Deep thought from my fat ass at Pilates class this morning, as I struggled to do even 2-3 successful scissor movements: why exactly do we still call people in various organizations “account managers?” I understand what an “account manager” is, for sure — although I’ve never been one — but it seems like a dumb job title these days, honestly. Aren’t we supposed to be approaching an era where relationships matter more? Isn’t that the whole millennial thing? The feedback cycle? (Er, maybe not.) But if you’re an “account” manager, doesn’t that imply that the relationships representing those accounts don’t actually matter? It’s just the accounts? (Because the accounts make money.) It’s kind of the same idea about how salespeople talk about “closing” a deal, even though “a sale” represents the origin point of a relationship. Why do we say “closing?” Why don’t we talk about sales in terms of “never be closing” as opposed to “always be closing?” (Some people understand this.)
I realize the argument I’m laying out here is 10,000% semantic, but I still wonder about this. If you called someone a “Relationship Manager” as opposed to an “Account Manager,” I’m sure people would audibly groan about that title — it sounds very fluffy and soft-skill-y. It doesn’t sound like a hardcore business title, which needs to sound closer to something you’d hear in a war documentary than a therapist’s office. But still — if the focus of your job is managing “accounts,” doesn’t that imply that the true value comes from the account — i.e. the bottom-line items therein? It kinda seems to sacrifice the idea of “the relationships” that support the “accounts.”
This is probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever written, so I apologize if you feel the same way. But if you have some thoughts on the whole idea of people being “an account manager,” feel free to leave ’em.