Account Manager role that still doesn’t suck

Andy Parkhouse - July 15th, 2013

(This is an ad for a job at Delib, part of Team Rubber)

I need someone to talk to our government and public sector customers a lot, helping them get the most from our digital democracy apps, and helping them engage and consult citizens well.

The most important goal for Delib is to have happy customers who keep using our apps (which are typically used on an annual subscription basis); great account management is vital for this. It’s about retention retention retention, and if we get it right it’s an all round win: our customers are happy, we’re happy, and together we’re helping citizens connect better with decision making.

We work in Bristol and London (UK), and Canberra (Australia); this job is based in Bristol, working with customers around the world. The job doesn’t suck; well maybe it doesoccasionally(mostly because our customers are in different timezones which can sometimes mean early starts or working late, but not usually because we screwed up), but generally it’s pretty good.

The people here are smart, demanding and have each other’s backs. The products are awesome, and we do something worthwhile. We work with government at the highest levels, and we work with local neighbourhoods and niche communities that are just as important.

We share studio space with Viral Ad Network and Rubber Republic (I’m a co-founder of both), which makes the place varied and interesting, but this job is very firmly with Delib. The challenge is to build a world-wide community of customers who are delighted with our democracy apps, and I need someone who will thrive on that (and not just for the short-term; we make long-term hires and aim to keep people learning and rewarded).

The account management role is well defined. It’s a vital connection between the work of our sales team and the work of our production team who build, maintain and support our apps. It also involves working with our studio services and financials team.

The work, in bullet points
Daily

  • Be responsible for a specific set of our customers; and also assist other account managers (currently a team of two) as needed, to cover absence, holidays etc.
  • Work with sales team to pitch and win opportunities, then take those customers through our on-boarding process (meh, buzzwords), and then maintain the account relationship and ensure we retain the customer.
  • Communicate with customers by phone, email, and face to face as needed; (this is not a job for anyone who’s afraid of the phone or meeting people).
  • Deliver training to new customers – which can sometimes mean a bit of hot-footing it around the country – but more importantly, establishing enthusiasm for our products.
  • Identify and grow opportunities within existing accounts where additional products/services can be useful to the customer (you’ll need to be comfortable selling to people you have relationships with, but this role will never involve cold-selling, that’s a promise).
  • Manage feedback on product improvement and proactively identify possible new features.
  • Help resolve support and account admin issues.
  • Work with the production team to get customers’ needs met, or their expectations managed.
  • Help keep the studio running smoothly by keeping paperwork and admin moving, and being involved in planning etc.
  • Seek references, recommendations & case study opportunities from customers.
  • Share news and thinking with our customers and the wider digital democracy / gov community (mostly via Twitter, sometimes blog posts).

Requirements / experience

  • A will to win. Winning is best.
  • Strong writing skills; this job involves a lot of writing and it needs to be done well.
  • Happy talking to people on the phone, and in meetings / presenting.
  • Initiative: the cliche is ‘self-starting’. You’ll drown in our environment if you can’t just turn up and work well without prompting or constant prodding. We work flexible hours, and we don’t have time to arse around chasing people who are AWOL or shirking.
  • To have an understanding of business, professional and account management fundamentals. This role is not suitable for people starting their career – genuinely sorry about that, we do hire a lot of fresh graduates at Team Rubber, but not this time.
  • To thrive on building and maintaining relationships with our customers, and also to be able to maintain strong productive relationships with the rest of the team. The role is demanding in this respect as you have to move frequently between different sets of problems, reconcile multiple points of view, and sometimes you’ll have to tell people things that they don’t want to hear; you have to do that well and come out with a win.
  • You’ll need to be able to soak up technical knowledge; you’ll need this to deal with admin tasks that have technical aspects (such as getting domain names set up correctly). You’ll also need it to communicate fluidly with our customers; to do this it’s essential to build an understanding of software engineering fundamentals (not how to program, but the production and operation of software – we can teach this if you have the interest and smarts for it). To help our clients directly, you’ll also need to learn some html and things like embedding rich media.
  • Knowledge about public policy isn’t essential, but you’ll need to cultivate an interest in this. You need to be able to understand the different levels of government and public bodies around the world, and their different functions and needs. You’ll also need to engage with things like data protection.
  • The job involves collaborating to write tenders and pitches. These can be a grind; I won’t pretend otherwise. The solution to this is to get them done well, and take pleasure in winning them.
  • The job is in Bristol, UK. Don’t live here? Relocate, Bristol is awesome.

We also do all the standard tech-company stuff: Mac laptop, second screen, good chair, nice office, nine kinds of tea, company events, and training as you need it. We hate to waste money, but we invest heavily in the things we value: good tools, supporting people and rewarding success.

Who are you? I don’t know. I’ve got no pre-conceptions, only the requirements above. It’s an extremely demanding job, but done well, it’s also enormously fun, challenging and rewarding. Money isn’t mentioned here, but I’ve got some figures in mind; they’re not excessive but you can live on it. Grow with us.

Interested?
Send a covering letter to Annabel, and yes, a CV, tiresome as they are. We don’t place too much faith in CVs but the bad ones help us choose who gets routed to the no pile (we don’t enjoy saying no by the way). The covering letter is really what we look at. If we like the look of yours we’ll get you in for a standard hiring interview. Fancy that? Drop us a line. Closing date is Wednesday 7 August.