Account Executive Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

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An Account Executive, or Key Account Executive, works directly with clients to learn their goals and establish how the company can meet them. Their duties include regularly meeting quotas, goals and other forms of client expectations, helping clients understand the limits of their budget or resources and consistently meeting project deadlines laid out by the client.

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Account Executive duties and responsibilities

An Account Executive is responsible for fully understanding a client’s needs and determining whether a business can meet those needs. An Account Executive oversees a team to ensure the company’s products or services are delivered on time, on budget and up to the client’s standards. Some of the other duties an Account Executive is responsible for include:

  • Communicating with clients and gathering information about a project’s scope, budgets and timelines
  • Meeting with other executives to discuss clients’ project goals, progress and outcomes
  • Developing budgets and timelines for clients and the company they work for
  • Coordinating teams to meet project milestones
  • Assembling new teams to meet clients’ or businesses’ goals
  • Reporting and recording all sales activities in a web-based CRM system
  • Qualifying inbound leads and prospects via phone and email
  • Organizing regular client meetings to ensure excellent customer service
  • Prospecting new sales by cold calling businesses
  • Holding virtual demonstrations with an end goal of earning a prospect’s business
  • Preparing and presenting proposals and bids
  • Negotiating terms and conditions with clients
  • Collaborating with key decision makers to identify opportunities and develop ideas that deliver sales results
  • Uncovering and understanding a company’s needs
  • Attending trade shows and hosting customer events
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 What does an Account Executive do?

Account Executives are typically employed in the advertising, IT, fashion, marketing or other related industries to learn the client’s expectations for a project and exceed these expectations. They’re responsible for enhancing a company’s performance by building strategies to implement projects and submit them by their deadlines. Account Executives often serve in a leadership role for their company by communicating deadlines, requirements and other client goals to other employees. They collaborate closely with clients to help them fully understand the services they offer and the work the client needs completed.

Account Executive skills and qualifications

Account Executives rely on people skills and communicate with clients in both business-to-business and business-to-customer capacities. Other important skills and qualifications for Account Executives include:

  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Organization skills
  • Time management skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Multitasking skills
  • Budget management
  • Sales skills
  • Account management

Account Executive salary expectations

The average salary for an Account Executive is $69,605 per year. Experience is one of the biggest factors determining what an Account Executive can make. Salary may also depend on the applicant’s level of education and geographical location. Some Account Executives can expect additional income on top of their salary, averaging $15,000 per year in cash bonuses and $22,500 per year in commissions.

Account Executive education and training requirements

Account Executives usually obtain a bachelor’s degree. However, it is possible to become an Account Executive with only a high school diploma or GED with sufficient experience. Account Executives typically come from education backgrounds in areas such as marketing, business or risk management.

Account Executive experience requirements

Many companies offer entry-level opportunities for employees with no prior experience. However, as this is a leadership role, Account Executives typically possess a few years of professional experience.

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Frequently asked questions about Account Executives

 

What qualities does a good Account Executive have?

There are many abilities and characteristics an Account Executive needs to have to perform well in their role. Some common qualities of a strong Account Executive include: 

  • Communication skills to regularly discuss project deadlines, responsibilities and goals with clients and employees on the phone, in-person and over email
  • Organizational and time management abilities to stay ahead of regular deadlines and to organize projects, clients’ files and other important tasks 
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills to quickly find creative solutions to any client issues that may arise 
  • Presentation skills to build strategies and report them clearly and professionally to both clients and employees 

 

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

Account Managers are often higher-level roles that focus on developing and growing a client’s relationship with the company. They regularly communicate with clients to make sure all their needs are being met and work to meet any outstanding needs the client is facing. Account Managers also collect and analyze current client data and other consumer behavior to understand any changing needs. They meet with Account Executives to discuss their performance and relay any high-level client information. It’s often the Account Manager’s responsibility to ensure the Account Executive is completing their role effectively. 

 

Do Account Executives have different responsibilities in different industries?

There are usually Account Executives working in a variety of industries. Many of their responsibilities in each industry revolve around client satisfaction and implementing projects to meet their goals. Account Executives are usually responsible for having an extensive knowledge of the specific industry their clients work in. This allows them to deliver quality projects that are relevant and catered toward that industry. For instance, if an Account Executive has a client who works in the dental industry, they must have extensive dental health industry knowledge to create dental health-related projects for them.  

 

Who does an Account Executive report to?

An Account Executive typically reports to the Account Manager with any challenges or issues they’re experiencing while working on a campaign or with a client. If Account Executives are facing complex problems on a campaign, an Account Manager will provide them with advice and guidance and will reach out to the client to resolve any big-picture issues. Account Executives also report to a client with any questions they may have about their company to help them build a strong and valuable campaign that best conveys the story of their brand. 

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    Last updated: Apr 28, 2021