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Top Enterprise AE Compensation Trends in Tech for 2024

The Betts Team
February 14, 2024

Compensation trends for the Enterprise Account Executive (EAE) title reflect how important this role is becoming to the tech startup sector. In response to the developments impacting the industry throughout 2022 and 2023, we saw many mid-market SaaS companies lay the groundwork to start selling more and more to larger organizations. Keep reading for more Enterprise AE Compensation Trends.

The immense value of hiring experienced Enterprise AEs in this situation is obvious, and with insights from the latest version of the Betts Compensation Guide you will be able to refine your recruiting search according to the demands of top candidates for this role.

Here are the top trends affecting salary rates and other factors for tech EAEs in 2024:

Enterprise Account Executive Salary Trends

We saw early signs of the pivot to Enterprise selling among the Betts network as far back as 2022, when the fallout of the global pandemic and its impact on the economy was becoming more noticeable. The SaaS market saw a slowdown as many customers began scaling back from the surge of digital transformation we saw from 2020 to 2021. Inflation made many organizations reevaluate their purchases, with software subscriptions at the top of the list (along with hiring) for several smaller businesses seeking to cut down on overhead.

Although the situation is changing again in 2024, most tech startups are looking to improve their resilience in the next year, which extends to reevaluating sales and hiring motions. In this vein, Enterprise Account Executives check many of the boxes that we will dive into deeper below, but the summary is that for all of these factors and more compensation trended significantly higher for EAEs. 

Average Enterprise Account Executive Salary Rates for 2024

The national salary average for an Enterprise AE in the technology industry will range from $120,000 – $180,000 in 2024, with total on-target earnings (OTE) including commission typically reaching 100% of the base rate. The tech hubs of New York and San Francisco dominate the highest rates, but overall enterprise-level sellers saw a marked increase over Mid-Market Account Executives across the U.S.

Time ZoneNY / SFPacificMountainCentralEasternRemote
Salary | On-target EarningsBase | OTEBase | OTEBase | OTEBase | OTEBase | OTEBase | OTE
AE (0-3 years)75-100 | 150-20075-110 | 150-20060-90 | 120-18060-90 | 120-18075-110 | 150-22070-100 | 140-200
AE – MM (3-5 years)115-150 | 230-300100-150 | 200-300100-135 | 200-270100-135 | 200-270100-150 | 200-300100-150 | 200-300
EAE (5-10 years)125-200 | 250-400120-200 | 240-400120-150 | 240-300120-150 | 240-300120-200 | 240-400120-200 | 240-400

The Rise of Enterprise AEs and the Impact on Compensation Trends

Important to understanding compensation trends for EAEs is also understanding how the role contributes to your sales motion beyond just selling to larger customers. An Enterprise AE will at minimum have several years of experience in tech sales, including familiarity with go-to-market (GTM) strategies that are best to reach decision-makers in those bigger organizations. It is a job that requires both hard-earned knowledge and skills, and the growing hiring demand for the type of candidate that can fill this position reflects how the recruiting focus has evolved in technology.

Below we will dive further into the biggest influences behind the higher salary rates for Enterprise Account Executives and how this could impact compensation for AEs in the immediate future:

Getting to the Enterprise C-suite

An experienced EAE is not just valuable to your company for their ability to sell to enterprise-sized organizations – where they really contribute to your sales motion is their expertise in engaging decision-makers. A larger business will naturally have many more layers of buy-in for adopting SaaS and other technology solutions than with a smaller org, where there is a relatively clearer funnel of communication. While managers and executives are not typically the product end users, they still need to weigh purchasing carefully against the ROI it delivers in solving their team’s pain points – and are already bombarded with cold pitches every day. 

An Enterprise AE is a Unicorn Seller

Following up on the previous point, the experience, expertise and skills that an Enterprise AE is expected to bring align with what many tech startups need in what we call a “unicorn seller.” This is a candidate that fits your particular mold for an ideal salesperson – someone that already understands your target market, industry, sales motion and culture, and brings the skills your team needs to land your top prospects and close the deal. For SaaS companies either looking to branch or already selling into the enterprise market, EAEs obviously already check off most of this list, which means that these candidates will usually command an above-average salary rate as an added incentive.

The Career Path of Enterprise Account Executives

Hiring trends for other GTM positions in tech are also going to affect the demand for Enterprise Account Executives in the immediate future. Namely, most technology startups scaled back or froze recruiting for Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), while sourcing for Mid-Market AEs is going to trickle back up and eventually surge again by late 2024. Historically, there has been a clear career pathway into SaaS sales from SDRs to Account Executives and eventually the coveted EAE role – with less Sales Development openings, the already limited talent pool for salespeople with experience selling to enterprises is going to be subject to bidding wars between companies.

The New Rules for Hiring Unicorn Tech Sales Talent

With each release of the Betts Compensation Guide, we include a recommended target compensation rate for each role that reflects the best market rate for faster hiring. However, with the changes to the market as well as the lingering volatility, we’re including new rules of thumb to make adjustments based on additional factors for each candidate:

  • Exceptional candidates (unicorn seller, first sales hire, etc.) – adjust rate up to +20%
  • Standard sellers with a SaaS background – adjust rate up to -10%
  • Currently employed candidates – adjust rate up to +10%
  • Candidates laid off within the past 60 days – adjust rate up to -10%

Secure Your Top EAE Talent with Betts Recruiting

Enterprise Account Executives will be in increasingly high demand among tech startups over the next year, making it even more challenging to source the right fit candidate at the right time and while keeping your talent acquisition budget down. But working with the Betts Recruiting team will ensure that you are able to find your unicorn seller EAE faster while keeping your costs down – reach out to us today to learn how. Contact Betts today and discover how we can help you source your perfect fit Enterprise AE at a more controlled cost with our groundbreaking recruitment model.