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Account Management Sales Rep Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: Requires excellent customer relations skills focused on working internal systems on the customer’s behalf and effectiveness at explaining and clarifying issues to the customer; this is driven by the desire to increase business and the ability to work long hours when necessary.

Predictive Skills: Six characteristics will predict sales rep success in this sales position. Review below how top sales performers will differ from lower performers.


Consistently meets or exceeds sales targets through personally controlling the critical aspects of the sales and delivery processes; systematically works each account plan and anticipates problems in order to work around them; is driven to win customers’ attention and treats their business as an honor, never letting them feel taken for granted


  • Meets or surpasses his sales goals as a means to gain more freedom and independence
  • Maintains personal control over those aspects of the sales and delivery process identified as top priorities
  • Sets high expectations for himself and holds associates to the same stringent standards of dedication
  • Expects to encounter barriers a fair percentage of the time and prepares to deal with setbacks or delays in order to ensure the success of his plans
  • Concentrates full energy and attention on systematically accomplishing key tasks
  • Places his customers on a pedestal and shows them how valued they are


  • May adopt a casual or relaxed approach that fails to project personal commitment or dedication
  • Is comfortable with achieving average results, rising above the bottom of the performance chart but not striving to be the best
  • Adopts a more interdependent and team-oriented approach to accomplishing goals
  • May depend too much on fate or ‘being in the right place at the right time’ rather than plan and work to make things happen
  • Expects his account management plan to proceed without the need for careful monitoring and contingencies
  • Can take customer relationships for granted and may not work at continually demonstrating his appreciation for the business


Motivated to advance in a sales career by increasing the product diversity offered to existing accounts; concentrates on finding avenues to generate increased sales from established accounts; works to increase revenue by identifying additional products to complement what is currently sold to the existing customer base


  • Driven to generate growth through account penetration and referral and directs effort toward building sales
  • Unwilling to settle for maintaining the status quo in generating revenue or increasing sales just incrementally
  • Prefers the efficiency of increasing sales with existing customers to spending the time cultivating new accounts
  • Takes advantage of opportunities to penetrate existing accounts via new product applications
  • Builds business with existing accounts by utilizing creative means to answer their needs with his products


  • May be satisfied with moderate growth in sales
  • Diverts resources from his sales effort to respond to administrative tasks
  • May offer what is familiar to existing customers rather than build a repertoire of products or services that can match additional needs


Shows skill and ease at working in groups; works with others to achieve better results and forges close working relationships and alliances in order to get things done; is quick to cooperate versus expect others to bend to his wishes; supports joint ownership and shared recognition for results; recognizes the advantages of group participation in planning and problem solving


  • Works collaboratively in a group effort to effectively accomplish a goal or task
  • Puts team and management objectives ahead of his own
  • Performs own role effectively on the team and helps team members as needed
  • Forges working relationships and alliances with others in order to get things done
  • Willing to compromise and give others the benefit of the doubt when he disagrees
  • Proactively shares information, ideas, suggestions and support
  • Encourages joint ownership and shared recognition for results


  • Functions as more of an individualist than as a team player
  • Finds it simpler or more convenient to focus independently on his own tasks or direction
  • Prefers to exercise personal control over results and outcomes
  • Is more likely to emerge as a leader than an equal player
  • Believes compromise for the sake of cooperation can potentially threaten the quality of the end result
  • Wants to be personally recognized for individual contributions


Helps the customer to gain maximum benefit from the product or service by committing to continuous education that provides information updates or product training; prepares more structured sessions to cover the most critical areas of learning; stays on top of information needed by customers in an effort to serve as a resource; takes responsibility for motivating customers to update their information; reinforces shared information through periodic repetition; routinely adjusts education process to address individual and group progress or understanding


  • Prepares scheduled and consistent programs to train or educate others
  • Establishes measurable criteria for assessing progress in the learning process
  • Demonstrates patience and a willingness to repeat or reinforce ideas and information until the audience understands
  • Focuses training sessions on those competencies that will make a difference in the group’s ultimate effectiveness
  • Concentrates more on the results produced or change accomplished through his training than with how attractive or entertaining the training can be


  • Prefers one-on-one training or a more loosely organized curriculum to the structured requirements of a scheduled class session
  • Expects the people he is training to be self-motivated to learn and becomes impatient when required to repeat or reinforce information he has already covered
  • Does not implement a tracking process for assessing the effectiveness of his teaching efforts or the progress of his trainees
  • Enjoys working on content delivery and may be more concerned with the audience’s assessment of his public speaking skills than with the subject matter
  • Tries to make the training entertaining at the expense of providing only relevant information


Seeks customer feedback regularly to verify satisfaction and uncover minor issues which could escalate if left unattended; solicits suggestions for continuous improvement and demonstrates personal attention to the customer even when there is no problem; listens to feedback without judgment or defensiveness, remaining focused on results rather than personal feelings; stays logical and objective and refrains from expressing personal frustrations to the customer; ensures future business by anticipating and removing potential sources of dissatisfaction


  • Demonstrates continued personal attention to the customer, calling regularly and soliciting suggestions for improvement
  • Is disciplined and consistent in initiating contact with the intent of monitoring satisfaction and detecting potential problems
  • Welcomes opportunities to demonstrate his willingness to make the customer’s experience even better
  • Aims emotional intensity at addressing a customer’s needs or concerns, not at the customer personally
  • Does not allow the mood or feeling about a customer to alter the degree or quality of the follow-up
  • Maintains a business relationship versus a social relationship in 90% of the contact


  • Assumes that a customer will make him aware of problems but is otherwise satisfied
  • Tends to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ and is reticent to probe for problems that may be in the early stage of development
  • Finds it difficult to keep emotions in check and remain logical when presented with suggestions for improvement
  • Takes customer feedback or criticism as a personal jab and may inappropriately display a negative response


Organizes time to cover ongoing priorities and will make arrangements to cover whenever absence is unavoidable; understands that rewards are commensurate with effort and invests the time to get the job done; uses time efficiently during regularly scheduled hours so that extra hours are not inevitable, but is responsive to additional requirements or demands when necessary


  • Makes himself available after hours to respond to the needs of both internal and external customers
  • Organized and efficient in how he spends his time during the day so that the need to work unscheduled hours is the exception rather than the rule
  • Resists the distraction of nonwork-related issues that can interfere with his coverage of ongoing priorities
  • Accepts that his strong sense of duty to those who are counting on him cannot always be met during regular working hours
  • Prepares a back-up system to cover unpredictable or unpreventable overloads in his absence


  • Believes his personal time is off-limits and may resist interrupting his leisure activities to deal with work demands
  • Loses control of his action list and can become overwhelmed by ongoing priorities, making the inevitable extended hours a continuing source of frustration
  • Allows outside distractions, commitments or time demands to consistently take priority and prevent an efficient use of his time and resources
  • Fails to put into place systems or resources to cover customer needs when he is unprepared or unavailable
  • Prefers to personally handle all customer requirements, creating delays in the response time when he is not available to take immediate action

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