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Strategic Account Manager Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: Requires excellent leadership and problem-solving skills, thorough product knowledge and the ability to spread product fluency to others; this is driven by the desire to consistently maintain awareness of new product developments and the willingness to devote oneself fully to achieving goals.

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


Demonstrates a willingness to take action on problems or opportunities without prompting; possesses the intrinsic desire and willingness to push toward achieving a desired goal or end-state without suggestion from others; prepares alternatives so the outcome is not jeopardized by unexpected barriers; exhibits the desire to blaze new trails as a means to an end


  • Champions new initiatives and identifies opportunities or issues requiring change without prompting
  • When barriers to goal accomplishment are encountered, is willing to introduce and implement a solution throughout his sphere of influence
  • Is willing to take the lead, even if others don’t initially understand or approve
  • Focuses effort and resources on initiatives or solutions that will positively contribute to the desired result; does not simply try to ‘build a better mousetrap’
  • Changes the present status in order to improve the position of the group or organization in meeting its objectives
  • Installs targeted, selective changes that provide real added value to the organization
  • More than simply overcoming a negative or preventing a loss, the solutions or changes he initiates leave the job (task, project) with something gained


  • Is uncomfortable developing a solution to a problem or trying a different approach without positive directives from a higher authority
  • Hesitates to push own ideas or drive new goals
  • May be too willing to leave well enough alone and conforms to established rules and principles
  • Uncomfortable pushing beyond easy or traditional responses to creative or original thinking
  • Tends to wait patiently for situations to settle over time or to correct themselves in a more natural fashion


Thrives on working; tends to achieve higher results in direct proportion to the time he is willing to commit to his work; remains focused on the goal and is not easily discouraged or distracted; uses work as an opportunity for interaction and incorporates interpersonal contacts into task accomplishment; sees work as a major source of personal satisfaction


  • Commits time and resources to results accomplishment that surpasses what is just acceptable or expected
  • Is dedicated to achieving business results, even at some personal sacrifice
  • Defines himself to a great extent by his work and derives personal satisfaction from his success and accomplishments in his career
  • Builds into his schedule the time required to lay the groundwork and develop the plans for achieving his work objectives
  • Retains control of his objectives by preparing action steps and evaluating his progress
  • Remains focused when the commitment to his work is threatened by internal or external distractions
  • Enjoys finding opportunities to mix personal interaction with goal accomplishment


  • Seeks a balance in his professional and personal commitments that inevitably limits the time and resources devoted to his work
  • Is more inclined to work a set schedule of hours than to commit resources as required by the objective
  • Distinguishes personal time from work and career commitments and is not likely to make consistent sacrifices in his personal life to accommodate extraordinary advancements in his work objectives
  • Becomes distracted by unexpected obstacles or may not effectively plan to deal with his job demands

  • May not recognize that opportunities to advance his goals can be present in the personal interactions that occur in the workplace


Derives genuine satisfaction from giving advice, encouragement, and support to others; takes pride in nurturing and developing others; seeks opportunities to share his expertise and experience in a mentoring role; is willing to address basic or rudimentary issues necessary to bring a novice up to speed; takes responsibility for motivating others to learn and grow


  • Serves as a mentor and personal coach to those needing individual guidance
  • Derives satisfaction from giving encouragement and support to others
  • Volunteers advice or assistance to help others achieve job and career success
  • Adjusts his coaching to accommodate novices as well as more experienced individuals
  • Takes pride in being a role model


  • Loses patience with individuals lacking the motivation or enthusiasm to learn what is being taught
  • Prefers to offer his expertise to those who have mastered the basics and are actively seeking advanced learning
  • Waits for his advice and support to be requested by individuals interested in learning from him
  • Does not want to appear invasive by offering his help without invitation
  • Resists being obligated to function in an advisory capacity


Seeks to stay abreast of new developments in his core competencies and to learn enough about related fields to apply knowledge effectively in the business; enjoys learning and is intellectually curious; has a strong desire to continuously improve knowledge, skills, and abilities; sees learning and knowledge as the keys to building the skills and abilities essential to job and career success


  • Stays abreast of technical developments in his field in order to effectively apply his knowledge
  • Reviews professional publications, newsletters, and other current information in his own and related fields
  • Routinely collects and reviews key data and information to track progress on all important functions
  • Applies technical principles effectively to goals, plans and new situations
  • Uses technology to enhance productivity
  • Incorporates professional expertise into projects and new initiatives


  • Tends to rely on others' expertise in areas in which he doesn't understand the technology or basic principles
  • Applies an existing body of technical principles to objectives and problems without taking the steps to expand and update it
  • Interest in exploring new technical developments may be cursory and driven by business demands rather than by personal curiosity
  • May spend insufficient time tracking all key business information sources


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

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