Account Manager Jobs - The Challenges

There are plenty of challenges facing candidates looking for account manager jobs, even before they are accepted for a position. But it often pays to think ahead and begin planning for the challenges that candidates might face once they've actually gained the position they apply for - and many interview techniques are designed to find out how a prospective candidate will cope with a job's actual challenges. We've taken a look at a few of the key issues a prospective manager might face in a new job - read on to get a sample of the challenges and solutions a candidate should take into account.

The Sales Challenge

It's not the challenge you might expect - many account manager jobs, if not all, involve some degree of salesmanship. However, the way in which the sales aspect of the job is handled can make a great difference to the relationship that is built up with the client. Many clients disapprove of a strong sales aspect in their dealings with account managers at all levels; they are less inclined to trust overt 'selling' messages. This also leads to dismay when communications are limited to these sales messages - the impression created is that their business isn't important to the account manager, that they are taken for granted, and only contacted when they are to be sold something.

Overcoming the Challenge

One of the most important decisions in account manager jobs is the candidates' approach to the role. Will a business be served more by an outwards-facing representative to the client, or an inwards-facing representative of the clients needs? Though both approaches are necessary, often the most effective managers see themselves in the second role. One key idea is almost to adopt the role of 'relationship officer' in order to ensure the client's needs are met, and thus their firm continues to benefit from the relationship long-term. When they see themselves as primarily salespeople, they are less well accepted by the client and become less effective in their role.

Management Skills

One pitfall of this approach that can be avoided by those looking to enter account manager jobs is by putting aside their ego, and delegating responsibilities to a team. Many candidates applying for these roles make the mistake of imagining account manager jobs entail building relationships as solitary endeavours, when the job title includes 'manager'. Building an effective team is key, so the manager can delegate tasks and accept the overall responsibility for the account. Outstanding managers are often looking for new ways to empower their team and offer assistance. If they serve their team, the team can effectively and enthusiastically serve their client.

Barbara Kolosinska (MREC CertRP) is a Sales Director for C&M, a leading travel recruitment agency who specialise in finding their clients the perfect account manager jobs across all sectors of the travel industry. C&M have access to the largest choice of account manager jobs from the UK's top travel employers.