What are Relationship Manager Roles and Responsibilities?

What are Relationship Manager Roles and Responsibilities?

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Dec 18, 2023 11:18 IST

Managing client expectations, nurturing long-term relationships with clients, and working closely with internal teams are some of the essential duties in a relationship manager’s career. Find out more about the job description today.

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Relationship managers are an important link between clients, partners, and customers, ensuring their needs are met. To help drive sales and attract new clients, they work closely with various departments, including marketing, customer service, and sales. 

Relationship management preserves client or customer relationships, improving brand reputation and returns. Companies in the retail and banking sectors especially need such professionals. 

If you are a natural collaborator who can address people’s needs or have a degree in marketing, consider becoming a relationship manager. 

Today you will find a comprehensive job description of a relationship manager and the top skills in the career. 

Who is a Relationship Manager?

A relationship manager builds and maintains relationships with clients or customers for a company. The main role is to satisfy clients, facilitate long-term partnerships. 

This professional has to be a liaison for clients. They address client inquiries, resolve issues, and provide personalised assistance on an ongoing basis.  

You should also know that the relationship manager is not exactly a customer service personnel. This is because customer service is more reactive, while relationship management is proactive. 

In customer service, communication is too specific, transactional, and short-term, where customer issues must be resolved instantly. In relationship management, communication is done to preserve long-term relationships with existing customers or clients. Relationship managers invest a long time in understanding the preferences and challenges of clients. 

Now that you know what a relationship manager isn’t, let’s look into the two types. 

Types of Relationship Managers 

Client Relationship Managers

Client relationship managers primarily focus on managing relationships with individual clients or customers. They work on building strong connections with specific individuals. 

Business Relationship Managers

Business relationship managers have a broader focus. They work with organisations as a whole rather than individual clients. They manage relationships with key stakeholders, partners, vendors, or other businesses. 

Relationship Manager Roles and Responsibilities

A relationship manager’s primary roles and responsibilities, both on the client and business sides, include the following. 

  • Maintain long-term relationships with clients through regular communication and personalised support.
  • Handle the onboarding process for new clients to ensure a smooth transition and introduction to the brand’s products or services.
  • Identify opportunities to enhance the client’s experience.
  • Generate additional business through cross-selling or upselling.
  • Promptly and effectively address client issues by coordinating with internal teams, especially with key account managers.
  • Continuously monitor client satisfaction levels by gathering feedback and conducting surveys or assessments.
  • Know the competition and market trends, and develop strategies to stay ahead.
  • Improve and meet sales targets through long-term customer retention.

These are all the expectations from a relationship manager with good experience.

What is Required to Become a Relationship Manager?

A BBA or marketing degree is ideal for the relationship manager career. Bigger companies hire professionals with some years of work experience in customer service or sales. Certifications in Salesforce, prior experience in CRM platforms, and Microsoft Office are a big plus. 

Now let’s move on to the top skills expected from a relationship manager. 

Communications 

The relationship manager should be able to understand the needs of the clients or customers before building trusted relationships. The approach in communication should not just be persuasive for agreeing but also effective. 

The professional has to create a dialogue where listening, empathy, soothing tonality while asking relevant questions or stating facts and good body language contribute largely. These are the main soft skills that the relationship manager role is based on.

Planning and Leadership

Planning is a key managerial function, and relationship managers give a lot of importance to client inputs. Doing so can align any further communication with the client’s needs. 

The manager must also know market trends to improve the planning process. Collaboration with different teams also should help in the process and ensure client satisfaction for the long term. 

As decision-makers, motivating the team, helping them prioritise tasks, and delegating are essential responsibilities of a relationship manager. These are essentially strong leadership skills

Multitasking

Prioritising tasks based on urgency, setting deadlines, delegation, and good organisation all contribute to effective multitasking. 

The relationship manager must ensure that the prioritisation of tasks does not lead to miscommunication with the clients or the internal teams. 

Software and Computer Literacy

Regarding CRM tools and Microsoft Office, the relationship manager must know how to use such platforms to analyse customer behaviour and trends. 

Data management is a crucial subskill for a relationship manager. Along with that, knowledge of managing the sales pipeline is essential. 

The Microsoft Office suite refers to using Excel spreadsheets, collaborating with Microsoft Teams, and presenting with PowerPoint. Most relationship managers learn to use MS Office on the job or could take MS Office courses

Parting Thoughts

So these are the main roles and responsibilities of a relationship manager. You may even review some related courses, such as Key Account Management from IIM or Axis Bank – Virtual Sales and Relationship Management Program from NIIT. 

Further Reads

FAQs

Is relationship manager a sales job?

While there may be some overlap in responsibilities, a relationship manager is not solely a sales job. Relationship management encompasses a broader scope than just sales. While sales professionals focus primarily on acquiring new customers and closing deals, relationship managers focus on building and maintaining long-term client relationships. Their main objective is understanding client needs, providing exceptional customer service, and fostering loyalty and satisfaction. Relationship managers work closely with clients to meet their needs, anticipate future requirements, and identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling.

What is the role of a relationship manager in banks?

Relationship managers act as trusted advisors, providing guidance and support to clients throughout their banking journey. They also identify opportunities to offer existing clients additional banking products and services. They analyse client needs, identify gaps, and propose solutions aligning with clients' financial goals.

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio