What Does an Account Executive Do?

Account executives work in a variety of industries, gaining clients and making sales. A background in sales, advertising, or marketing can be beneficial to candidates for this career. Keep reading to find out more about what account executives do. Schools offering Sales & Marketing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Account executives can be found working in every type of industry, from advertising and marketing to technology and fashion.They're responsible for looking after the company's clients and keeping the company-client relationship in good standing. This can involve working with one or more clients while simultaneously trying to increase the amount of business a company does with those clients.

An account executive must therefore be familiar with all the company's services and products and have the ability to sell them. Generally, an account executive has a selling quota that must be met or exceeded within a certain period, which can require significant time communicating with clients and e-mailing them information.

Duties and Responsibilities

In addition to working on existing accounts, account executives may also be responsible for finding and obtaining new customers and clients, typically within an assigned territory. Expanding business can involve cold-calling or prospecting, as well as attending seminars, conventions, and trade shows or making in-person presentations to potential customers.

Not only can these activities lead to signing up additional clients but they can result in learning new skills that may benefit the company as a whole. A job search on Monster.com in January 2014 found that account executives may also examine financial information and trends, study competitors' business strategies and practices, track sales, develop operating procedures, and train new team members.

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

Many employers require applicants for account executive positions to have at least a bachelor's degree in business or marketing and some level of experience. Some employers also give preference to those with additional abilities, such as strong computer skills and experience with social networking. According to job listings on Monster.com, a number of companies look for candidates who:

  • Work well under pressure
  • Are well organized
  • Are self-motivated
  • Communicate skillfully
  • Work adeptly with others

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the majority of account managers earn between $33,628 - $88,526 a year, as of January 2014. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to the field of account management, the BLS did project that the employment of sales managers will likely grow by about 8% between 2012 and 2022, a rate consistent with the average predicted for all occupations.

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