An Insider’s Guide to the Role of an Account Manager

The heart of every translation or localization project is communication. Key to this complex flow of information between clients and translators is the Account Manager (AM). As the liaison between the client, the Project Managers (PMs), and linguistic team, AMs are vital to the scope of every project.

A Day in the Life of an Account Manager

Similar to a PM, no two days are alike in the world of an AM. The primary role of the AM is to be the dedicated point of contact for the client. Their responsibilities include confirming projects, delivering drafts, preparing quotes, negotiating rates and deadlines, on top of attending regular meetings, webinars, and events. AMs are a resource to the client and building a proper rapport is of the utmost importance.

An Account Manager’s Core Skills

AMs with a strong set of soft skills tend to excel at their role. One of the strongest skills that AMs can have is the ability to critically think and problem solve. Often times, AMs must address difficult issues with clients such as negotiating the budget or pushing back unrealistic deadlines. It’s important for AMs to strategically analyze the situation and make informed decisions. All this while still maintaining a healthy relationship with both the client and internal team.

Another valuable skill to have as an AM is collaboration. Not only do they work with clients, but AMs must also harmonize with Vendor Managers and PMs. They need to work effectively with the teams, accepting and offering feedback in a productive manner. With many moving parts of a translation or localization project, it’s important that every stakeholder is on the same page.

Lastly, AMs should encompass empathy. The ability to understand and anticipate the needs of both the client and the team will proactively halt problems before they start. For example, a client may submit a scanned document with illegible parts to be translated. The linguistic team will do their best to recreate and transcribe all of the legible content. The AM must let the client know that they need clarification regarding its cryptic parts in order to provide a complete translation of the document. This sets realistic expectations for the client and the linguists don’t have to worry about issues post-delivery.

The Decision Makers

AMs see every project through from start to finish, understanding projects on a variety of scales and scopes. Because of this, they’ve developed extensive knowledge that empowers them to step up during difficult situations. When a dispute needs to be resolved, AMs masterfully navigate everyone to a peaceful resolution.

“I’m proud that we can play a part in the decision-making process,” explained Natalia Atab, AM for Terra Translations. “Many times the PMs come to the AM with an issue and it is the AM who has to make an executive decision. We analyze the impact of our decisions and learn.”

Although making crucial decisions can be stressful, AMs are rewarded by the valuable relationships they build across the organization.

“As we work hand in hand on projects, I truly enjoy getting to know the other AMs and PMs,” said Atab. “We get a glimpse into each other’s lives and realize that we are not so different.”

 

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