People in sales account manager jobs are responsible for the financial portfolios of an advertising team. They will usually be delegated to oversee the running costs of a sales team and/or be responsible for individual executives and their personal spending, which is often the case when an account manager works directly under an account director, or finds himself accountable to the managing director. General account managers will usually be responsible for wider, more generalised tasks and requirements, but will nonetheless still be involved with the day-to-day financial operations of a sales team. If you're looking for a job like this, these sales account manager interview tips could help you.

Ideal Sales Account Manager Job Candidates

It is not unusual to see experience required for this role. Current sales executives are welcome to apply for this role, but will usually carry the requirement of being involved with a high turnover team, or being directly involved with the financial operations of that team. This is because portfolio management is essential to an account manager's role, in addition to dealing with all aspects of a campaign. 

Candidates will not be able to view the role as a means of getting away from the sales field though. Often, account managers will be asked to enter the field in order to help out with absences, annual leave, and other situations that bring employers into lower workforce numbers. From here, accounts managers will often become team leaders and report to sales managers or become responsible for “territory building” - creating a far wider catchment for a business' product or service. 

Hard Skills

Financial skills are at the heart of account management, so account managers will need to have sound maths and ICT abilities. The latter is especially important because many roles will request computing qualifications related to specific software suites, such as Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel.  For the most part, it is not unusual for a general, well-rounded ICT qualification like the GCSE to suffice, but many employers will specifically request documentation or proven experience when it comes to handling specific software packages. These are available at colleges and universities nationwide.

Employers will also often request those with media studies or marketing backgrounds when it comes to formative education. This is important for general sales and is sometimes the stepping stone that salespeople use in order to gain an executive position in the first place, but is not a firm requirement for those advancing into account management. Maths, business studies, and accountancy courses are usually the supplement that employers look for when it comes to candidates seeking account management positions.

Soft Skills

Account managers will need to keep in touch with their initial skills that made them excellent salespeople. They will need to be personally motivated, driven, excellent communicators, and have access to a wide range of industry contacts in order to generate new business leads. Those with a more objective approach to sales tend to fare well when it comes to account management, since it is largely a routine-based, methodical position. With this, some monotonous days can be had, but it will suit those who are able to become experts at their own levels of efficiency.

There is also a large degree of personal responsibility when it comes to account management. Mangers will need to ensure that any necessary reporting actions are undertaken for those in the account team and will be liable for their team's portfolios; reporting these actions to the division or line manager. They will also have to take it upon themselves to attend client meetings in order to help foster relationships between new and existing clients.

Work Prospects

Nearly 70% of account management positions are advertised in sales-related fields, but candidates can also find secure positions within media, human resources, and finances for various other businesses. Many of these positions are in major urban centres with London, Manchester, and Bristol being the most well-populated cities for account management positions. Here, it is not unusual to find openings for salaries up to £40,000 in full-time, permanent positions.