Account Manager Laura White lifts the lid on what effective account management means to her and how she helps to bring out the best in her clients.
Account management can quickly get process-heavy. For Laura White, it’s all about people.
If you’ve worked in the area before, you’ll recognise her day to day: renewal conversations with existing clients and check-ins with those who’ve lapsed. Account reviews and re-engagement strategies. Meetings with HubSpot’s customer success managers.
But these aren’t her goals. The way Laura sees it, her role is all about keeping her customers happy by helping them to make the most of our team and their HubSpot. In her eyes, account management is about being able to empathise with the person on the end of the phone. It’s about listening to them and understanding their challenges. Finding out where they are now and where they want to go so she can best recommend how we can help.
Join us for this interview where Laura shares her passion for account management, how she shifted from fashion to HubSpot, and which principles learned in the world of fashion have translated into how she helps her clients to grow their accounts and their businesses.
Prefer to chat? So does Laura. To book a meeting, drop her a message now.
Thomas Brown: What do you love about account management?
Laura White: I love the variety. Unlike previous roles I’ve held, I’m never dealing with just one industry or type of person. I find being able to speak with people from all kinds of backgrounds really interesting. It broadens your perspective and opens your mind. You can learn so much just from talking with people from different walks of life: their roles and responsibilities, sure, but also their passions, their goals in life, and their dreams.
I also love that I can see the impact I’m making. There’s nothing like being able to offer the client a solution to their problems and watching as their account and business grow.
Your background is in fashion. How did you get from there to here?
After university, I worked in fashion merchandising for a large retailer. It was a fast-paced, creative position that involved setting up store layouts and displays to drive profitability. There was the customer service side that came with being around shoppers all day, too.
From there I moved into a head office position. That took me away from the customer side of things with a greater focus on stock management and working more closely with the vendors themselves. A lot of them were big brands with the ability to cherry-pick their retailers, so a big part of that role was relationship-building. In fashion, it’s all about who you know. On the phone with vendors, with suppliers, with buying, and with the warehouse team, I learned a lot of people skills. It was essential that I had an overview of everything that was going on.
I loved this kind of work but I wanted to try another environment to fashion. It was exciting, the thought of taking everything I’d learned and applying it in a different industry. I knew from the moment I interviewed for this role that I was in the right place.
Can you tell me more about how the skills you learned in fashion merchandising translate into what you do now?
In account management as in fashion, you’re helping to bring out the best in someone. Sometimes a person is looking for advice on what to wear. Chatting with that person on the shop floor, I might have encouraged them to try something different. A new fit, a colour they wouldn’t have chosen for themselves but which looks and feels great. In my role now, a client might have their own vision of what they want, and sometimes the best thing you can do for them is to reframe their thinking towards a solution that will genuinely help them.
Fashion has taught me resilience and creativity, particularly when it comes to finding outside-of-the-box solutions. If you have creativity, you can bring so much to any role.
And then there’s confidence. I’ve always looked at fashion as being a way of stepping outside and facing the world with your best foot forward. A lot of people I speak with today are new to HubSpot and they don’t know where to start. Or they’ve been using it for years but they can’t keep up. Or they’re the only person in their organisation inside the platform every day and they don’t have support. Being able to change that for them, to take those worries away through our flexible support packages or simply being there on the other end of the phone, is just as valuable to them as the technical up-skilling and knowledge sharing we offer. We don’t just help our clients to get the most out of HubSpot; we help them to come into work in the morning and feel like they know what they're talking about. To feel in control.
For other people in roles like yours, what is important?
It’s important not to overpromise. The urge can be there, especially when all you want to do is help someone to find the right solution and improve their situation, but you need to be specific about how you can help them and realistic about what is possible.
It’s also important to be interested in your clients as people. It’s easy to see them as an account, especially when that word is right there in your job title, but they’re someone just like you trying to solve a problem or do their job better. They should never feel the handover between sales and delivery, for example. Their experience should be joined up, whoever they’re working with across our business. We’re all here to support them together. So keeping that relationship front and centre, and checking in with them regularly, really helps.
I also think there’s something to be said about being easy to work with. That’s often overlooked but it can make or break a relationship. The support packages we offer really celebrate this. For a client, the ability to purchase a pool of points to spend on whichever services, tasks, or support they need, when they need them, gives them so much freedom to access our team without having to jump through sales hoops every time or engage and maintain multiple relationships with lots of different agencies. People are too busy for that!
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is being an effective cheerleader for my clients. Getting into their businesses and understanding what they really need so I can equip them with the tools that will help them to achieve their goals. Giving them confidence as much as knowledge. Success to me is caring for all our clients, new and existing, to help them unlock the full potential of HubSpot — and helping them to look and feel great while they do so.