Generally, a regional account manager is a part of a large sales team and acts as the direct client contact and manager of a number of business accounts. These accounts usually encompass a certain territory. For example, one who works in the United States may have all the accounts she manages based in the eastern US.
A regional account manager’s daily tasks usually include taking product orders from clients, up-selling items that may be necessary to the client, working with warehouse personnel to ensure timely delivery, preparing quotes, and responding to clients’ inquiries. She may also be responsible for issuing credits to customers, particularly when an incorrect or defective item is shipped.
Someone in this position is also often responsible for gaining new accounts, and the company she works for may set a minimum on how many new accounts the individual is expected to have per month. This number tends to be small at first, increasing as she gains experience. To attain new accounts, cold calling is usually necessary. The account manager can locate prospects by using advertising methods such as business cards or word-of-mouth, or from leads provided by the company.
Many employers require their account managers to meet sales goals. These goals often include having to make a certain number of calls per day, remaining on the phone with clients for a specific timeframe, or selling a required number of items. Some employers pay their regional account managers a base salary that is contingent upon them meeting their sales goals. Consequently, in addition to receiving a set pay, they may receive a commission on each product they sell. Some account managers receive only commission pay.
It usually takes considerable skill to become a successful regional account manager. The most common requirements for the job are exceptional people skills, intelligence, persuasiveness, and strong analytical skills. It is also very important that the individual has a thick skin because rejection is an integral part of sales.
The educational requirements for the position depend on the company. While some employers may require a degree in business administration or marketing, others require the individual to have a certain amount of experience. Some companies are willing to train individuals who possess none of these credentials as long as they are driven and possess the basic requirements. If someone in this job performs well, she can earn a substantial living.