Account Executive Job Description, Qualifications, and Outlook
Also referred to as account handlers, people with the account executive job description tend to have one of the most taxing jobs in sales. They have one of the most comprehensive jobs in the industry, as they tend to be directly responsible for sales pitches, directing the workflow, reaching compromises, PR, advertising, and many other similar functions.
Because of the wide array of specialties which an account executive has to possess, their pay is generally higher than that of other people in the industry. However, it is still considered a fairly poorly paid job because of the many responsibilities and high levels of stress they face on a daily basis.
Job Overview: What Does an Account Executive Professional Do?
Generally, people with the account executive job description work as liaisons between clients and advertising agencies. They usually sell the agency’s services to various clients, prepare the client for the contract, perform extensive research on the products, come to a common accord with the clients, and help fulfill the contract.
Like with most jobs in the sales industry, the accounting executive job description is tailored for people with a particular set of innate and obtained qualities and skill sets without which they wouldn’t really be good at their jobs. Of course, some jobs do require different skill sets than others. These are generally handled by the executives of each company.
Account Executive Job Duties
Below, you can see a list of the most frequent responsibilities assigned to people with the account executive job description:
- Meeting and discussing the clients’ needs.
- Working with multiple account planners.
- Devising campaigns that meet the clients’ budgets and ideas.
- Presenting the company’s prices to customers.
- Coming up with a direction for the project to go.
- Informing the advert creative team about the direction.
- Negotiating and solving the clients’ problems.
- Ensuring they meet deadlines.
- Reporting and checking on the progress of the campaign.
- Maintaining contact and communication with customers at all levels and stages of the campaign.
- Invoicing any and all clients.
- Managing the budget of the account.
- Winning over new businesses and clients.
Account Executive Job Essential Skills
Negotiation skills. The account executive should have very strong negotiation skills needed for account sales and contract negotiations. He must act in a very persuasive and professional manner.
Organizational skills. Great organizational and high-level management skills are necessary for this professional. Leadership capabilities and high-level decision-making skills are also necessary. Plus, the ability to maintain professional relationships with clients.
Interpersonal skills. Very strong interpersonal and communication skills are a must for this job. The account executive job description also implies very strong speaking and writing skills. While strong customer service skills, a great charisma, and public speaking skills are also necessary.
Professional skills. The person with this job must have very good business sense, also knowledge of the latest marketing and advertising trends. High proficiency with numbers and budgets are also necessary. While a certain measure of confidence and tact help with sustaining the relationship this professional has with the clients. Also, must show great problem-solving skills and must have the ability to work long hours under stress.
Becoming an Account Executive Professional
As expected, the account executive job description usually varies depending on the exact position held by each employee. For example, someone with the radio account executive job description will have different responsibilities than someone with the national account executive job description.
Similarly, someone working for an agency as an accounting junior assistant will get a different pay grade and responsibilities than an accounting executive working for a radio station, or than an executive mortgage relations accountant, or than a senior accounts manager interacting directly with the executives of a digital content firm.
Qualifications and Training
First and foremost, anyone pining for the account executive job description has to have a bachelor’s degree. Some degrees, like the ones in marketing, administration, journalism, or advertising can make it a lot easier than others to get a job in the industry. Internships and on-the-job training are also common for anyone wanting the position.
On-the-job training is very common for the occupation in the United States, as an aspiring account executive will have to learn a lot about how to do their job before actually starting. Otherwise, the company risks losing clients, having accounts managed poorly, and awful campaigns.
The bachelor’s degrees which might end up being key factors in helping someone get a position with the sought-after account executive job description are as follows:
- Media studies
- Operational research
Interestingly, despite the position involving dealing with a lot of money and responsibility, the experience isn’t that big a factor in getting the job. Of course, the experience is just as relevant as for any other sales position, but aspiring account executives still have chances of getting the job over people with more experience.
The thing most influenced by experience in relation to the account executive job description is the salary. An experienced employee will always get more money than a less experienced one. In fact, the average account executive salary usually grows by more than $15,000 over the years. This is what experience influences the most.
The working hours are basic, from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. Though sometimes it is possible to start the day early or stay late in the evening to meet deadlines. Also, it might include weekends or traveling for meetings.
Even though there might be a need for extra hours, paid overtime is rare, but some employers will offer time off instead. Part-time and job-sharing are also a possibility, and some larger agencies offer paid sabbaticals after a qualifying period of service.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
Despite most account executives having a pretty decent salary, some barely make the minimum wage. This is happening because while the average salary is around $50,000, salaries for people with the account executive job description can range from $30,000 to $90,000, or even higher.
However, with an average salary of around $50,000 a year, most people tend to move on to other positions after working twenty years or more on the job. Of course, some jobs pay more than others. For example, someone with the insurance account executive job description working for AFLAC might make more via commission than someone with the sales account executive job description.
It seems career opportunities for people with the account executive job description are expected to grow 9% until 2024, slightly faster than the average for all occupations. Since you need at least a bachelor’s degree to get into the industry, a number of certifications, internships, and on-the-job training are also available to help any willing candidates get a job.
Finally, people with the account executive job description have one of the most complicated arrays of responsibilities in sales. However, they do bring home a decent check, worth all of the work and the highly stressful situations. If you wish to know more about this field of work, you can also read about the account manager job description. For those interested, you can find an account executive job description sample by following the article above.