Working with a company's most important clients, a strategic account manager develops short and long-term goals to increase a company's standing in a particular business or industry. He or she is expert at developing, maintaining, and expanding business relationships. Most strategic account managers have a college degree, however, some do not. Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills are required for individuals in this position. Those working in this field tend to be highly motivated and are usually given access to whatever resources are needed to ensure that a company's strategic development goals are met.
Some employers may require a strategic account manager to have bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Those with a master's degree in business management or administration will likely advance further within the ranks of a company, however. There are, strategic account managers who have less education but a great deal of experience. Most have about 10 years of experience in a business-to-business sales environment. The key to this job is knowing how to build productive, professional relationships with key personnel and making sure that a client's needs are being met while achieving all designated sales quotas within the assigned accounts.
Strategic account managers will typically be assigned to work closely with only a few clients. Tapping into their ability to communicate effectively on the highest levels, a strategic account manager will represent the entire collection of products and services offered by a company to their clients. One of the essential responsibilities of this position is ensuring that a client's needs and expectations are being met. A strategic account manager may organize the involvement and support of company personnel in order to meet established account performance objectives and expectations of their clients. Extensive travel may also be required for this position, especially if a company or organization does business worldwide.
Typically reporting to the vice president of strategic accounts, managers may enlist the support of other qualified sales specialists, request service resources, and tap into any other management resources as needed. A strategic account manager may also be required to lead a combined company-strategic account planning operation to determine financial targets and performance objectives. Managers may be required to train their own or a client's personnel in order to meet these planned objectives. Other duties include working closely with customer service representatives to make certain customers remain satisfied, developing any problem resolution strategies, and supervising any support staff assigned to work within a client's company.