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What skills do you need to be a good account manager?

Posted on: 13 Apr

An account manager is responsible for driving collaboration with customers. In some cases, you’ll be responsible for identifying new potential customers and bringing them on board. Depending on size, you may manage several accounts or be the key account manager for one client.

To become your team’s trusted expert on account management, you’ll need to be sales savvy and a master of marketing. But what skills does an account manager need? Looking broadly across all market, McKinsey found that 87% of companies have identified a skills gap, or can see one on the horizon. Read on to find out what skills you should develop to become a good account manager.


It goes without saying that you need to be a first-class communicator to be a good account manager. No matter what market you work in, healthcare, e-commerce or IT, you need to work closely with your client, identify their needs and then put a plan into action. Did you know that following the outbreak of Covid-19, communication was identified as a core healthcare skill ?

As an account manager, it’s up to you to engage with customers to drive sales growth. In order to be a good communicator, you also need to have a deep understanding of your account and up to date knowledge of the customer environment. One of the rising trends within the medical sales industry is a more cautious approach to approving medicine. This means that everyone working within the industry – including account managers – will likely increase their collaboration approaches with healthcare payers and providers.

Relationship building

One of the top account manager interview questions is, “How do you foster a good client relationship?”. Employers need to know that their account managers have strong networking skills and the ability to influence the clients. It’s a role where you’ll need to juggle developing and delivering business plans with ensuring that customers receive superior service.

Key account managers in the healthcare market need to establish effective relationships with clinicians, medicines management and payors. This opportunity to speak to new people every day and make a difference is one of the reasons why you should work in medical sales .


A high level of commercial acumen is essential, but this extends beyond selling the product. You need to look at the broader strategy and understand how to balance business decisions with costs. A good account manager will keep an eye on what the competition is doing and then evaluate whether their client should compete in the same space or create their own path. Commercial acumen is essential to assess risks and opportunities, yet according to Deloitte, only 60% of leaders display this skill.


Having a background in project management will help you lay the foundations needed to become a good account manager. This role requires someone who can confidently lead a team, who can engage them and bring out their passion. Account managers are accountable for the local area strategy, and it’s down to them to ensure timelines are clear for their team. Your team will respect a leader who is decisive and someone they can trust to delegate fairly.

Analytical reasoning

Big data just keeps getting bigger, and the latest statistics reveal that within the healthcare market, it could be worth $78.03 billion by 2027 . Enhancing your data skills will be the key to future-proofing your career as more business leaders will look for analytical expertise in response to the looming talent gap .

Grow your career with IQVIA

If you’re interested in a key account manager role, look no further than IQVIA. You’ll have the opportunity to work in partnership with global pharmaceutical companies and help us to improve people’s lives.

At IQVIA we help our customers identify the optimal value of their drug or biologic; launch and promote treatments; and demonstrate their products' value over time by engaging with patients and driving adherence.

Begin the search for your next role with IQVIA and browse our latest key account manager jobs .