When you work in account management, you get to have your hands in a little bit of everything: As a proponent for your company's product, you're part sales; as a troubleshooting guru, you're part support; as a strategist figuring out how to best use the product, you're even part client.
But with such wide array of skills and responsibilities, how exactly do you land in that kind of role?
Truthfully, the best candidates are people who are truly passionate about their company's offerings—the people who are always saying, "Wait until I show you what you can do with this new feature!" As a result, your customers will be able to use your product more effectively, helping them grow their own personal or public ventures.
To learn more about how to succeed in this role, we sat down with five successful account managers to chat about their professional paths and what led them to their dream careers.
SMB Account Manager, Twilio
Tobias Abdon may be a systems engineer by training, but through a job in support services, he found that in addition to his technical skills, he also really loved working with customers. "So, I decided that I should be a sales guy," he explains.
At Twilio, he's technically on the sales team—but in his role as account manager, he's in charge of a lot more than just selling products. Throughout the day, Abdon stays in constant contact with his clients as they use Twilio's technology to build apps, making sure they're able to use the platform effectively and move their projects forward.
Senior Account Manager, PaperG
Brooke Goodbary never had a clear idea of what she wanted to be when she grew up, "and that extended well into college," she admits, where she studied political science. Still unsure of her ultimate dream job, she continued her education in Europe, where she earned a master's in international studies.
But regardless of her degrees, she knew two things for sure: She wanted to truly believe in the company's mission, and she wanted to work directly with clients, managing relationships and helping them grow. At advertising technology company PaperG, Goodbary found just that; her typical day includes onboarding new clients and helping existing accounts learn how to better use the company's products.
Senior Account Manager, Xero
After graduating college, Spencer Christeck found himself in a jam: While he loved interacting with customers at his family's small business, he was also drawn to the technology at a larger software company. He found the perfect in-between at Xero, where he works directly with small businesses to help accountants make the most out of the company's software.
Reminiscent of his first job with his family's contracting company, the best thing about his current position is being part of the Xero family—which extends beyond the internal employees to include accounting and add-on partners, too. "There's this overwhelming energy and excitement around entrepreneurship," he explains about the "family" culture. "It's palpable when you spend time within our ecosystem."
Literary and Nonprofit Outreach, Tumblr
Though a bookworm from an early age, Rachel Fershleiser never truly expected to land in a literary career. But after graduating from college, she took a position in traditional publishing, followed by a stint at a bookstore, where she led marketing and social media campaigns. And once she'd developed that passion for online community, she realized what a difference it could make in the literary world.
In her role at Tumblr, Fershleiser reaches out to authors and publishers, showing them just how effective Tumblr can be in gaining publicity, honing their literary voice, and improving their relationships with readers. "The internet is creating these amazing opportunities for people to succeed," she shares. "I think it's the richest possible time for readers and writers, and I think that Tumblr is a part of that."
Account Strategist, Crowdflower
An entrepreneur at heart, it didn't take long for Nate Floyd to realize that a career in finance just wasn't for him. In search of a more innovative culture, he took a role at Crowdflower as an account strategist, which combines the roles of account management and product management.
"I love putting on my client facing hat here," Floyd shares. "I love working with my clients and keeping them happy." To do that, he spends the majority of his days connecting with customers via email, phone calls, and in-person meetings, as well as working with the company's other departments to make sure projects are progressing smoothly.