketing efforts and training the client as needed.

The size and structure of the company has a lot to do with the parameters of a national account manager position. In large companies, such managers may lead entire account teams, including project managers, customer service professionals and more. In smaller companies, the national account manager may be responsible for performing all these duties herself. Large companies may have several national account managers while small companies may only need one.

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The actual location of the manger's office also depends on the company and the client. A national account manager who works with a high-revenue client may well have an office at the client's location rather than at her own company's building, especially if the two entities are in different cities. A national account manager who has more than one client in or near a city other than the one in which her company's headquarters is located might work out of a home office, as might a manager who has clients across a broad geography. In other cases, the manager might work from her company's primary office or from a satellite office.

Duties for a national account manager vary widely from company to company. In most companies, the position is responsible for future sales to the client or clients. This can include reorders of existing products as well as responsibility for selling products and services a client is not currently buying.

In some companies, however, sales duties are handled strictly by the sales department and national account managers are part of a project or account management team. In this case, duties generally revolve around execution of the products and services a client orders. This means tracking project timelines, ensuring that invoices are correct, seeing that contract terms are met and managing customer service functions. These types of account managers might help customers develop marketing programs if they are reselling products, for instance, or might help train end users if the product is a computer program or other such system.

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