How to become a relationship manager: a step-by-step guide

When you set your sights on a career goal, that’s step one. If you’ve decided that being a relationship manager is the best profession for you, then well done. You can move on to the next level, which is to figure out how to make it happen.

Relationship managers work for banks and financial institutions. They connect bank account holders with the bank services, forging a strong bond between the two.

Customers rely on relationship managers for most of their banking queries, issues and requirements. Relationship managers are well-spoken, articulate and financially savvy professionals who can pitch new products, retain clients and ensure customer satisfaction.

How do they do all that? Are there specific qualifications for relationship managers in banks?

Yes, and this is where your training comes in. It’s also step 2. Getting qualified with the right credentials can go a long way in making you an efficient relationship manager. What is step 3? Is there a step 4? Keep reading to find out.

What does a relationship manager do?

If this is your chosen career, your work involves building and maintaining a close relationship with your clients. You have to solve their problems, address any concerns and sell them banking products and services that suit their needs. It helps to have the ‘gift of the gab’ and persuasive communication abilities. You also need to be a financial expert and understand how the banking industry operates, analyse the types of products in the markets, seek out new opportunities and look at what the competition is up to. So, how to become a relationship manager? The role can be a heavy juggling act, but if you are a certified financial professional, you’ll be ready for the job. Here is a step-by-step guide below.

Also Read – 6 Roles That Make Relationship Managers Indispensable

How to become a relationship manager 

This is where you begin your journey. You need to fulfil specific parameters before you get hired by a reputed bank. They will check your qualifications, examine your skills and check if you have the right personality for the job.

  1. Get the qualifications

Your degree or certification plays a huge role in getting you that interview. Most recruiters will not entertain resumes that don’t have the ideal credentials. So if you have one or more of the following, it will boost your relationship manager eligibility.

    • BBA or MBA in finance 

A BBA or MBA has relevant subjects like business administration, economics and finance, which are essential in banking. An MBA is a highly coveted degree and can lead to a competitive advantage during your recruitment process.

    • CFA

When you have one of the best finance certifications on your resume, it gives you an edge over your peers. The Chartered Financial Analyst program is acknowledged in over 160 countries and counting. The CFA charter has set the benchmark for excellence in the finance industry and is also one of the best qualifications for relationship managers in banks.

    • CFP

The Certified Financial Planner certification is an exceptional program for those seeking a career in financial services. The course delves into topics like insurance, real estate, income tax and money management, which is perfect for aspiring relationship managers.

    • Financial modelling 

If you want recruiters to notice you for the post of relationship manager, this could be your ticket to getting the job. Financial modelling is one of the best finance tools, using spreadsheet software like MS Excel to document, analyse and summarise heavy financial data. It will boost your relationship manager eligibility and make you a coveted hire.

    • Investment banking PG certificate

This course gives you a strong foundation in core concepts and relevant skills. You learn how to become a relationship manager and how to help your customers manage wealth and identify possible investments.

Also Read – 9 Must-Have Next-Level Skills for Relationship Managers

  1. Work on your skills

When working with bank customers, you need a specific mix of soft and technical skills to execute your work perfectly.

Soft skills:

    • Good communication and presentation
    • Strong negotiation techniques
    • Listening skills
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Salesmanship

Technical skills:

    • CRM tools
    • Analytical thinking
    • Mathematical prowess
    • Knowledgeable about banking products
    • Awareness of competition’s services and market trends
    • Financial modelling
  1. Understand what the relationship manager role is all about 

One of the qualifications for relationship managers in a bank is how well they understand their roles and responsibilities. It helps to find a mentor or finance expert who can explain the nuances of the job. What is the daily life of a relationship manager? What are the challenges? How do they build a bond with customers? These questions can only be answered by someone who has been in the business for a while. It will help shape your perspective about the job. It also helps to research the career growth of a relationship manager. How will you progress and grow as a professional? Relationship managers can become head of sales, vice president, director of customer management, etc. If you want to chart a successful career for yourself, then ensure you learn everything about how to become a relationship manager.

  1. Stay updated on industry trends

Relationship managers do not work in a bubble. It is imperative to know what is happening in the finance world, such as emerging trends and market performance. Your customer’s finances are directly connected to the state of the economy. So do your homework, and stay abreast of all the latest events, as it will make you better at your job.

Also Read – Decoding the Myths – Is Relationship Management right for You?

  1. Become an intern

You can try for internships with banks or any financial institution as an executive assistant or a relationship management intern. This position will give you a deep understanding of how banks work, and more importantly, how the customer management department works. While you may not get much responsibility, you will receive hands-on training and practical education for your future career.

  1. Apply for entry-level jobs

Once you receive your certification and have sharpened your skills, you are ready to enter the job market. Now you need to figure out how to become a relationship manager.

There are many ways to get hired. You can reach out to industry professionals and peers to see if you can get an interview. You can drop your email off to the HR manager at some of the banks that are hiring. Online recruitment websites, headhunters and even social media platforms such as LinkedIn can help you find an opening. If you are interning with a bank, you can apply there once your internship is over.

Coaching institutes such as IMS Proschool also help students secure entry-level jobs. So if you take a finance course like CFA, you can use their placement services.

Also Read – A Day in the Life of a Relationship Manager

Proschool can teach you how to become a relationship manager

Proschool enjoys an exceptional reputation in the finance industry as one of the best coaching institutes. Many certified students have gone on to do very well in top finance jobs with some of the leading companies in India. The staff members are experienced professionals who offer students a real-world learning experience. They use innovative methodologies, case studies, special projects and practical approaches to training. Students study subjects by understanding the concepts, not memorising them. The focus is on critical thinking and constructive learning. The idea is to prepare students for corporate jobs and not just the exams. Proschool’s financial courses, such as CFA, CFP, Financial Modelling and Investment Banking help you learn how to become a relationship manager and take on leadership roles in the future.

Benefits of Proschool’s courses:

  • There are coaching centres in most major cities, such as Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and many more.
  • If you are unable to attend live classes, you can enrol for online sessions.
  • Students also receive additional learning resources such as mock tests, practice papers, prep books and customised plans.
  • Once certified, you can access Proschool’s placement portal to apply for jobs.
  • You also receive special training for job interviews and writing resumes.


  • Can a fresher become a relationship manager?

A relationship manager position can be an entry-level job. Some banks employ MBA graduates or CFA holders straight after they finish their courses. However, in some cases, you can be hired as an intern, trainee or executive assistant before you work your way to a relationship manager position. It all depends on your certifications, abilities and skills.

What matters most is your educational eligibility for relationship manager roles.

  • What is the annual salary for a relationship manager?

On an average, relationship managers earn around Rs 4 to Rs 8 lakhs a year. There can be an additional compensation of around Rs 1.8 lakhs. The figures vary depending on which bank you work for, the location and your negotiation skills.

  • Is being a relationship manager a sales job?

It is a combination of sales, customer service and financial advisor all rolled into one. Relationship managers have a set target of financial products and services to sell to customers, but the job also requires financial expertise and an enhanced set of soft skills.

It helps to do a renowned finance course that teaches you how to become a relationship manager.

  • Is relationship manager a high position?

Some banks hire relationship managers at an entry-level position, while others want a professional with a few years of experience. The job profile is very respected and can later on lead to leadership roles.

  • What is the next position after relationship manager?

Once you gain valuable experience and increase your level of expertise, you may be promoted to higher leadership positions such as senior relationship manager. After that, you can be elevated to director of customer management, head of sales or vice president. Some relationship managers venture into more specialised roles and join wealth management or corporate banking.

  • Does a CFA certification improve my chances of becoming a relationship manager?

Yes. The CFA program offers a complete and in-depth study of finance, economics and investment banking. Students are taught important concepts, specialised skills and tools to work in various fields within this industry. Many recruiters prefer the CFA program as the ideal qualification for relationship managers in banks.


Relationship management is an exciting profession as it keeps you at the cutting edge of banking technology, customer service and the newest financial trends. As you climb the corporate ladder, your job profile will become more challenging and engaging.

But before you can enjoy the rewards of your career, you need to enhance your relationship manager eligibility. Stay focused and committed to getting the right qualifications and sharpening your skill set. The hard work you put in today will reap many benefits in the future.