One of the biggest differences between an account manager job and a freelance sales job is in the overall salary. There are many variances depending on commission, but a sales job usually has a higher percentage of commission due to the fact that there is little or no salary included. However, account manager jobs always have a starting salary to build your financial stability off of.
According to pay scale, the average salary for account management jobs varies, depending on the number of years of experience you have in the field. For example, if you have less than a year of experience, your average yearly salary would be approximately: $38,508. For 1-4 years, it’d be around $40,956; 5-9 years of experience, $50,531; for 10-19 years, $58,147; and for 20+ years, the average yearly salary is $59,777. This data is based on salaries all over the country and has been compiled to create a national yearly average. Your salary will depend on the company you work for and the place where you live. At the same time your salary will not include any commission that you make, so you still have plenty of incentives to sell the product and collect your commission each month. If you really push it, you might be able to pull in over 100k, a year. However, since you’re not the one bringing in the leads for the company, you don’t have quite as much control over that. It’s the trade off for having a stable salary.
Download from (c) Dreamstime.com
If you were to look into sales jobs, you’d find that most of them allow you to choose your own hours and bring in leads howsoever you choose. There are many liberties granted to the sales department of most companies. They generally don’t care how you do it, just make sure you do it and do it well. This is why there is generally no salary associated with these jobs. The pay is completely dependent on how much money you make for the company. If you bring in thousands of leads a day, then you’re rolling in the money. That’s a very extreme exaggeration, as most salespeople set goals to simply bring in a handful of leads a day, and that too, if the product they’re selling costs around $100. For the really high priced services and products, they’re lucky to get one or two sales a week! But this is what it’s all about when you’re in sales.
Account management, on the other hand, has much more constant factors at play. Account management careers generally imply that you’ll be working from 9-5, at a desk, receiving calls from leads brought to you by the sales department. You’re handling multiple customers at a time, with all the records in front of you, helping them with their first purchases, or following up with one of their additional purchases. The idea is that you handle a particular customer every time he/she chooses to buy from your company. Since the customer always works with the same sales account manager, there is no need to explain the situation every time a purchase is made from your store. This saves both the account manager and the customer a huge amount of confusion and unnecessary transfers. You know what the previous situation was, and so are better equipped to deal with him/her.
There’s a stable salary for account managers because they are working a set amount of hours, and are retaining the company’s customers. They play a key role in keeping current customers happy as well as closing the initial sale for new customers. As an account manager, you need to know all about the products you’re selling, just like a sales rep, and you need to have a great people skill to be able to work with different personalities. Some customers will be easier to work with than others, and you need to be prepared and willing to adapt your conversation and pitch to accommodate the differences.
If you stick with it for years, you’ll not only see your salary increase, but you’ll also end up working with some of the bigger clients. The company, having had a longer standing with you, will trust you better to handle these major clients; so you’ll find yourself earning much higher commission due to the higher volume of purchases from the bigger clients. Not only will you have the raises that come year after year, but you’ll also have longer standing relationships with the clients you started out with. If you’re still there, they are more likely to continue buying from your company, which gives your boss all the more reason to give you a raise and a bigger bonus. When you work with a company for a long time, you establish great relationships, friendships, and trust with your co-workers and bosses. You have more time to climb the corporate ladder and receive better positions in the company. You also have more time to try out new methods and learn which methods work better than others. With all those years of experience, you’re bound to have your own collection of strategies and methods that work effectively, and you might find yourself in a mentoring position with all the newbies.
When you look at the average salaries for account management jobs, you might be a little discouraged to pursue it as a career. But don’t forget that these salaries don’t include your commission, and you still have a lot of room to increase your monthly wages by selling more products to clients. Also know, that if you enjoy sales positions, account manager positions give you more stability than most sales jobs. You get all the benefits of working with new clients, while maintaining a stable 9-5 job with benefits. So it’s a good deal all around!