What Are Technical Account Managers?

Brent Sleeper
Jun. 22, 2016 by Brent Sleeper

what does a technical account manager do silver platter white gloves

Over the past year, I’ve had the chance to talk with different SparkPost customers about how they’re using email in their business. It’s been an invaluable way for me to understand how developers at companies of all sizes see email, the kinds of technical and business challenges they face, and how they use SparkPost to solve them.

Getting insight into needs like these is critical for any product marketer. But these customer conversations also have reaffirmed how critical the actual experience of using a service like ours is to the productivity and long-term success of our customers. That’s one reason why I’ve written before about “onboarding,” the first steps of getting started with a service like ours.

At SparkPost, onboarding involves several features and resources to ensure a successful start for all of our users. For our enterprise customers, the experience also includes the expert support of our Technical Account Managers (TAM). In fact, the “white glove service” our Technical Account Managers deliver is one of the things I’ve consistently heard from our larger customers has helped them to succeed. It’s a real differentiator from other email delivery services they considered. That’s why I wanted to share a little bit about how our technical account management team works to ensure a successful customer experience.

What Is a Technical Account Manager (TAM)?

SparkPost’s Technical Account Managers are highly experienced advocates and resources dedicated to enterprise customers. They know the SparkPost platform inside and out—and they are industry experts who understand how critical email can be. This unique combination of technical and strategic experience ensures a successful start as well as ongoing business success and technical best practices.

The White Glove Experience

Technical Account Managers help enterprises make the most of SparkPost through a four-stage process: discovery, implementation, go-live, and ongoing support.

In discovery, the TAM works with a customer to lay the groundwork for the highest performance of message streams and to minimize the risk of disruptions during migration. During this period, a TAM will work with a customer team to identify key message streams and functional requirements, provide strategy and best practices, and develop a migration plan. The migration plan creates the footing for a positive sending reputation, a key element to the success of any mailer.

Implementation occurs once these key requirements have been identified and addressed. The TAM will provision and configure the production environment, begin important deliverability activities such as DNS implementation and IP address warm-up, provide technical resources for integration, and establish a deployment schedule and plan. TAMs work closely with several teams to ensure cross-functional compliance to the plan established during discovery while monitoring the IP ramp up to protect and grow the necessary IP reputation required to succeed.

When it is time to make the “go-live” switch to production, the TAM team will be on stand-by and ready to address any key customer support issues. With careful monitoring of system and message performance, message streams will be phased into production on the new environment until the migration is complete.

Technical Account Managers also provide ongoing support after production has gone live. The TAM will continue to work with customers to optimize performance and migrate additional message streams as required. TAMs will also monitor deliverability and provide regular performance and roadmap reviews. TAMs give proactive support helping senders understand the shifting messaging landscape. This includes regulatory changes, policy and privacy, deliverability, ISP updates and evolving technical and messaging security requirements.

I’ll admit I’m a little biased. But I’ve got to say that I’m consistently amazed by my colleagues on our technical account management team, and what they deliver to help our customers succeed. And I personally have never met anyone who understands email—and how to help businesses really succeed with SparkPost—better. As a product marketer, I’m so glad to have them helping deliver the best customer experience possible.


P.S. If the role of our technical account managers in delivering white glove service sounds like something you need, it’s easy to learn more about services for enterprise senders.

If you’d like to read more about the importance of customer experience, check out these other posts:

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