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As a recruiting team that hires a lot of Account Executives (AE), we’ve met talented individuals who are ready to jump into the role but don’t have past experience as an AE. If a sales person has never worked as an AE before, they’ll often ask us, “What do successful Account Executives do every day?” While this can vary, depending on the company and the product, there are some commonalities you’ll find in every AE’s job functions.
What’s an Account Executive, and what makes them successful?
Businesses, from advertising agencies to tech firms, rely on AEs to generate business and maintain relationships with existing clients. In this way, they’re indispensable to the ongoing success of a company.
Oftentimes their sales compensation is at least partially linked to their success in the form of a commission. Commission-based pay provides an incentive for account executives to work as hard as possible, and those who have the right skills can do very well for themselves. A successful AE can earn a very healthy income simply by being great at what they do.
Here are some of the core responsibilities of Account Executives.
Account Executives typically act as liaisons, or intermediaries, between a company and its clients. In many ways, they are the face of the company with the public. Because they represent the business, they must maintain a professional demeanor and appearance while on the job.
More experienced AEs tend to be assigned more lucrative and prestigious accounts. Newer and less-experienced execs typically start with accounts that have much lower stakes.
Most of an AE’s typical day is spent communicating with their assigned clients. Not surprisingly, much of this communication happens over the phone or via email. Despite the rise of digital and computer technologies, it’s still important to pick up the phone and get in touch with your clients.
Generating New Business
Although Account Executives spend most of their time nurturing existing clients, many are also charged with drumming up new business for their companies. Sometimes, this means cold calling prospects in the hopes of landing new accounts.
More often, however, they touch base with prospective clients who have expressed interest in their companies’ products or services in the past, whether at trade shows or online submission forms. Holding onto existing clients is important, but so is bringing on new ones.
However they get in touch with new prospects, one of the core functions of an AE’s job is giving demos. A great AE knows how to take an easy-going and personable tone on a demo call while still being knowledgable about the product and able to answer prospects’ questions. They should also know how to handle objections and concerns, and negotiate price without being too aggressive or, conversely, too deferential.
Meetings with Colleagues
Even though account executives typically spend most of their time communicating with clients and reaching out to prospective clients, they also spend a lot of time in meetings with colleagues and managers. Since they are on the “front lines,” their insights about current and prospective clients are incredibly valuable to the rest of the team.
Kick-Start Your Career as an Account Executive Today
Now that you have a good idea about how Account Executivess spend their days, you’re probably more eager than ever to pursue a career as an AE. Assuming you have a knack for organization and tend to be an outgoing, persuasive person, this could very well be the perfect fit for you. How do you get there, though? Randomly submitting resumes is a good way to waste a lot of time.
A far better option is to connect with a talented, experienced recruiter, and we’ve got a lot of them here at Betts Recruiting. Get started on your path to AE glory by completing the form today.