Account management today has attained new levels of prominence and impact, but also new levels of operating complexity. Product placement, access to and leverage of distribution opportunities and a game plan to achieve both are now essential elements of a successful account development strategy.
The role of Account Manager remains the most varied position description in distribution. Part relationship manager, part sales professional, part product specialist, part business analyst and part administrative support…all play in role in the successful execution of an account manager’s responsibilities. And all must be accomplished without direct line authority over either their external or internal clients!
We believe the following four foundations encompass much of what is required for success in this “a new age” of distribution.
Planning and Analysis
- A Framework for Account Development
- “Campaign” Execution Planning
- Review and Assessment
Organization and Time Management Disciplines
- Client Coverage – external and internal
- Structure and Priorities for the Day / Week / Month
- Team Disciplines
- Preparation Disciplines
- Profiling Skills
- Meeting Framework
- Follow Through / Conversion Disciplines
- Communication Framework / Prepared Talking Points
- Addressing Questions and Objections
- Client Reporting and Feedback – external and internal
The foundations for Account Management align closely with those of the sales professional but the we recognize the roles are very different. The focus and rhythm of the role of account management makes it a necessity that this group be provided development programs exclusive to their position. Our experience tells us that the necessity for pre-program discovery and alignment is also greatest for the successful execution of development programs for this position.