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Sales Rep vs Account Manager and What’s the Difference?

admin 21-06-2017, 10:25 452 Information

I have noticed over many decades that these two roles by definition are often confused resulting in sometimes confusing KPI’s for the individual which can lead to up line and sometimes totally inappropriate actions. Indeed, the two roles are vastly different these days.

As the author of this article, I speak with experience as I have not only been a sales rep and an account manager; I have also been a Sales Manager and General Manager.



Sales Rep vs Account Manager and What’s the Difference?




Let’s forget what the sales profession looked like a decade ago – let’s focus on today and all of the  changes that have impacted on the day to day working lives of sales reps and account managers.

Basically, a sales rep is a hunter. His or her duties may cross over into account management in order to maintain relationships already established and grow sales. Nothing wrong with that – it makes sense. Having said that, a sales rep must have the ability to network off existing customers as well as prospect for new customers. I have never known a sales rep that likes ‘cold calling’! To this day I hate cold calling – it is repetitive and boring. (if you are reading this article I am sure we are on the same page) The primary difference from my experience is that a good sales rep is a good listener, has the skills to ask the right questions at the right time, and above all get agreement from the prospect for the next meaningful step. Without a meaningful and actionable next step, then that visit or phone call was a waste of your time.

On the other hand, an Account Manager is a priceless asset to any business as he or she will maintain sales and grow sales from your customer base. We all know the value of an existing customer compared to the cost of acquisition of a new customer. A smart sales rep will have a good relationship with the account manager looking after the business that he or she has generated.

And what about Social Media? Well, what a can of worms that is! Cost per click vs cost per impression, measuring results and outcomes? This will be the next topic that I cover as I am trying really hard to get my head around how to use social media to my advantage.  Watch out for "A guide for Using Social Media for Dummies” in a future article.

Happy selling!

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