IT sales account managers are professionals who manage and develop the customer base for a company, and offer hardware and software solutions to key vendors and clients. Their job is to identify and manage opportunities to expand product sales, and to work toward achieving monthly and yearly sales targets set by their company's senior business and management teams.
IT sales account managers can develop sales strategies for products designed for other businesses, or directly for consumers. They proactively manage the company's customers, pursue leads, and develop and maintain relationships with existing clients and key industry vendors.
Skills and qualifications
IT sales account managers typically have a bachelor's degree in business, management, information technology, business information systems, computer science, computer or software engineering, electronics, or a related discipline. A four-year degree is not a requirement for all jobs in the field, but may significantly increase a candidate's chances of finding employment. Employers will generally favour professionals with a strong background in business management and technical disciplines, and recruiters working for large companies can require a 2:1 even for entry-level sales jobs. Technical skills can be an asset, but are far less important than a strong background in sales. However, a good degree of technical understanding and a strong general knowledge of technology are usually required.
IT sales account managers spend a significant amount of time interacting with existing and potential clients, which makes people-facing skills essential to the role. These professionals must have a good degree of confidence and strong presentation, persuasion and negotiation skills to be successful. They must be very good listeners and be able to understand the client's needs and business requirements. Analytical skills are very important, as IT sales account managers must be able to research market trends and potential new client bases.
Employers will generally look for candidates with at least several years of experience in a relevant industry, as well as a good track record in sales. Previous experience in customer service can be a strong asset for entry-level positions.
IT sales account managers' duties can be divided into three areas: pre-sales, sales, and post-sales. Pre-sales activities include obtaining detailed product specifications, identifying ways in which the product can meet a customer's needs, researching potential clients, and creating product presentations for them. The sales process entails negotiating a mutually beneficial commercial agreement with the client. Post-sales activities can include technical support and troubleshooting, and providing the end-users with instructions and training.
IT sales account managers oversee the work of the accounts team and, depending on the size of the organization, they can be responsible for budgets and administration. They manage a portfolio of accounts, deal with all aspects of various sales initiatives and promotional campaigns, and use an existing network of industry contacts to generate new opportunities. They attend client meetings, work on expanding relationship with existing customers to generate new business and profits, and to drive revenue growth from existing accounts. They also work on managing expectations, both external and internal, and contribute to the company's strategic planning.
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