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How Do I Become a Technical Account Manager?

Helen Akers
Helen Akers

A bachelor's degree in computer science is usually required in order to become a technical account manager. Those interested in this position would be well-advised to gain anywhere from three to five years of experience in customer account management, product management and technical knowledge of software and computer systems. Software and technical language development experience is also important for anyone who wishes to become a technical account manager.

Aspiring technical account managers should plan on pursuing a post-secondary education. Most successful candidates obtain a degree in computer science or a closely related subject matter if they decide to become a technical account manager. While studying for a degree, it is a good idea to obtain paid or unpaid experience in software development, technical support and customer service. Experience can be gained through internships, work study programs, volunteer work or part-time jobs.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

To become a technical account manager, a person will most likely need to start in a lower level position. Jobs that involve some type of project management of customer orders and service issues will help develop customer service and troubleshooting skills. It is just as important to gain some sort of sales and presentation experience.

Presentation skills are important for anyone who wants to become a technical account manager. This position frequently involves preparing reports and formal presentations for customers regarding order history, billing and potential product offerings. An account manager is in frequent contact with his customer base and must manage all verbal and written communication that keeps the customer informed of changes and important service milestones.

Technical account managers are often in charge of making sure that the customer is satisfied. Part of that responsibility is knowing how to sell and promote the company's products and services. Those who wish to become a technical account manager must be effective and persuasive communicators. They must be able to demonstrate specific technical knowledge and translate it into language that customers of all backgrounds will be able to understand.

Successful account managers possess first-hand knowledge of the products and services they represent. They must be able to answer customer questions and inquiries intelligently. As part of their project management duties, account managers may need to proactively escalate a variety of issues. This requires the ability to determine what type of situation needs to be escalated.

The escalation process often requires technical account managers to be able to advocate for the customer. They need to be able to explain to other internal departments the importance of resolving the issue and follow-up regularly until resolution is achieved. Technical knowledge comes into play with escalation since the account manager will often need to explain the issue in detail, outline what steps have already been taken, and communicate the resolution's progress back to the customer.

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