What Does a Strategy Manager Do? (With Skills and Qualities)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Strategy managers perform similar duties in medium to large businesses in a variety of industries, including finance, manufacturing, retail and media. If you enjoy problem-solving and have strong leadership skills, you may enjoy being a strategy manager. Understanding what strategy managers do can help you decide whether to pursue this career. In this article, we explain what strategy managers do and list the skills and qualities that can help you perform these duties well.

What is a strategy manager?

A strategy manager is a senior business professional who establishes strategic plans. Strategy managers are responsible for deciding how a business can achieve its goals. They guide the business' executive team to make sound strategic decisions and help department heads implement strategic plans.

Related: What are Strategic Plans? Definition, Method and Examples

What does a strategy manager do?

To answer the question, 'What does a strategy manager do?' is that they develop plans to help a business succeed. Here are some of the common tasks you may perform if you become a strategy manager:

Analysing data

Strategy managers analyse data about the business and its industry. They may analyse how the business performed in any given year and how that performance compares to previous years and their competitor's performance. During this analysis, they may assess which products and services are the business's top sellers and most successful markets. They may also research what products and services the business's competitors sell and how much they sell them for. This comprehensive analysis helps strategy managers draw conclusions about the business's performance and place in its sector and make predictions about its future.

Conducting market research

While sales managers spend time analysing existing data, they also conduct market research to collect new information. Their market research may involve holding focus groups or distributing customer surveys and feedback forms. They may conduct independent market research or enlist the help of specialised market research companies. Their research can help them identify new selling options and improve their understanding of customer needs.

Creating financial and statistical models

Strategy managers create financial and statistical models to present to executives. Their models can help executives understand what might happen to the business if they implemented certain strategies or worked towards set goals. For example, the strategy manager may create a model to show the potential return on a recommended investment.

Developing business strategies and objectives

Strategy managers develop strategies and objectives to help the business achieve its goals. Strategy managers work closely with the heads of relevant departments on their strategies and objectives. For example, they might collaborate with the head of finance to create realistic budgets and collaborate with the lead developer on new product concepts. By working together, the strategy managers and department heads create individual department or team objectives and actionable steps to help them achieve these objectives.

Recommending business goals

Some strategy managers use insights from their research to suggest new goals for the business. Strategy managers can recommend goals they believe can help the business improve, succeed and grow. They may also advise executives whether the goals they're considering are realistic or likely to benefit the business. For example, they may recommend developing new products or changing the business's pricing structure. They may present their recommendations to senior business leaders and try to convince them to incorporate them into their business plans.

Related: How to Set Achievable Business Goals at Work

Coordinating operations and projects

Strategy managers coordinate all business operations and projects to make sure departments work in tandem toward the business's goals. They're instrumental in project planning, ensuring each project is feasible, clearly defined and in line with the business's goals. They communicate regularly with department heads to ensure their teams are progressing towards objectives and meeting key milestones. If issues occur, they help department managers find solutions to overcome challenges and minimise their impact.

Evaluating new strategic partnerships

Strategy managers identify and assess new strategic deals for the business. They may contact businesses and discuss forming new strategic partnerships or evaluate partnership offers from other businesses. For example, a strategic manager may help a business find sponsors. They form strong relationships with approved strategic partners and help department heads connect with relevant personnel in partner businesses. They also monitor the partnerships to ensure they meet the business's strategic needs.

Related: What Are Business Partnerships? (With Types and Definitions)

Providing strategic support to the executive team

Strategy managers also support the executive team's strategic efforts. For example, a strategic manager may help executive managers create new business tenders and pitch to potential clients. Their expert knowledge can help the executive team make the best strategic choices.

Managing data retention

A strategy manager also manages data retention for a business, ensuring that the business retains records and paperwork from completed projects for an agreed time frame. Their efforts ensure the business retains the records long enough for their own purposes and to satisfy legal requirements. They may revise data retention policies as the business or legal requirements change.

Performing quality assurance tasks

Strategy managers may perform quality assurance tasks to ensure the work of others is accurate and completed to the business's required standards. They may assess completed content, research requests and logic revisions. Their expertise minimises the risk of errors and inaccuracies impacting the business's strategies.

Related: What Is Quality Assurance?

Reporting to stakeholders

Strategy managers report to key stakeholders, including the business's board, executive team and key partners. They make complex information more accessible, ensuring it's clear and concisely presented. They may create written reports and give presentations to keep stakeholders abreast of strategic developments and progress.

What skills do effective strategy managers have?

The most successful strategy managers are highly skilled people who apply their hard and soft skills to their tasks. Here are some of the common skills that help strategy managers succeed:

Leadership

The best strategy managers have strong leadership skills that help them lead projects and initiatives. They have a vision for the business and clear ideas about how to realise it. They can also organise other people to help them realise the objectives and goals they set. Their understanding of the strengths of the people around them helps them appropriately delegate tasks.

Related: What Does Leadership Mean? (Benefits and Steps to Improve)

Problem-solving

Developing and implementing strategies so the business can succeed and grow takes complex problem-solving ability. Strategy managers continuously solve problems and re-evaluate their decisions as the market changes. For example, a strategy manager may suggest new strategies as the habits of its consumers change. Strong problem-solving skills help strategy managers re-assess their strategies, goals and objectives, assess the business's strengths and weaknesses and redistribute tasks as required.

Related: What are Strategic Skills? (Definitions and Types)

Advanced computer literacy

Strategy managers use computers for complex tasks, so an advanced understanding of common software matters. Microsoft Excel is one of the most common programs strategy managers use for financial modelling. Their advanced knowledge helps them build complex scenario-based models independent of precedent models. Advanced PowerPoint skills help strategy managers create compelling presentations. Strategy managers also rely on communication tools, such as email and video conferencing programs and project management software.

What qualities help strategy managers succeed?

The best strategy managers tend to have similar qualities that complement their skills. Here are some of the common qualities that help strategy managers perform their duties well:

Passion and commitment

The best strategy managers are enthusiastic about their role and committed to helping the business grow. Their passion inspires other people to work hard to achieve the objectives they set. Commitment can also help strategy managers stay motivated and focused.

Confidence

Confident strategy managers encourage people to take notice of the things they say. Confidence can help strategy managers convince executives to implement new goals and make significant changes to benefit the business. This quality can also help teams prevail over challenges. If the strategy manager stays calm and confident when facing issues, other employees believe they can overcome these challenges.

Curiosity

Natural curiosity keeps strategy managers interested in their roles. Strategy managers who are curious want to know why something happens and what might happen if they took certain actions. Curious strategy managers ask smart, targeted questions to learn more about the business and its potential. Their desire to keep learning motivates them to conduct research and deepen their understanding of the business and its market.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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