People often use the terms “project” and “account management” interchangeably, but the two are not the same. Project managers are responsible for managing projects from start to finish and account managers manage client accounts on an ongoing basis.
In this blog post we’ll cover how you can tell which one you need as well as key traits you need your project and account managers to have.
What is Account Management?
In short, account management is managing a company or client over time. Account managers are responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with clients on an ongoing basis. They meet with key stakeholders to establish requirements and discuss how the product will address them as well as gather feedback throughout the process so they can adjust if necessary before development begins.
Account managers also often work closely with sales and marketing to understand the best way they can position a product or service in order to meet client needs.
What is Project Management?
Project managers are responsible for managing projects from start to finish, such as implementation of new software at an organization.
They typically work closely with their team members to develop a timeline, schedule tasks and keep the project moving forward towards its goals.
They are also responsible for communicating with stakeholders about progress made throughout the development process, as well as any roadblocks that might come up along the way.
Key Traits of Great Account Managers
Great account managers are strong communicators who can connect with people at all levels. They have an innate ability to build rapport quickly and develop positive relationships.
They’re able to analyze situations objectively by thinking about how others might perceive them, so that they can adjust their tone or approach to be more effective. They’re also great at giving real-time feedback on situations without making it seem like criticism, which helps foster innovation and creativity within the team.
Account managers should be results-driven and have a knack for staying organized so that they can manage client expectations successfully.
Key Traits of Great Project Managers
Great project managers are able to see all moving parts in an organization so that they can identify potential risks and roadblocks that could stand in the way of achieving project goals. They’re also great at anticipating changes and adjusting plans to accommodate them, which helps keep projects moving forward on schedule.
Again, project managers must be strong communicators and be great at building relationships across teams and levels in an organisation. They should be good leaders who know how to inspire and empower their team to get the best work done.
Which One Is More Important?
The truth is that both account and project management are equally important and necessary for a business to succeed.
An account manager has an external focus, whilst a project manager is internal. An account manager’s main goal is client satisfaction, whilst a project manager is concerned with the team’s performance and focuses on the completion of a specific project.
If your business is new then account management is likely to be your best choice, but if it’s an established business that has been around for a while then you’ll probably need both.
You may have to start with just one of these roles at first in order to get the ball rolling and see where things go from there.
Although project and account managers work closely together, their roles and responsibilities are very different, and both are important.
One thing that both roles share in common is their desire for success – whether through client satisfaction or team performance, they’re committed to finding ways to meet those goals no matter what.