The main purpose of a Scientific Account Manager at an animal-free in vitro testing lab is to explain how the technologies we offer suit our clients’ needs and support the development of their animal-free testing strategies. We caught up with XCellR8 Scientific Account Manager Chris Longmore, to discover what it takes to XCell in this job role!
Tell us about a typical day as a Scientific Account Manager
I start my day with a Teams meeting with the rest of the commercial team. These 15 minute huddles, not only perk up our mornings with some friendly smiles, but also serve to set the commercial goals of the day and remind us of what we want to achieve.
Following these quick morning catch ups, I will then have meetings with clients throughout the day. I especially enjoy working with clients to plan out a strategies and appropriate timelines – the focus is not just about providing a quote, but more on supporting them using our expertise.
Today I chatted to a client to determine whether they required a regulatory test for skin and eye irritation (which might provide an answer of irritant vs. non-irritant), or a non-regulatory method (which can indicate the potency of irritation). Another wanted to discuss whether a “top-down” or “bottom-up” method was the best course of action when it came to testing corrosion. These are great conversations to have as I can work out whether it’s worth starting with testing the most severe hazards, as it might make other tests redundant.
What are the challenges a Scientific Account Manager might face?
From a technical perspective, you never know who is going to call and what they will ask – exciting right? This is what makes problem solving so important to this role. For me, teamwork is the key to success… Without each and every member of the team we wouldn’t be able to solve the challenges we might face as well as we do. Sometimes clients come to us with urgent timelines and I’ll liaise closely with the lab team in order to arrange the swift services required. We take going the Xtramile with our clients very seriously at XCellR8!
After chatting to clients, I think it’s important to take the time to investigate their queries properly. A few weeks ago, a client wanted more information about the skin models we use for our phototoxicity tests. I wanted to answer their questions accurately, so I attended a webinar with one of the companies that supply our skin models to understand the technical data more clearly.
Why did you choose a career as a Scientific Account Manager?
I didn’t choose the Scientific Account Manager life, it chose me! It’s been a natural progression from when I started in the lab as Scientist II. I was always interested in chatting to clients about the real world application of my lab work, and liked to get involved where possible. As we got busier, I was able to present to clients more and here we are now!
My favourite part about my role has to be helping with project proposals. I get to examine the feasibility of projects and costs whilst taking on project management responsibilities. These are always rewarding as the team pulls together right the way across the business to design a bespoke piece of work which fulfils our clients’ needs.
What do you do to unwind after work?
I close my office door and try not to reopen it until morning! It’s important to always have a beacon of something fun to look forward to – it keeps me motivated throughout the week. I usually wind down by playing board games with friends, which thankfully I can still enjoy as we’ve moved our weekly meetups online! Occasionally my wife encourages me to go for a run but that happens slightly less often…