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Account Executive Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

An Account Executive, or Sales Executive, is essentially a Sales Representative in a particular industry focused on making sales to clients over the phone, on the internet, and via email. Unlike a traditional Sales Representative, however, an Account Executive has more experience and works closely with other sales representatives as well as managers and additional higher-ups in the organization to ensure that customers are satisfied with their accounts and are provided with the proper goods or services.

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What does an Account Executive do?

Account Executives are a key part of any company that requires a sales team to push their products or services. They will also create business plans to help the company reach its goals or any quotas management might impose in addition to maintaining contact with account holders regularly to maintain and/or expand their accounts. Another major aspect of an Account Executive job is record-keeping and making sure client data is saved securely yet easily accessible for others in the company.

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Account Executive duties and responsibilities

Account Executives are essential for the sales team of any company to succeed. To facilitate proper maintenance and expansion of customer accounts, an Account Executive must carry out several essential duties, including:

  • Cold-calling potential customers, prospecting for accounts, and generating and following leads
  • Generating new sales
  • Closing contracts and extending accounts
  • Managing a team of Sales Representatives and encouraging cooperation
  • Teaching clients about all relevant goods and/or services
  • Developing effective solutions to customer problems
  • Keeping organized records and tracking progress toward business goals and quotas using automation tools

Account Executive skills and qualifications

In order to fulfill their duties, Account Executives need to possess a variety of different skills and qualifications to get the job done properly, including:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of the latest advertising and marketing trends
  • Written and oral communication
  • Decision making
  • Deep understanding of business sales processes
  • Microsoft Office and CRM software
  • Negotiation skills

Account Executive experience requirements

Account Executives are managers in their own right, so the position requires a bit of experience in whatever industry the prospective employee will be working in. While it may not be necessary to have experience with the particular products a company is offering, an Account Executive typically must have at least three years of experience in sales working under another Account Executive.

Account Executive education and training requirements

An Account Executive position typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a field such as communications, marketing, business administration, or anything else relevant. While a master’s degree may be preferred and even necessary for those looking to pursue more senior roles later, this is not required in most cases. As for training, an Account Executive should already know negotiation techniques and have customer service skills. All they would need training on is the company’s products, but even that is already expected in some cases when Account Executives are hired from within a business.

Account Executive salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Account Executive is $70,872 per year. Of course, individual salaries depend on the experience of the worker, the location of the position, and the company itself.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Account Executive job description FAQs

What's the difference between an Account Executive and a Sales Representative?

While both Account Executives and Sales Representatives make sales, an Account Executive is more focused on managing and expanding existing accounts. Cold calls and creating accounts are still part of the Account Executive position, but the focus is targeted toward accounts already in existence. Think of an Account Executive as a Sales Representative with more experience that is expected to handle more essential accounts rather than drawing in new ones.

What's the difference between an Account Executive and an Account Manager?

Both Account Managers and Account Executives are part of the sales team, but they have different focuses. Account Managers almost solely focus on growing existing client accounts, while Account Executives still have to close initial sales as well. Much of what Account Executives have to do involves making initial contact with customers. Account Managers, on the other hand, don’t begin their relationship with clients until the clients have already become customers or signed a sales contract. Their focus is on maintaining that relationship.

Do Account Executives have different responsibilities in different industries?

Any company that sells a product or service will need Account Executives, whether they’re selling insurance, paper, or food, but their specific responsibilities can vary slightly. Some Account Executives are restricted to work within a particular region, for example, while other Account Executives may work across the entire country.

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