This month we dive deep into the world of account management by the hand of David, one of our experts. In this interview, David shares his insights as an account manager and how playing the devil’s advocate role can become an art form in this job.
What led to your job at Devexperts, and how did you know the company would be a good fit?
I was looking to switch jobs and had even already accepted a job offer when Devexperts came along and beat the competition out. As I came to know Devexperts during the interviewing process, I was more and more invested in what I saw here. I understood at the time that this was definitely an interesting place to work in and that feeling never left me ever since.
Devexperts is at a growing stage, developing processes and operations that make it a thriving place to work in. It’s a really good time to be in the business right now and I couldn’t be happier that I took this opportunity when I did.
What are you responsible for in your role?
I’m an account manager for 80% of our SaaS clients (Crypto and FX), and I also manage several customers in the brokerage and tailored products area.
How would you describe your job and what are the necessary skills to be a good account manager?
The best way of describing an account manager is you’re the grease that runs in-between the gears, you keep everything running smoothly on both sides, internally and externally.
As an account manager, you have the responsibility for the relationship with the client, but you also work closely with the project management team. You end up playing a lot of the devil’s advocate role, making sure you’re helping each side to understand each other’s points of view and needs.
To do a good job in this profession, you need to be able to communicate effectively, understand what the needs of your stakeholders are, and know how to prioritize. I don’t know where I would be without a list!
How would you explain the difference between working in sales and working in account management?
As an account manager, you play a lot as the support player through different processes. During the sales process, you’re there as a facilitator to help the sales team make the sale; when the deal is settled, you then support the project manager as the project progresses.
Long before Devexperts, you were a pub manager. How does that past work experience influence your current job as an account manager?
I’ve spent most of my college years working in pubs and restaurants and I think the pressure that you have dealing with the public really does help you throughout any career that you get into later.
I think those client-facing skills are something that you never lose, and without doing a service-related job, I believe it would be very hard for me to have learned that level of interaction on a customer level. And, also: it was working as a pub manager that I met my wife, so win-win!
What is a common misconception about working in fintech and how would you respond to it?
I suppose the most common misconception that I find when describing fintech to my friends is that they all think it’s just about trading. They think that our company does the actual day-to-day trading of stocks and shares, which is something we obviously don’t do. We are an IT company. We provide bespoke solutions for our clients.
When it’s someone who knows what fintech is, the misconception I hear the most is that some people don’t realize the scope of what we actually do. I think a lot of fintech companies are very niche and Devexperts isn’t like that, we provide a wide variety of different products, and we have genuinely robust product and service offers that can deliver on multiple levels.
What do you imagine the Fintech industry will look like in the next few years?
In my opinion, automation is going to become a huge part of financial trading and the financial markets. It’s already becoming more and more prolific, as margins get tighter all around. Algorithmic trading and systemic trading will also become increasingly important as we move forward. As crypto becomes more regulated, it will also become more of a factor in automation there.
What is something that you’re passionate about outside of work?
My biggest passion is my family. I really enjoy being a dad to my kids. I love that I still get to tell bedtime stories to the youngest, the only one that still lets me read to him as opposed to the other two that are a bit older.
I also like going to the gym. I want to be able to run the field, play football with my kids as opposed to, you know, dying on the sidelines. The healthier and fitter we are, the longer we get to be around for them as well.
I would say that my perfect day would be to go to the gym, sort out the kids’ breakfast, spend some time together as a family doing something outdoors.
Are you a sports fan?
I’m a rugby fan. I married a South African and that obviously caused some rivalry in our household. I don’t support any team other than England, and the local rugby team in which my boys play.