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Starting a new role as a B2B Account Director? Read this first

Firstly, congratulations on the new job!

Whether you’ve just been promoted or have moved to a new agency, you’ll want to get off to a good start and set the tone for this new stage in your career.

Before founding Invoke Recruitment, our Director, Jo Wassell, worked as a Group Account Director in a busy B2B marketing agency. She loved the role and everything that came with it, but can still remember the challenges she first encountered. When asked if she had any tips for new Account Directors, she shared the following:

 

Meet all of your client contacts face to fact within six weeks – Your role is all about relationships, so meeting clients as soon as possible should be non-negotiable. Not only will this help you to understand them and ask them important questions, but it will help alleviate any fears they might have over someone new taking on their account.

Know your client’s proposition inside-out – This should go without saying, but in reality it’s easy to get swept away in endless meetings and to-dos and miss the big picture. But without it how can you steer your team and guide the client in the right direction? Find out who your key contacts are, what their priorities are and how you can help them deliver what they need to. Check them out on social media and take the time to ask team member about their experiences with each contact – all of this will add context to your conversations and help you understand what makes them tick.

Find out what a win looks like – Spend time with your line manager to find out what success looks like to them and the agency in general. For example, there might be a particular company that CEO wants to have on their books, is there anything you can do to help?

Get up to speed on previous agency projects – What are the most common projects the agency works on? Which ones were particularly successful and unsuccessful? What are the agency’s aspirations with your new client?

Find out what your clients aspirations are – What project have they always dreamed of running but never been able to get off the ground. What awards would they want to win…how can you help them to achieve their professional aspirations?

Be willing to adapt your style – Rather than taking the reins and expecting the team to change the way they work in order to suit your style, a good Account Director is confident enough to allow the team to work the way they work best, and to adapt to that style themselves when required. Getting your team (including creative, data and sales as well as client services) to trust and want to work with you is critical if you want to avoid dramatic scenes and misunderstandings. Your attitude will determine how well you can do this. Are you willing to work with and nurture people who you may not get on well with? Do you understand what each person is trying to achieve? Can you foster collaboration and team spirit, even when deadlines are looming or budgets are shrinking?

Fill the gaps – Do an audit of your team to determine whether there are any skills gaps. Discuss these with your manager and with your team. Often, a team member is willing to upskill to plug the gap, or perhaps a member from another team can moonlight on yours when required.

Get stuck in and add value – Just because the agency does things in a certain way doesn’t mean its the best way. Your experience could be very useful to them. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is valuable enough when it comes to processes, sales and campaign planning.

We hope this helps and wish you all the best in your new role. It may feel like you’ve been dunked in the deep end, but the sooner you start swimming, the stronger you will be.

What do you think? Please do add any extra tips that you might have using the comments box below.

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