Account Executive: Expectation vs Reality 2020

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Account Executive: Expectation vs Reality 2020

Sales representatives, as we all know and as discussed in detail over at the highly rated, are responsible to selling products and services to clients. However, once they have sold a product or a service to a client, then they hand over the account to an account executive whose job is to manage, grow and renew accounts handed to them by sales reps. Account executives are therefore a bit like salespersons but they are focused both on maintaining and growing existing accounts and customers, as well as looking for new opportunities and clients. Good account executives will always be on the lookout for new opportunities and investments for the benefit of their accounts and clients. Since in many instances it is a lot cheaper to grow an existing account than to acquire a new one, account executives are extremely valuable to businesses out there. Although the role of an account executive is a sales one, the duties of an account executive go far and beyond the duties of a traditional sales rep as it is not only about selling a product or service but also managing the account and providing support for the existing clients as discussed over at If you are looking to get into this line of work, then it is important to know the reality of the job verses any expectations you may have going in, something this article will look to assist with.

As an account executive is not only responsible for managing existing accounts and growing these accounts, they are also responsible for finding new customers. This, as discussed over at, is the main difference between an account executive and an account manager. With this said, the expectation going in will be that you will be busy meeting clients, both existing ones and new ones as you look to built your portfolio. However, the reality is that as an account executive, you will be spending most of your time in the office taking calls and attending meetings rather than going out to meet clients. This is because, as per the subject matter experts over at, since most account executives have got clients from different parts of the country, phone calls and skype is the way to communicate. As an account executive, you will be spending most of your time taking phone calls from your clients, following up on their email correspondence as well as looking for new business for them. You will also be attending meetings with colleagues from different departments such as sales reps to ensure that you are all on the same page

Since working in sales can be quite lucrative, the expectation going in as an account executive is that you will be raking in the money and commissions. While this may be true depending on how successful you are, the reality is that, as per the folks over at, how much you will make will be heavily dependent on not only the location where you are working, but also the industry. This is because, there are certain cities where account executives earn more than in others. On average however, you can expect to earn about $63,000 annually as an account executive with an additional $31,000 on average also being attributed to commissions. Certain cities also, as mentioned above, like Boston are also known to pay account executives a lot more than other cities. On top of that, account executives working in certain industries such as software companies can also expect to earn more than those working in other industries. What all this means is that if you are an account executive working in Boston for a big software company, then you could be earning as much as $350,000 annually.

Given that as mentioned above, the profession of an account executive is about sales at its core, then the expectation is that you will be leaning heavily on the soft skills of sales as an account executive. These skills, as per the subject matter experts over at, include communication skills, organization skills, presentation skills, determination, hard work and so forth. However, the modern-day account executive, especially going into 2020 should also have technical skills on the various sales tools out there that any account executive worth their salt should be leveraging. There are many tools out there that as an account executive you should be acquainted with, from analysis tools such as Tableau, conferencing tools that should help with communication like Aircall, content sharing management tools such as BrainShark and many others. On a related note, another reality of life as an account executive, that may not be in line with expectations is that life here is all about continually learning and improving yourself. There are lots of new things as an account executive going into 2020 you need to learn. From the tools discussed above to new techniques and skills from media and so forth. You will probably need to attend certifications and courses to build up your knowledge so that you can be the best account executive you can be.

Remember, if you are looking for more information on this and other related topics, then you should head over to the excellent