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What is a Regional Account Manager?

By Grace Ferguson
Updated May 17, 2024
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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.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By SuperJD — On Jun 28, 2011

I love being a salesman. I get to talk to people all day long about the great products that my company manufactures. I have become very good at it, and my commission checks pay off handsomely at the end of the month.

I was recently given the opportunity to work as a regional account manager, but I turned it down. In my company the account managers do very little sales. Instead, they do more work with the internal operations of the company. I do not want to have to deal with all this. I instead would rather just stick with building relationships with clients.

Perhaps if I want to move up in my career, I will consider working as a regional account manager. For now, I am fine where I am.

By Testy — On Jun 25, 2011

I have been a regional account manager in company for over 3 years now. I am in charge of managing the sales of electrical equipment in 5 counties in South Dakota. Business has expanded tremendously since I have been manager.

The skill that has helped me to be the most successful at my job is the ability to network effectively. As a regional account manager, headquarters holds you accountable for generating new business in your region. To do this, you need to constantly be building up your professional and personal network. With each new connection comes the possibility of more business.

Constant networking is a 24-hour job. Just make sure that it does not interfere with your personal life. My wife gets annoyed with me when we go out and I turn a conversation with strangers into a possibility to expand my business. What can I say, I am a salesman at heart!

By goldenbears — On Jun 23, 2011

I have just been promoted to a regional account manager within my company. I am responsible for monitoring the sales of our three branches in Northern California. This article does a really good job of explaining the general job description. While the exact job requirements will vary from company to company, the basic description is written in the article. I give kudos to the author for her accuracy.

I think the best way to prepare for a career as a regional account manager is to have experience as an entry level salesman. Working as one builds up the confidence and people skills you would need as a regional account manager. Although your title changes as an account manager, you are essentially a salesman with more responsibilities.

It also helps to start off as an entry level salesman so that you can become knowledgeable of how your company operates from the bottom level up. Organizational behavior skills are important in landing a job as a regional account manager.

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