Every organization needs customers and a well-trained team that finds and manages customer relationships provides them with support and tends to all their needs to help the organization grow.
All of these job responsibilities are managed by an account development representative – an individual who solely manages all that pertains to a customer in an organization – ensuring all customer satisfaction is achieved in order to make sales happen and increase customer retention.
These individuals are indispensable to the growth and success of every organization, which explains why a lot of these organizations take extra effort in recruiting skilled and experienced account development representatives.
In the article, we will share all you should know about account development representatives, their skills, and what to look out for when hiring one.
Table of Contents
- Who is an account development representative?
- Account development representative (ADR) vs. Sales development representative (SDR)
- What is an account development representative job description?
- Account development representatives skills.
- What is an account management strategy?
- Five Key Account management skills for account development representatives.
Who is an account development representative?
An account development representative is an organization’s representative that is in charge of building and maintaining cordial relationships with clients and developing sales strategies to boost sales and increase business profits.
An account development representative’s responsibilities include to source for new customers, generating business opportunities, and collaborating with other departments within the organization to meet and possibly exceed their daily and monthly targets.
Account development representatives are also responsible for keeping records of the company’s daily activities, income, and cash flow as well as reaching out to customers to set up meetings between clients and executives.
An ADR must be confident, hardworking, detail-oriented, and must possess research abilities to conduct research on potential customers, different kinds of marketing plans, business growth techniques, and budgets for business projects.
An account development representative needs an average bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing, communication, or other relevant fields. The average salary of account development representatives in the United States as of July 2022 is $50,481 (please be informed that depending on your qualification, experience level, education, company, and country, your salary can go as high as $85,000).
Between the year 2018 -2028, the account development career is expected to grow by 2% and produce over 35,000 job opportunities for account developers across the United States.
Account development representative (ADR) vs. Sales development representative (SDR)
A sales development representative is responsible for introducing new business opportunities to the company’s sales pipeline, finding prospective customers, converting them to qualified leads, and nurturing them until they are ready to transfer to an account development representative.
While sales development representatives find the leads and nurture them with interesting information about the company and its product or service offerings, account development representatives are the ones that close the deal and record sales for the organization.
The sales development rep starts the sales process by introducing the prospect to the company and gives them all the relevant information on how the products or services can be beneficial to them whereas an account development representative responsibilities lie in communicating with the potential customers to find out more about them – their pain points, interest, and goals – to close the deal.
What is an account development representative job description?
An account development representative’s responsibilities cut across various functions and activities in an organization. You would often find an account development representative doing jobs from theirs and other departments like:
- Create new business opportunities using cold outreach techniques and organize personal and group meetings with potential customers.
- Manage EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) systems to accept tenders, and track, trace, and report the progress of shipments.
- Develop and maintain positive relationships with customers and other teams within the organization.
- Use professional growth channels like LinkedIn, Email campaigns, Twitter, etc to build and grow new and existing networks.
- Identify potential customers and continuously research better ways to satisfy their new and existing customers’ needs, pain points, and goals.
- Manage all tactical implementations from creative and technical development to measurement, reporting, and ROI analysis.
- Communicate with VIP clients to build a trustworthy and loyal relationship with them.
- Manage all day-to-day activities related to customer accounts and projects like IP voice, MPLS Infrastures, and CPE Implementations.
- Create payroll and pre-billing reports.
- Design industry standards and effective presentations and share them with key clients and stakeholders.
- Monitor and manage relevant data in the company’s CRM.
- Track and record all client interactions in the CRM system.
- Determine the budget and timeframe for a business project.
- Research effective software solutions in your industry that can improve communications with clients and convert all sales opportunities.
- Develop a regulated and generally accepted method of onboarding new account development representatives, and sales executives and create new cold calling scripts and email drip campaigns.
- Collaborate with the corporate communication and marketing team to develop creative strategies to manage new accounts.
- Interview ADR applicants, coach new account development representatives, and take them through all the details of the work process.
- Develop and implement an account management strategy.
Account development representatives’ skills
It is the main aim of an account development representative is to develop mutually beneficial relationships with potential customers and build the business with existing customers.
They combine the role of customer support, communication, marketing, and sales teams. Account development representatives must possess the following skills:
1. Lead qualification skill
An ADR must possess the ability to qualify leads and determine which prospects are more likely to convert to paying customers and which ones aren’t to work with them closely. they must also be detail-oriented and must be able to read between the lines when evaluating prospects or customers for sales.
2. Closing skills
An ADR must possess the ability to close conversations with their prospects and customers in a way that leaves them satisfied and wanting more. Having these skills can help an account development representative close sales deals and help the company grow.
3. Negotiation skills
An ADR must be able to negotiate effectively with clients to agree to terms with customers. All of these must include price discussions/negotiations, product features, delivery dates, etc. They must also be able to negotiate contracts between clients and suppliers or other business relationships.
4. B2B Sales skill
B2B sales are the process of selling products or services between businesses. As an ADR, you will not only be responsible for setting meetings, training new ADRs, or maintaining relationships but will also have to sell the company’s products or services to clients in a way that builds trust with them and encourages them to continue doing business with you.
5. Social media skills
Social media has become a major player in the present marketing community. A lot of businesses create social media accounts to connect with customers and get closer to them. As a result, an ADR must possess social media skills to interact with customers across various social media platforms.
With these social media accounts, an ADR can manage customer inquiries, promote the company’s products and services and build relationships with all customers.
6. Ability to handle objections
An ADR works a lot with customers and so much happens while working with different customers. Objecting handling skill is one’s ability to respond to every customer’s concerns and objections. ADRs must be able to handle customers’ objections and devise better ways to convince customers to buy the product or service.
7. Presentation skills
An ADR must be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the products and services and present them in a way that convinces them to get the products or services by explaining how the products work, what it does for the customer, and why they should buy them.
8. CRM Software
CRM software is a software system that allows you to manage customer data, easily track all communications and interactions with customers, and nurture relationships with all their leads and clients. CRM software like Sloovi Outreach has email automation, message personalization, outreach tools, etc., to send automated and personalized messages to clients and manage all interactions with them.
What is an account management strategy?
An account management strategy is a document created to manage all operations between customers and clients. It does not just highlight the list of tasks that can help you achieve your business goals but is also a strategy that can help you gain the attention of key stakeholders to boost organizational growth.
An account management strategy helps you achieve the following
- Determine your business goals
- Consider your business objectives and how they are assessed.
- Integrate your organizational goals into interactions with customers.
- Determine what should be or not be done.
- Monitor your progress.
Five Key Account management skills for account development representatives
The following are the key account management skills that an account development representative must possess to excel in the role.
1. Communication and negotiation skills
An ADR must be an excellent communicator and be skilled at negotiating prices and contract terms with customers. They must know how to deal with customers at all levels to satisfy their business needs.
2. Business and client success expertise
An ADR must build strategic connections and relations with clients and tailor the business solutions to their needs to help clients wins.
3. Strategic Vision
An ADR must be able to see beyond monetary benefits and effectively understand what deals and strategies to develop to convert customers. Check out the guide about lead-to-revenue management.
ADRs must be able to take the leadership position in guiding their customers and other teams effectively to make sales happen.
5. Value-centred selling
An ADR must be able to strategically and financially position the product in a way that offers value to customers to encourage and boost sales.
An account development representative is a highly skilled and strategic individual that understands the customers and can develop effective sales strategies to make sales happen. The above skills and personality traits are what qualifies a person to excel in the field and bring immense growth to a company.
If you are looking to start a career in account development, consider building the above skills, education, and the needed experience to become a successful account development representative.