What Is an Account Executive and How To Become One

New to the whole “remote working” or are you an experienced member of the technology sector? Anyhow, chances are you’ve heard of the “Account Executive” role on a sales team.

If not, no worries! We’ll go over exactly what an Account Executive is and what their typical day looks like. Account Execs are important members of tech sales teams and are responsible for bringing revenue by closing sales for the business. An important role, indeed, as these team members often bankroll the salaries of other members.

From focusing on high performance via sales metrics and with a huge emphasis on client satisfaction, account executive jobs are high-touch and high reward positions.

What is an Account Executive

What does an account executive do?

While their responsibilities vary depending on the type of company they work for and the industry they work in, account executives are often responsible for the following:

Account executives often call themselves full-cycle sales representatives because theyre involved from the beginning of the sale until the completion of a project. One exception is the software as a service industry, where the responsibility of finding clients and setting up sales meetings belongs to a sales development representative. In that industry, the account executives responsibility is to give a product demonstration and close the deal.

What is an account executive?

An account executive is an employee who finds new clients and maintains ongoing business relationships with existing ones. Account executives work in many industries, including public relations, finance and advertising. Though their specific responsibilities vary depending on their workplace, account executives often help their employers make informed financial decisions.

What skills does an account executive have?

An account executive understands how to manage client accounts through years of study and work experience. Here are some examples of the skills they learn during that time:

Sales

The sales process starts with seeking new clients. Once an account executive meets a client, they learn about their needs through active listening. This helps them understand whether a product or service might interest the client and convince them to make a purchase decision. Account executives typically stay in contact with clients after a sale to resolve potential challenges with a product or service. This can aid account executives in creating strong professional relationships with clients, who they can contact to pitch new products and services in the future.

Project management

Its rare for an account executive to handle only one large account, so they use a variety of tactics to manage multiple accounts at once. They are well-prepared for meetings with their teams and with other executives in the company, and use these opportunities to delegate tasks and ensure all work meets the clients needs.

They may organize their schedules in advance by planning the next day, week or month. Account executives can use the SMART framework to set reasonable goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. This can help ensure they create objectives that align with the time and resources they have available.

Public speaking

An account executive can write and deliver a speech that engages their sales team and keeps their clients interested. They often predict what their audience wants from the presentation so they can make the best possible use of everyones time. While practice is helpful, they typically prioritize giving an engaging presentation over memorizing one. Account executives may also use slideshows to strengthen the main points of their speeches, which they do by making each slide attractive and easy to read.

Flexibility

An account executive works with multiple clients per day, each with different needs and expectations. For example, a client who works for a formal company might prefer a meeting focused on business rather than engaging in small talk. Additionally, account executives use their flexibility to adjust quickly to changes in the market, product updates, new clients and shifts in the companys target demographic.

How to become an account executive

Heres how to become an account executive:

1. Earn your bachelors degree

While you can become an account executive with a high school diploma, many employers prefer candidates with an undergraduate degree. Possible areas of study include business administration, marketing and communications. In these programs, future account executives develop their business and managerial skills, gain familiarity with data analysis and learn how to understand market trends.

2. Gain professional sales experience

Having a few years experience in client-facing sales roles may help prospective account executives earn their target position. Some examples of relevant work experience include:

3. Develop relevant skills

You can prepare to overcome the challenges of an account executive position by developing skills that relate to your target career. Consider asking for more responsibilities in your workplace. You can also ask an account executive to allow you to shadow them for a short period, such as a day or a week.

4. Seek professional development opportunities

To develop professionally, consider joining a professional organization or attending seminars on topics like management and sales. Some organizations may offer training sessions for professionals who want to strengthen specific skills. You can also use these events to make connections and expand your professional network. The professionals you meet may offer you advice or inform you about an employer whos seeking an account executive, which can accelerate your job search process.

FAQ

What does a account executive do?

Career trajectory

Account executives can eventually be promoted to senior positions, like Vice President of Business Development or Chief Operations Officer (COO). These positions involve working with high-profile clients on a case-by-case basis, but most of their time is spent improving the workflow of their company.

Is account executive a high position?

Account Executive: Pros: Flexible time, study leave, greater learning, corporate culture. Cons: Salary, benefit, stressful, far location, environmental unfriendly, must have a vehicle only get better offer, weak perks. Job is very expanded but not categorised.

Is account executive a stressful job?

The average Account Executive is likely to be personable, energetic and forward-thinking, often considering opportunities for the future. The average Account Executive tends to be an optimist who works with energy and enthusiasm.

Do account executives make a lot of money?

Account Executive Essential Skills
  • Communication Skills.
  • High Empathy.
  • Organization.
  • Problem Solving.
  • Negotiation.
  • Determination.
  • Goal-oriented.
  • Presentation Skills.

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