An account executive is a salesperson selling products or services to clients. Account executives will build positive relationships with potential clients and search for potential new clients through research. If you’re going to succeed in this position, you’ll need to hit a certain sales quota.
However, there’s a lot more to account executives than just selling. In fact, there’s often a lot of work behind the scenes.
This article will give you an A-Z breakdown of account executives, their duties, day-to-day work, average salary, main skills, and most importantly – how to get a job as an account executive!
The 5 skills required to be a successful account executive
1 – Negotiation skills
Negotiation skills are essential in many corporate roles, but they’re imperative if you’re going to become an account executive. You can gain negotiation skills by practicing and taking excellent sales courses.
In addition, if you’re going to learn negotiation, you should prepare yourself, know your goals, and get the best mentors. The best business leaders hone their negotiation skills from 40 years of hard work, but you can learn quickly with good training.
2 – Excellent spoken and written skills
Account executives will often spend hours speaking with clients on the phone and writing emails. Therefore, excellent writing and speaking skills are essential for high performance.
You can learn and enhance your speaking skills and writing skills through various online courses, but they’re two crucial skills to master.
3 – Good time management and organization skills
When you’re an account executive, you’ll be busy and have to deal with many clients at once. If you’re trying to find clients for your company, you’ll be working hard to hit the sales quota.
Therefore, you’ll need to optimize your time and have excellent time management and organization skills. You can study various strategies to improve time management and organizational skills, even if these skills are your weak points.
4 – Good people skills
Account executives need excellent people skills because they deal with people from various industries, professions, and backgrounds every day. Moreover, account executives will play an integral role in a company’s communication and marketing strategy, so you’ll need to speak to many people.
It’s highly possible to learn good people skills by reading books, taking courses, and watching excellent managers, executives, and leaders conduct their business.
5 – Leadership skills and the ability to motivate
Account executives need to have leadership and motivational skills because they will be working within a team. They will often have to take the initiative and help other colleagues push towards a goal.
Furthermore, account executives will have to show positive energy to drive themselves and their fellow colleagues towards their sales targets. You can learn leadership skills via excellent training courses, but you can also study the greatest leaders in history to see how they motivated people to win.
Basic everyday overview
So, you think you have the skills to become an account executive?
It doesn’t matter if you don’t because you can learn all of the above skills. Nonetheless, you probably want to know what day-to-day life is like as an account executive?
7.30 am – Check emails with some coffee: At 7.30 am, you’ll be first in the office and ready to start responding and sending those early morning emails.
8.00 am – Meeting with the team: Your team is now in the office, and you’re ready for that inspiring morning meeting as you set your goals out.
8.30 am – Email and research: So now you’ve finished the sales team meeting, and you’re ready to begin the emailing and researching for the day.
9.00 am – Hit it hard: Your day will start to pick up pace now, and you’re ready to start hitting those sales targets and focusing on proposals for prospects, product demonstrations, and discovery calls.
11.30 am – Follow up: Now is a good time to follow-up, and check out if you have any deals you need to close. You will email prospects and ensure you meet the next steps on time.
12.00 pm – Lunchtime: It’s lunchtime, and it’s time to rest, relax, and eat.
1.00 pm – Communications check: You’re now back from lunch, and it’s an excellent time to check LinkedIn and keep emailing.
2.00 pm – The best hours begin: You’re now moving into the best hours of the day, where you’ll move onto your next discovery batch and demo calls.
4.00 pm – Call past partners, prospects, and customers: The day is almost coming to an end, and now is an excellent time to call people you dealt with in the previous month to see how they’re doing.
4.30 pm onwards – Hometime and executive communication window: It’s now time to head home, but now is also the best time to call or email executives and other decision-makers. Remember, this is the time they check their emails.
Average job salary
The average account executive in North America earns $70,023 annually. However, account executive salaries can vary substantially from $50,838 to $83,785.
Account executives have the added bonus of earning commission, and depending on the company, account executives can earn a handsome commission.
The average commission reported on Glassdoor was $11,253, but that varies depending on the company, industry, and the commission scheme. For larger tech companies and finance companies, it can be far, far, far more!
Let’s look at the average salaries depending on the U.S. city:
- Boston – $63,000
- NYC – $62,000
- Atlanta – $57,000
- Chicago – $54,000
- Seattle – $55,000
- San Francisco – $65,000
The average account executive of small businesses in the U.S. earns $56,602. However, with the national average being $70,023, people employed in medium-sized enterprises and large enterprises earn far more.
For example, an account executive at a top Silicon Valley tech firm could earn up to $400,000 annually, but smaller manufacturing firms in Wisconsin considerably less.
How to become an account executive
Some companies will require that applicants have a degree in various fields, including marketing and business. But for many companies, there are no specific requirements other than the following:
- Data organization skills
- Presentation skills
- Experience in handling targets
- People skills
- Leadership skills
- Interpersonal skills
- CRM skills
- Experience dealing with clients
- A robust work ethic
If you can prove you have these skills and you’re willing to learn, you could get a role as an account executive. Of course, the bigger corporations will require experience, education, and a strong knowledge of sales.
Nonetheless, if you want to be an account executive, you can get there through hard work and learning the sales process.
Learn more about becoming an account executive
Have you always dreamt of becoming an account executive, or is it something that truly appeals to you? That’s an excellent choice, and we can help you on your journey.
In addition, you’ll receive world-class mentoring, lifetime support, the option to meet a career coach, and complete support as you learn how to become an account executive or excel in your current account executive career.
We would love to help you so feel free to contact us for more information!