7 Skills You Need to Be an Effective Account Management Team Lead
Account management team leads are responsible for overseeing the performance and development of account managers, who are in charge of maintaining and growing relationships with existing clients. Account management team leads also act as liaisons between account managers and other departments, such as sales, marketing, and product development.
Account management team leads need a combination of hard and soft skills
Communication, leadership, analytical, relationship-building, negotiation, time management, and learning skills are essential for account management team leads
You can improve these skills by following the tips and suggestions in this article
These skills will help you achieve better results for your clients and your organization
These skills will also help you advance your career as an account management team lead
Being an account management team lead requires a combination of hard and soft skills, as well as a strategic mindset and a customer-centric approach. In this article, we will discuss seven skills that you need to be an effective account management team lead, and how you can develop them.
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1. Communication Skills
Communication skills are essential for any account management role, but especially for team leads. You need to be able to communicate clearly and persuasively with your clients, your account managers, and your internal stakeholders. You also need to be able to adapt your communication style to different situations and audiences, such as delivering feedback, negotiating contracts, or presenting results.
Some ways to improve your communication skills are:
- Practicing active listening and asking open-ended questions
- Using positive and constructive language
- Tailoring your message to the needs and expectations of your audience
- Using visual aids and storytelling techniques to make your points more engaging
- Seeking feedback and learning from your mistakes
2. Leadership Skills
Leadership skills are crucial for account management team leads, as you are responsible for motivating and inspiring your team to achieve their goals. You also need to be able to delegate tasks, resolve conflicts, and provide guidance and support.
Some ways to improve your leadership skills are:
- Setting clear and realistic expectations and objectives for your team
- Providing regular and specific feedback and recognition
- Encouraging collaboration and teamwork among your team members
- Empowering your team to make decisions and take ownership of their work
- Leading by example and modeling the behaviors and values that you expect from your team
3. Analytical Skills
Analytical skills are important for account management team leads, as you need to be able to collect, interpret, and present data that demonstrates the value and impact of your account management activities. You also need to be able to identify opportunities and challenges for your clients and your team, and propose solutions based on data-driven insights.
Some ways to improve your analytical skills are:
- Using tools and software that help you organize and visualize data
- Asking relevant and meaningful questions that help you understand the data
- Applying critical thinking and problem-solving techniques to analyze the data
- Comparing and contrasting different sources and types of data
- Communicating your findings and recommendations in a clear and concise manner
4. Relationship-Building Skills
Relationship-building skills are vital for account management team leads, as you need to be able to establish trust and rapport with your clients, your account managers, and your internal partners. You also need to be able to maintain and nurture these relationships over time, by delivering value, exceeding expectations, and providing excellent service.
Some ways to improve your relationship-building skills are:
- Showing genuine interest and curiosity about your clients’ needs, goals, and challenges
- Being proactive and responsive in communicating with your clients
- Going the extra mile to delight your clients with personalized touches
- Seeking feedback and testimonials from your clients
- Celebrating successes and milestones with your clients
5. Negotiation Skills
Negotiation skills are beneficial for account management team leads, as you need to be able to negotiate contracts, renewals, upsells, cross-sells, referrals, or any other terms that affect the profitability and satisfaction of your accounts. You also need to be able to balance the interests of your clients with those of your organization, while maintaining a positive and long-term relationship.
Some ways to improve your negotiation skills are:
- Doing thorough research and preparation before entering a negotiation
- Establishing rapport and trust with the other party
- Focusing on the mutual benefits and value proposition of the deal
- Using objective criteria and data to support your arguments
- Being flexible and creative in finding win-win solutions
6. Time Management Skills
Time management skills are useful for account management team leads, as you need to be able to prioritize, plan, execute, and monitor multiple tasks and projects simultaneously. You also need to be able to balance the demands of your clients with those of your team and your organization, while meeting deadlines and quality standards.
Some ways to improve your time management skills are:
- Setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals for yourself and your team
- Creating a realistic schedule that allocates time for each task
- Using tools and apps that help you track and manage your time
- Eliminating or minimizing distractions that interfere with your focus
- Reviewing your progress regularly and making adjustments as needed
7. Learning Skills
Learning skills are essential for account management team leads, as you need to be able to keep up with the latest trends, technologies, best practices, and innovations in your industry and your clients’ industries. You also need to be able to learn from your experiences, feedback, and mistakes, and apply your learnings to improve your performance and results.
Some ways to improve your learning skills are:
- Reading books, blogs, articles, podcasts, or any other sources that provide relevant and valuable information
- Attending webinars, workshops, courses, or any other events that offer learning opportunities
- Joining online or offline communities, networks, or groups that share your interests and goals
- Seeking mentors, coaches, or peers who can offer guidance and advice
- Experimenting with new ideas, methods, or tools that can enhance your work
- Always put your clients’ needs and goals first
- Be proactive and anticipate your clients’ challenges and opportunities
- Deliver value consistently and exceed expectations
- Seek feedback and testimonials from your clients
- Keep learning and improving your skills
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The Global Demand for Account Management Team Leads
Account management is a key function in any organization that wants to retain and grow its existing customers. Account managers are responsible for providing service, resolving issues, maximizing consumption and ROI, and selling additional new products and services to their accounts. They also need to identify and execute on growth opportunities within their account base by connecting multiple products together into complex solutions.
However, achieving these goals is not easy, especially in a competitive and dynamic global market. Account managers face many challenges, such as managing a large and diverse product portfolio, driving customer improvement conversations, and bridging social distance with geographically dispersed team members and clients. Therefore, account management team leads play a vital role in supporting, coaching, and enabling account managers to succeed.
In this blog post, we will explore the global demand for account management team leads, the skills they need to have, the KPIs they need to track, and the technology tools they need to use.
The Global Demand for Account Management Team Leads
According to Gartner, strategic account management can drive sales growth with existing customers by focusing on four critical tactics: simplifying the identification of customer improvement opportunities within accounts, enabling sellers to confidently drive growth conversations, providing them tools and support that make it easier to identify and pursue improvement opportunities, and aligning internal resources and stakeholders to deliver on customer expectations.
The global demand for account management team leads is expected to increase as more organizations adopt a strategic account management approach and expand their presence in emerging markets. According to HubSpot, 70% of companies say that closing more deals is their top sales priority. To achieve this, they need account management team leads who can help their account managers close more deals by providing them with the right skills, tools, and guidance.
The Skills of Account Management Team Leads
Some of the key skills that account management team leads need to have are:
- Leadership: They need to inspire, motivate, and empower their account managers to perform at their best. They also need to set clear goals, expectations, and feedback mechanisms for their team.
- Communication: They need to communicate effectively with their account managers, clients, and internal stakeholders across different cultures, languages, and time zones. They also need to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing among their team members.
- Analytical: They need to analyze data and metrics to monitor the performance of their account managers and accounts. They also need to identify trends, opportunities, and risks in the market and provide strategic insights and recommendations to their team.
- Customer–centric: They need to understand the needs, goals, and challenges of their customers and align their solutions accordingly. They also need to build trust and rapport with their customers and ensure their satisfaction and loyalty.
The KPIs of Account Management Team Leads
Account management team leads need to track some key account management KPIs that can help measure the potential of individual key accounts. According to DemandFarm, some of these KPIs are:
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Instantly tells your most revenue-generating buyer personas.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Gauges the potential of individual key accounts.
- Customer Profitability Score (CPS): Identifies common factors that drive the most profitable customers.
- Customer Engagement Score (CES): Analyzes the ability of account managers to engage existing clientele.
- Customer Retention Rate (CRR): Lowers customer cost per acquisition and maximizes profitability.
Account management team leads need to optimize these KPIs for their accounts. They also need to adapt to the changing customer expectations and preferences in the digital age.
The Technology Tools of Account Management Team Leads
One of the ways to bridge social distance in global teams is to use technology effectively. Technology can help account management team leads communicate, collaborate, and coordinate with their team members and clients across different locations. However, technology can also create challenges such as information overload, communication breakdowns, and cultural misunderstandings.
Therefore, account management team leads need to choose the right technology tools for their team and use them appropriately. They also need to train their team members on how to use technology effectively and efficiently.
In conclusion, account management team leads are in high demand in the global market as they can help drive sales growth with existing customers by implementing a strategic account management approach. They need to have strong leadership, communication, analytical, and customer-centric skills. They also need to track key account management KPIs and use technology tools wisely. By doing so, they can help their account managers overcome the challenges of managing complex solutions in a competitive and dynamic global market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between account management and sales?
A: Account management is focused on retaining and growing existing clients, while sales is focused on acquiring new clients. However, both roles require similar skills, such as communication, negotiation, and relationship-building.
Q: How do you measure the success of account management?
A: Some common metrics that measure the success of account management are customer satisfaction, retention rate, churn rate, revenue growth, lifetime value, and referrals.
Q: How do you become an account management team lead?
A: To become an account management team lead, you need to have experience and proven results as an account manager, as well as the skills and qualities that we discussed in this article. You also need to demonstrate your leadership potential and your interest in developing others.
Q: What are the challenges of account management?
A: Some of the challenges of account management are managing multiple accounts and stakeholders, dealing with difficult or demanding clients, handling complaints and issues, overcoming objections and resistance, and staying ahead of the competition.
Q: What are the benefits of account management?
A: Some of the benefits of account management are building long-term and loyal relationships with clients, increasing customer satisfaction and retention, generating more revenue and referrals, creating value and impact for clients and the organization, and developing your professional skills and career.
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