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Account Executive

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Who is an Account Executive?

An Account Executive is one who manages relationships with customers/clients on behalf of the company. Their primary job is to understand the client's requirements and provide services or products that meet those requirements. They play an important role in maintaining relationships with existing customers, negotiating contracts, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Account Executives are solely responsible for client engagement. They handle queries, solve problems, and address client concerns in an effective way with sales and marketing teams. 

According to Zippia, there are over 1,153,828 account executives currently employed in the United States. And as per Linkedin 35% of companies rely on Account Executive’s for expansion.

What does an Account Executive (AE) do?

Account executive roles also involve a lot of sales related initiatives and activities. However it varies from industry to industry. Mainly they are responsible for maintaining relationships with existing and new clients accounts. 

Let’s have a look at some common Account executive roles and responsibilities across all industries: 

Customer relationship management

Account Executives are the experts in building and maintaining relationships with the new and existing customers. They understand  customer needs, resolve issues and address concerns to the respective internal teams to ensure customer satisfaction. They bridge the gap between the company and the client

Revenue generation 

Finding and pursuing sales possibilities inside current accounts is a crucial part of the AE job in order to hit revenue objectives. This includes determining the needs of the customer, outlining options, negotiating terms, and completing transactions.

Account planning and Strategy

To handle client accounts efficiently and take advantage of commercial possibilities, Account Executives create strategic account strategies. They research market trends, pinpoint possible areas for expansion, and create plans of action to meet sales goals.

Cross-Selling and Upselling 

Account Executives increase revenue and customer loyalty by cross-selling or upselling additional products or services to existing and new clients. They have the ability to identify client needs and propose a different product or service that complements the original purchase, such as accessories, add-ons, or upgrades. 

Collaboration with Internal Teams

Account executives often collaborate with internal teams, such as marketing, product development and customer support. They typically possess the ability to work collaboratively, communicate cross-functionally and align efforts to meet client expectations and business objectives.

Forecasting and Reporting

Account Executives track sales activities, maintain accurate records of client interactions, and provide regular reports on sales performance and revenue forecasts to management.

Market and Competitor Analysis

Account Executives stay informed about industry trends, market dynamics, and competitor activities. They gather market intelligence to identify opportunities and threats, informing strategic decisions and business planning.

Why should you hire Account Executives?

The role of an Account Executives is designed to build strong relations with new clients and ensure consistent customer satisfaction with existing ones. Account Executives play a vital roles in various aspects of business including: 

  1. Growth: Account Executives foster strong relationships with customers by understanding their business needs and propose solutions. Based on the customer needs they upsell or cross-sell additional services. They understand their client’s business in depth and proactively engage with them to uncover new business opportunities that resolve the client’s pressing issue. AE’s gain customer’s trust and loyalty through customer-centric approach and strategic account management, which results in growth and increased revenue from existing accounts.
  2. Eliminate competition: Account Executives are vigilant of competitors. They ensure that they do not lose their account to their competitors. They are always ready with in-depth knowledge about their competitors too. If the competitors are a step ahead from them, they take necessary steps to build these offerings into their roadmap. Strategic thinking and proactive steps help customers grow their business and help Account Executives to keep the competitors away from their clients. 
  3. Customer Satisfaction:  Every Account Executives knows that the higher the customer satisfaction, the higher the level of customer retention. And to achieve customer satisfaction Account executives understand their client and their business needs thoroughly. They know everything about their client’s goals, challenges, preferences, and take feedback, so that they can provide better service. They keep the promises and commitments made to their customers to reach the client's expectations. 

4. Account Executive skills and qualities

Account Executives should have a combination of below skills to efficiently manage clients and drive sales growth. 

Technical Skills

  • Mastery of various sales techniques such as consultative selling, solution selling, and relationship-based selling.
  • In-depth understanding of the organization's products or services, including features, benefits, and competitive advantages.
  • Proficiency in using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to manage client interactions, track sales activities, and generate reports.
  • Ability to conduct market research, analyze industry trends, and identify opportunities for business growth.
  • Understanding of pricing models, profit margins, and financial metrics to negotiate contracts and maximize revenue.

Workplace Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to effectively engage with clients, present proposals, and negotiate terms.
  • Strong time management skills to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and manage multiple client accounts simultaneously.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with internal teams, including marketing, product development, and customer support, to meet client needs and achieve sales goals.
  • Proficiency in identifying client needs, addressing concerns, and finding creative solutions to overcome obstacles in the sales process.
  • Adaptability to changes in the market, industry, or organizational priorities, and willingness to embrace new technologies and strategies.

Personal Traits

  • Good listening 
  • Resilience
  • Persistence
  • Confidence 
  • Empathy
  • Integrity
  • Drive

5. Account Executive job description

This job description for the position of an Account Executive has been optimized for job boards as well as career pages and is ready to be deployed. Simply customize it for your organization and hire your next rockstar.

Job Title: Account Executive 

Location: [City, State]

Industry: [Add Industry]

Company: [Your Software Company]

Job Type: Full-Time

Job Summary: We are seeking a dynamic and results-driven Account Executive to join our team. The ideal candidate will be responsible for identifying new clients, managing existing client relationships, and driving sales of our cutting-edge software solutions. This role is pivotal in expanding our market presence and driving revenue growth.

Responsibilities:

  • Identify and target potential clients in the [Specific Industry] sector.
  • Present and demonstrate our software solutions to clients, highlighting their value proposition.
  • Negotiate and close sales deals, achieving or exceeding sales targets.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of our software products and industry trends.
  • Develop and implement sales strategies that align with our growth objectives.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong client relationships.
  • Address client inquiries and concerns promptly, ensuring satisfaction.
  • Cross-sell and upsell software solutions to maximize revenue.
  • Provide accurate and timely sales reports, analyzing data to identify trends and opportunities.
  • Collaborate with the software sales team and other departments for a cohesive approach to sales.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Business, Marketing, or related field.
  • Proven experience in software sales or a related field.
  • Proficiency in CRM software and sales tools.
  • Strong communication, negotiation, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet and exceed sales targets.
  • Adept at building client relationships and delivering exceptional client service.
  • Strong problem-solving, time management, and adaptability skills.

6. How to hire Account Executives?

Craft a compelling job description

Regardless of the approach you take to your recruiting efforts, whether you use a recruiting agency of your choice, source candidates yourself, post job ads, etc., one of the first and most important parts of your recruiting process is creating a job description. .

Creating an impressive job description, even if it seems plain and simple, can make a big difference in the success of your recruiting efforts and, more importantly, who ends up working for your company..

In addition to the job description in section 5, you can explore more job descriptions here.

Discover relevant candidates

With over 1,153,828 job applicants in the US, the Account Executive talent pool is remarkably strong, but there are only a few active candidates. Therefore, recruiters must use passive and latent talents to find relevant candidates who are likely to join the organization.

Recruiters can find active job seekers using job sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor. They would need recruiting tools to find passive job seekers.

EasySource’s Candidate Discovery Module can instantly surface relevant Account Executives from active, passive, and hidden talent pools based on your job description or simple prompts. 

Screen candidates

Most of the ATS and candidate screening tools rely on keywords in candidates’ profiles or resumes to filter them. It may lead to relevant candidates being eliminated from the process simply because their profiles or resumes did not have the right keywords. Worse, it may lead to irrelevant candidates being filtered in one go because they focused on the right keywords.

To avoid this, EasySource’s Candidate Screening Module uses persona-based screening to map the ideal candidate profile based on your job description or prompts and finds Account Executives with relevant skills, profiles, and work experience. This persona-based screening also ranks candidates based on their relevancy so that recruiters can prioritize their outreach.

Assess candidates

Skill assessments can be used to ensure only qualified candidates get in and that the health of the talent pipeline is robust. They can also help in making faster hiring decisions without bias.

EasyAssess offers pre-built and customized adaptive skill assessments that validate Account Executives’ technical and workplace skills as well as personality traits. These pre-employment tests create a level playing field so that recruiters can build winning teams with qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Interview candidates

Here are some interview questions that can draw out complete responses from candidates.

I. Pretend I’m a prospect. Describe our product or service to me.

Ii. Tell me about your experience with working with targets. What were they? Did you meet them? How did you perform compared to your team members?

Iii. Tell me about a time you had to get good at a skill. What did you do to achieve that goal?

Iv. Tell me about a time you faced a challenge. How did you deal with it, and what motivated you to keep going?

V. What's the last thing you learned that you thought was really interesting?

For more Account Executives interview questions and answers, click here. 
 

Automated video interviews can be a great way to go beyond the resume and learn more about candidates. Whether you are hiring one Account Executives or at scale, EasyInterview gives recruiters the edge to hire diverse and exceptional talent from across the globe. Also, hiring managers can be involved in the recruitment process to make hiring decisions faster.

Engage candidates

Reaching out to qualified Account Executives and engaging them throughout the hiring process requires recruiters to engage with them 1-on-1. It can be quite tedious and time-consuming which may result in losing qualified candidates. Recruiters should use communication tools that allow them to build personalized messaging to keep their candidates engaged.

EasySource’s Candidate Engagement Module ensures that candidates are engaged with highly personalized strategies and messaging across multiple platforms to compel them to join your organization.

Conduct reference checks

Once you have shortlisted the candidates, verify their work history and performance in previous roles. This step is essential in ensuring the authenticity of their claims and understanding their strengths and areas for development. 

Also, enquire about the candidate's ability to work effectively within a team and adapt to the company culture as this role required collaboration across multiple teams.

Selection and onboarding

An offer letter is important because it helps to protect both the employer and the employee. Share a comprehensive offer letter with the candidates that includes information about the position, such as the title, duties, salary, and benefits. It must include the start date, the probationary period (if any), and the signature of the employer.

In the onboarding program, introduce the Account Executives to the organization’s culture, values, and mission, as well as, specific product or service knowledge and buyer personas.

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