How to Hire an Account Executive

Does your growing business need an account executive? Account executives play a vital role in companies by managing, nurturing and renewing business accounts.

Here are some tips to help you find great account executive candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Account executives searching for jobs on Indeed*

644,802

Job seekers that clicked Account Executive jobs

96,185

Resumes for job seekers with Account Executive experience on Indeed

27,405

Account Executive jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring?

  • Common salary in US: $65,341 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $14,000$168,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – March 2021

As of March 2021, account executive jobs in the U.S. are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 24 job seekers per account executive job.

Why hire an account executive?

An account executive works to generate new leads while maintaining current ones. They manage other members of the team and facilitate collaboration and productivity. Additionally, an account executive analyzes and tracks data while keeping progress and setting goals. An account executive also supports your clients and ensures they have a positive experience with your company.

Contributions of a great account executive:

• Help with growing client accounts
• Ensure and maintain customer satisfaction
• Organize marketing and administrative staff to produce effective initiatives

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance account executive

It’s possible to hire a freelance account executive to help with short-term contracts. If you’re looking to deliver fast and effective results to impress a new client or mount an unusual project for an existing one, recruiting a freelancer specifically suited to tackling the challenge can help ensure a positive outcome.

On the other hand, having an in-house and full-time account executive who fully understands your company’s mission and vision can be invaluable in growing your business. If you need to hit long-term growth targets and get your marketing and office staff working at their best, the help of a full-time account executive is preferable to hiring a freelancer. It all depends on the specific needs of your company.

What are the ranks of account executives?

Account executive positions typically come in junior and senior varieties, with different levels of responsibility and compensation.

Junior Account Executives:

  • support the senior executive with acquiring new client accounts
  • help maintain existing client relationships
  • prospect for and conduct outreach to new clients
  • create and distribute marketing materials to recruit clients

Senior Account Executives:

  • oversee the profitability of client accounts
  • formulate and execute overall sales strategy, working together with product and marketing teams
  • oversee junior account executives and ensure they meet their goals

At any level of organizational responsibility, account executives can also be asked to:

  • know the buying process as well as guide and educate prospective clients through it
  • qualify leads and manage and maintain a prospect database and overall leads pipeline
  • work to retain and grow existing accounts 

The more responsibilities and time commitment an account executive position carries, the higher the expected compensation.

Where to find account executives

Ultimately, account executives are specialized sales personnel whose experience, product knowledge and goal-oriented nature make it possible for them to effectively manage and grow client relationships. To find the right account executive for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies.

  • Network. This is one of the key strategies for finding the best account executive applicants. Industry conventions are always an opportunity for salespeople to showcase their skills and get to know each other. 
  • Get referrals. Another tool for finding the best candidates is by referrals through trusted colleagues and staff.
  • Keep an applicant database. Even when you’re not hiring, maintain an easy-to-access candidate database that includes qualified people who’ve shown interest in the past.
  • Post your job online. Try posting your account executive job on Indeed to find and attract quality Account Executive candidates.

Skills to look for in a great account executive

A great Account Executive candidate will have the following skills and attributes as well as work experience that reflects:

  • Exceptional leadership abilities
  • Ability to develop and maintain lasting professional relationships with clients
  • Analytical problem-solving skills
  • Organization and creativity
  • Friendly demeanor
  • Detail oriented

Writing an account executive job description

A thoughtful description is important for finding qualified account executive candidates. An account executive job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your account executive job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on account executive jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Account manager
  • Account executive
  • Sales
  • Remote work from home
  • Sales executive
  • Sales representative
  • Account executive sales
  • Cannabis
  • Business
  • Insurance

Interviewing account executive candidates

Strong candidates for account executive positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

  • What software they have experience using
  • How they prioritize client concerns
  • How they identify and engage potential clients

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of account executive interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQS about how to hire an account executive

Who reports to an account executive?

Even a junior account executive has to manage employees, as they’ll need one or two assistants to help them meet their objectives. Senior account executives may need to manage much larger teams of junior account executives, up to a dozen or more depending on the size of the company.

When should I hire an account executive?

By the time a company is three to six months away from reaching $1 million in annual recurring revenue, complexity will scale beyond what a CEO can handle alone. That’s when you need to hire an account executive.

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