What Does an Account Executive Do?
People who are ambitious, have excellent communication skills, and like working with others are a great fit for an account executive position. To be successful as an account executive, you must be goal-oriented, determined, and ready to work hard.
Account executives are the primary point of contact between a business and its clients and vendors. They manage all sales-related interactions in support of current contracts while continuously building stronger relationships and ensuring both parties are satisfied. They also find creative ways to locate prospective clients and close sales deals to create new customers. These executives work in various industries, such as advertising, public relations, financial services, and technology.
Are you a job seeker?
of job openings
and apply online
National Average Salary
Account executive salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Account Executive is:
Account Executive Job Descriptions
- Successfully sell ABC Company’s products and services to new and existing customers using the ability to present compelling offers and influence customer decision-making
- Effectively manage time, be open to learning new methods, and look to advance as an individual contributor
- Demonstrate the ability and resilience to bounce back from challenges and maintain focus on larger goals
- Assess each customer and their needs to determine the best value
- Ability to build and maintain customer relationships
- Transpose customer information including demographic, billing, etc.
- Provide excellent customer service, listen to the customer and ensure their satisfaction
- Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
- Must be a high school graduate; college graduates preferred
- Candidates must successfully complete a pre-employment screen, which may include a drug test
- Dedicated home office workspace
Responsibilities of an account executive:
- Identify qualified candidates through various recruiting and sourcing tools to fill open positions
- Screen and interview qualified candidates
- Write and edit job descriptions for assigned positions
- Partner with your Sales Manager to engage in outbound communications, via phone and email
- Build and maintain relationships with candidates to generate a positive hiring experience from start to finish
- Perform various customer service-related activities
- Review/ revise resumes, as well as compare the candidate’s qualifications to the job requirements and the client’s needs
- Arrange phone and/or face-to-face interviews by coordinating schedules
- Onboarding candidates, preparing files, including references, background checks, etc.
Qualifications for an account executive:
- 2+ years of experience including but not limited to Sales, Customer Service, and/or Recruiting
- Must have Microsoft Office experience, including Word, Excel, and Outlook
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Self-motivated, driven, and eager to learn
- Must be willing to work in a team environment
- Bachelor’s Degree in Sales, Marketing, Business, HR, or another related field preferred
Account executives handle relationships with existing and prospecting clients. They are the owner of client relationships, develop long-term account strategies, and lead in meeting client needs. Account executives are responsible for identifying expansion opportunities, client retention, and helping to achieve strategic goals, relative to the client base and overall customer happiness. The Account executive should have positive relationship-building skills, an aim to exceed sales targets, an ability to deliver results in a fast-paced environment, and a passion for serving clients and their members.
Account executive responsibilities
- Build detailed business plans to facilitate the attainment of goals and quotas
- Lead the entire sales cycle from finding a client to securing a deal
- Support and solve problems for clients by understanding and exceeding their expectations
- Illustrate the value of products and services to build growth opportunities; compile and analyze data to identify trends
- Follow up with clients regularly to ensure needs are being met and find opportunities for growth
- Maintain a database of clients, prospects, partners, and vendors
Account executive requirements
- Outstanding knowledge of MS Office
- Previous experience using CRM software
- Excellent communication/presentation skills and ability to build relationships
- Ability to handle multiple accounts while seeking new opportunities
- Ability to understand client needs, and negotiate costs and services
- Willingness to travel as needed to meet with clients and prospects
How to Hire an Account Executive
Consider the following when hiring an account executive:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. For hiring an account executive, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for an account executive opening:
LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process.
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- How do you handle rejection?
- What methods do you employ to locate sales opportunities?
- How do you build successful business relationships?
- How do you persuade a prospective client who refuses to buy?
- How do you handle dissatisfied or aggressive customers?
- What was the most difficult deal you closed?
- What did you do to meet an objective when the odds were against you?
- Define the stages of the sales cycle. Which do you find most challenging and why?
- What was the quota in your previous position? What was your average deal size? How many people hit this number?
- What is it that you find motivates you most in sales?