Account Executive – Responsibilities and Job Description

Definition: Account Executive is defined as a middle-level sales position responsible for selling one’s product line and services to existing customers or acquiring new ones. It is a unique position in the accounting industry.

Regardless of which type of account this position is in, they are generally responsible for

  • Creating
  • Profiling
  • Calculating
  • Balancing customer balances
  • Handling balance inquiries
  • Handling payables / receivable transactions for customers
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Large-contract negotiations
  • Contract administration.

What Does an Account Executive Do?

Account executives ensure client-company relationships deliver long-term value to clients. These professionals understand the unique needs of business accounting services. They coordinate, develop, and support strategic initiatives to establish and improve clients’ accounting enterprise capabilities and client service delivery. 

Account Executives are typically responsible for overseeing projects, implementation, and decision-making for a select client base. They may also handle marketing, sales, and administrative tasks to support the overall client’s needs. Overall, an Account Executive’s role requires deep domain expertise with detailed industry knowledge and technical expertise in various Microsoft and SAP products. 

Specific responsibilities and reporting rules vary from company to company, including regional focus groups and analyzing research surveys. In addition to weekly conference calls and monthly webinars with clients, Account Executives are typically expected to manage two or more employee portfolios comprising multiple client service offerings: financial services, outsourcing/contract work, mobile solutions/vendors.

What is An Advertising Account Executive?

An advertising account executive works for an advertising company, representing the interests of that company concerning its clients or potential clients. 

They perform tasks such as: representing the company in negotiations with suppliers or clients, writing promotional material, planning advertising campaigns, managing social media accounts, preparing reports for clients, and answering customer service queries.

What’s the Difference between an Account Executive and an Account Manager?

There is a big difference between an Account Executive and an Account Manager. Account Managers handle the long-term strategy, planning, and direction of an organization. Although they report to their upper management, they are free to make decisions and pursue their own goals. 

On the other hand, an Account Executive focuses on specific revenue-generating accounts and campaigns within their company while also managing the day-to-day activities such as hiring new personnel and maintaining existing relationships with existing customers.

Account Managers typically report to Regional Directors or Managing Directors, while Account Executives report to Senior Managers.

How Much Does an Account Executive Make?

The actual number can be higher or lower depending on the industry and location because some companies compensate their execs more than others. For example, assume you work at a small mid-sized company in a mid-sized city. You could make as much as $100,000 or as little as $45,000, depending on the company you found work at.  But if you’re an account executive at a large international corporation, you could make as much as $300,000 on average.

Account Executives can pull in top annual salaries of $350,000 or more at large software companies, while those working at smaller manufacturing firms may only pull in $80,000 or less per year.

What Skills Does an Account Executive Need?

To be an Account Executive (AE), you need to have aggressive sales skills in several different areas of your company. Other people with this job title are often called sales trainers or sales coaches. They educate potential clients about your business and provide possible solutions to problems that customers might be having.

Account Executive employees serve as enthusiasts of the clientele, helping them with questions, assisting them with issues, and educating them about account services.

Communication is paramount in this job. An ability to negotiate and empathize are also important skills. Account Executives are goal-oriented and determined and possess high organizational skills. Presentation skills are also a must for selling products in person.

The best account executives are highly empathetic, organized individuals with a natural ability to problem-solve.

To be a top performer, they must also be patient, goal-oriented, personable, hard-working, driven, and able to present your product or service confidently and articulately.

What’s it Like to Be An Account Executive?

Working as an account executive can be a hectic career path. AEs work hard to meet dynamic goals and deadlines. They work well under pressure and constantly refine their strategies for efficiency over time.

To work most effectively, AEs often divide their time into chunks to focus on different tasks at different times of the day or week. This makes it easier to stay focused on tasks throughout the week and ensures that they are always working at their peak.

Account executives are responsible for managing client relationships and building a new business from an assigned territory. They often create weekly schedules to streamline communication and increase efficiency when there are multiple projects and tasks at hand.

An Account Executive at the Company spends most of their day making cold calls or setting up meetings with prospective clients for morning conference calls. An Account Executive’s work is done primarily over the phone, and many Sales Executives will use a computer to make their sales pitches via email or in person.

Account Executive Regulations

To create a strong, professional relationship with clients, account executives must abide by industry regulations. Account executives should stay up-to-date with the latest news in accounts and stay informed of their clients’ news to stay on top of social trends and know how to improve products and practices.

Account executives are encouraged to follow the guidelines set by regulatory authorities regarding ethics and client relations. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 3220 requires that the company approve gifts and gratuities. 

Company policy requires account executives to adhere to all regulatory guidelines strictly.

Summary

  • Account executives are on the front lines of relationships to ensure client-company relationships deliver long-term value to clients.
  • Account Executives are typically expected to manage two or more employee portfolios comprising multiple client service offerings: financial services, outsourcing/contract work, mobile solutions/vendors.
  • Account executives are encouraged to follow the guidelines set by regulatory authorities regarding ethics and client relations.