Account Executive Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an account executive. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an account executive.
Who is an Account Executive?
An account executive is a person who can work in many areas and contribute to the development of their company by finding potential clients and conducting business transactions with existing or potential new clients. They also serve as a liaison between other departments in an organization to ensure the success of their clients. While the account executive position involves different responsibilities in different areas of the business, almost all incarnations of the position involve ensuring constant communication with the executive’s assigned customers. This may involve acting as a customer advocate for the company, ensuring that the customer receives the service promised when the business relationship is established.
Several characteristics or traits indicate a competent account executive. Training and qualifications are among the most important elements in providing good customer service. For example, the executive of an investment firm must have completed certified training. In general, high scores on the Series 7 and/or Series 63 exams are strong evidence of professional knowledge. The background information obtained in preparation for these exams ensures that such a professional will be fully competent to buy and sell securities, thereby increasing the financial security of his clients.
Of course, the securities professional will also provide other types of support to clients. In preparation for buying or selling securities, a true securities professional will always be on the lookout for stocks and other investment opportunities that may be of interest to the client. This requires maintaining an up-to-date profile of each client, which should ideally include details of personal interests that may influence the stock selection, as well as routine financial data. Since a good financial professional knows how to maintain client confidentiality, having this information should not be a problem.
An account executive can build a client base in several ways. First, the firm can assign a core group of clients, but this base can often be augmented by the positive word-of-mouth that any quality professional receives from current clients. This second option is usually a relatively easy sell because the potential client has already heard good things about the executive. The other way to increase business is to use traditional sales techniques to get attention.
Although in some business cultures a professional is not expected to do cold calling or other forms of customer acquisition, many use basic sales techniques and spend part of their workweek seeking out new customers at various companies.
Qualities such as articulation, knowledge, and a sincere desire to provide excellent service to each member of the customer base are essential to becoming a successful account executive. While specific job responsibilities vary from industry to industry, possessing these three fundamental qualities will help a person serve each client with skill and professionalism.
Account Executive Job Description
Below are the account executive job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of an account executive include the following:
- Identifying the needs of potential clients and recommending appropriate solutions.
- Generating leads through networking, cold calling, and social media research.
- Recommending changes to clients’ existing products or services to increase sales opportunities.
- Developing and maintaining relationships with existing customers to ensure customer retention.
- Presenting proposals to potential customers that clearly outline product offerings and pricing structures.
- Developing and implementing marketing strategies including public relations campaigns, email campaigns, print ads, television spots, telemarketing, and direct mail.
- Estimating project costs based on client requirements and industry standards.
- Holding regular meetings with clients to discuss project progress and ensure client satisfaction.
- Negotiating contracts with clients to ensure all parties are satisfied with the terms of the agreement.
- Communicating with clients and gathering information on project scope, budgets, and timelines.
- Meeting with other executives to discuss client project goals, progress, and results.
- Developing budgets and schedules for clients and the company they work for.
- Coordinating the work of teams to achieve project goals.
- Setting up new teams to meet client or company objectives
- Reporting and recording all sales activity in the web-based CRM system
- Qualifying incoming proposals and leads by phone and email
- Conducting regular meetings with clients to ensure excellent customer service
- Researching new sales by canvassing companies by phone
- Conducting virtual demonstrations with the ultimate goal of securing contracts with potential customers
- Preparing and submitting quotes and proposals
- Collaborating with key decision-makers to identify opportunities and develop ideas to drive sales results.
- Identifying and understanding business needs
- Participating in trade shows and organizing customer events
The account executive must have the following qualifications:
Entry-level account executives normally require a high school diploma or equivalent, but some positions may require a bachelor’s degree. Relevant courses include marketing, sales, business, and communications.
Training and Experience
Account executives typically receive on-the-job training to learn the specific processes and procedures of their company. Training may involve shadowing current account executives or working with a supervisor to complete tasks. Account executives with previous sales or marketing experience may receive minimal training to refresh their knowledge of the company’s products and services.
Certification and Licenses
Certification allows professionals to prove their qualifications to current and future employers. Account executives can obtain certifications to gain a more theoretical understanding of their duties, test their professional skills, and advance their careers.
Prospecting is the process of finding new customers and maintaining existing relationships with them. Finding clients can be a large part of an account executive’s job, so it’s important to have strong prospecting skills. You may need to research potential clients and look for ways to convince them that your company is the best option for their needs.
Leadership skills are important for account executives because they will help them motivate and inspire your team. You may also be required to conduct meetings with clients, so strong leadership skills can be helpful in this situation as well. Strong leadership skills can include the ability to effectively delegate tasks, provide constructive feedback, and encourage others to succeed.
Communication is the ability to convey information clearly and concisely. As an account executive, you may be responsible for communicating with customers via phone or email. Strong communication skills can help you communicate important product and service information, answer questions and resolve issues.
Communication also includes listening skills, which are essential for effective communication. People who are good listeners can ask thoughtful questions that keep the conversation flowing and maintain a positive attitude toward your customers.
- Leadership Qualifications
A big part of an account executive’s job is to qualify prospects, that is, to determine if a potential customer has the budget and need for your product or service. This involves listening carefully to the customer to understand their needs and asking questions to determine if they are a good fit for your company. Strong lead qualification skills will help you close more deals by identifying customers who are likely to make a purchase.
- Contract Negotiation
Contract negotiation is the process of agreeing on terms with a customer. This skill can be useful for account executives who work in sales, as it allows them to negotiate agreements that benefit both parties. For example, an account executive can use their contract negotiation skills when negotiating contracts with customers and making sure they understand all aspects of the agreement.
- Revenue Growth
As an account executive, you may be responsible for increasing revenue by closing sales. You can use your negotiation skills to persuade customers to purchase more products or services than they originally wanted. For example, if a customer is interested in one product, you can persuade them to add another product to their order to increase the company’s revenue.
- Customer Retention
Customer retention is the process of keeping customers happy so they continue to use your company’s products or services. Customer service representatives often have a high retention rate because they interact with customers regularly and can resolve issues quickly. Effective account executives also have a high customer retention rate, as these professionals are responsible for building relationships with customers and ensuring their needs are met.
Organization is the ability to keep track of multiple tasks and responsibilities. As an account executive, you may be responsible for managing multiple customer accounts simultaneously. Strong organizational skills will help you effectively manage your workload and ensure that each customer receives the attention they deserve. Strong organizational skills will also allow you to maintain a professional appearance in the workplace, keep your work area clean and submit all necessary paperwork promptly.
- Account Management
Account management is the process of managing customer accounts and ensuring customer satisfaction. This involves identifying customer needs, providing solutions to meet those needs, and maintaining a positive relationship with customers. Strong account management skills can help you advance your career, as they demonstrate your ability to build relationships with customers and provide excellent service.
Cross-selling is the ability to offer complementary products or services that can benefit your customers. For example, if a customer buys a new computer, you can offer accessories such as a mouse, keyboard, and printer. This will give them everything they need for their new computer and increase the likelihood that they will make another purchase from your company.
How to Become an Account Executive
- Earn an undergraduate degree.
Typically, account executives need a bachelor’s degree in business administration, communications, marketing, or a related field. Some account executives also have a master’s degree in business or marketing, especially if they intend to move into a management position in the future. However, only a bachelor’s degree is usually required for this career.
- Engage in sales jobs.
Most account executives have sales experience, giving them on-the-job training and mastery of persuasive techniques. Consider seeking a sales representative job, which will allow you to work under the supervision of an account executive and experience this advanced position firsthand. Since most account executive positions require at least three years of sales experience, plan to work at least that long at the entry level of sales before seeking a promotion.
- Develop key skills.
To succeed as an account executive, you will likely need developed sales and customer service skills, as well as decision-making and business acumen. To develop these skills, try setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive (SMART) goals that will encourage you to expand your knowledge and develop the qualities needed for a career in sales.
- Gain management experience.
Account executives typically manage teams of sales representatives. Therefore, management experience can enhance your qualifications for a job. To gain management experience, try enrolling in on-the-job leadership training, enrolling in an independent management seminar, or asking your executive to give you more responsibility on the job.
Where to Work as an Account Executive
Account executives work in a variety of organizations, including advertising agencies, public relations firms, and corporate marketing departments. They typically work regular business hours, although they may occasionally work overtime to meet deadlines. Some account executives travel frequently to meet with clients or attend conferences. Sometimes the work can be stressful, especially when deadlines are tight or when you have to work on a high-profile project that is under public scrutiny. However, most account executives find their work interesting and challenging and feel they have a direct and positive impact on their client’s business success.
Account Executive Salary Scale
The median annual salary for account executives in the United States is $97,713, while the median annual salary for those in Canada is $68,255. In the United Kingdom, salaries for account executives can range from £23,569 to £27,999, depending on experience and location.