Account executives play a pivotal role in generating sales and managing customer relationships. Therefore, hiring an ill-fitted candidate for this role can directly impact your revenue and damage your reputation with key customers.
Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon. Sourcing the right talent for an account executive role is particularly challenging because candidates often confuse this role with other jobs – like customer success manager, account manager, or sales representative.
Thus, you need to write an airtight job description, clearly outlining role responsibilities and requirements and leaving no room for confusion.
Our top tips on writing an effective account executive job description can help. Below, we share these and more – including skills to look for and mistakes to avoid. We also provide you with a free template to save you the hassle of starting from scratch.
An account executive helps grow a business by generating sales, building and nurturing customer relationships, and being the primary point of contact between the company and its clients.
The specific roles and responsibilities of an account executive vary by industry and organization. But, here are some key aspects of most roles:
Building and managing customer relationships
Generating leads and closing sales with new customers
Identifying opportunities to upsell or cross-sell to existing customers
Formulating sales strategies and working with cross-functional teams to achieve targets and retain customers
Negotiating contract terms and pricing with clients to ensure a mutually beneficial arrangement
Resolving customer issues, concerns, and requests by liaising with the right internal teams
The best account executive candidates will demonstrate these fundamental skills.
Strong sales acumen and an understanding of the sales process including prospecting, qualifying leads, and closing deals
Deep understanding of the company’s products or services, industry trends, and key competitors in the market
Ability to analyze sales data, customer behavior, and performance metrics to optimize sales strategy
Ability to create and deliver persuasive sales pitches and presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, and similar tools
Proficiency in customer relationship management (CRM) tools like Hubspot or Salesforce, email and communication software, and data analytics software such as Google Analytics and Excel
Exceptional written and verbal communication skills for building rapport with customers and conveying essential information clearly and accurately
Empathy and actively listening for understanding and anticipating customer needs
Powerful critical thinking and negotiation skills for formulating and implementing unique arrangements that benefit both customers and the company
Resilience and persistence to stay driven in a demanding role where they often lose sales and face rejection
These best practices can help you write a well-rounded account executive role description.
Tailor the role description to align with your company’s needs. You can do this by speaking to those teams that’ll work closely with your account executive.
For instance, ask your sales and marketing managers what they need to get more customers and sales over the line. They’ll highlight existing skills and knowledge gaps, making it easier for you to find suitable candidates to fill them.
You’ll usually use tangible outcomes, like revenue generated, to measure your account executive’s success. Including real-world targets for this role in the job description can help attract serious candidates who have the skills to succeed. Likewise, this can prevent unwanted applications from unqualified candidates.
This role needs candidates who are passionate about what the company is doing to sell its products or services well. Discuss the company’s mission in your job description and how a successful account executive will contribute to it.
Here’s an account executive job description template that you can tailor to your company’s needs.
Write a brief description of your company, including its name, offering, and mission. Also, share relevant milestones and achievements to highlight why your company is leading in the industry.
Outline the benefits successful candidates can expect to receive as employees of your company. This could include health insurance, 401k plans, growth and development opportunities, flexible work arrangements, and other perks.
Job title: [For instance, Regional Account Executive, North America]
Reports to: [For example, Director of Sales]
Position type: [For example, full-time or part-time employee]
Location: [On-site, hybrid, or remote]
[Salary, benefits, and commissions information]
Identify and target new customer opportunities, significantly contributing to lead generation within the North America region.
Create and present persuasive sales pitches and product demonstrations to meet or exceed sales targets and performance metrics.
Develop and maintain strong relationships with existing customers, meeting customer retention requirements.
Identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell offerings to our existing customer base.
Negotiate and close sales agreements that are mutually beneficial to our company and customers.
Stay updated with industry trends, key players, and evolving customer expectations.
Bachelor's degree in business, marketing, or a related field (or equivalent experience)
Minimum [three] years of experience in sales or business development
Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Zendesk CS
Master’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field
Experience in [specific industry or market]
Look out for these common pitfalls when writing your account executive job description.
In addition to technical skills, candidates must have certain characteristics to do this job effectively. For example, even a candidate with exceptional industry and product knowledge will fail in the role if they don’t have the interpersonal qualities required to deal with and persuade customers.
There’s some overlap between the roles of account executives, customer success managers, and account managers, but they do have significant differences. One major difference, for instance, is that account executives focus on sales and business development while the other roles don’t.
Failing to specify the exact requirements of the role will lead you to spend time screening applications that demonstrate experience in similar roles. However, these applicants may be over- or underqualified for your role.
Financial incentives – like a competitive salary and commissions or bonuses – drive account executives to meet their targets. Missing compensation information can deter them from applying and push them toward competing organizations that are upfront about it.
Provide some information about the pay and benefits they can expect to receive from your company to keep candidates interested. In fact, pay transparency is a legal requirement in some states.
A solid job description can help get top talent through the doors. But, you’ll still need to screen several applications. Pre-employment testing is the fastest and most effective way to do this.
TestGorilla’s online tests for account executives can help you find the best applicants quickly and objectively. Consider using these tests:
TestGorilla’s Working With Data, Google Analytics, and Excel tests assess data analysis skills.
The Salesforce, Hubspot, and Zendesk CS assessments determine the applicant’s proficiency with these CRM tools.
Our negotiation and communication skills tests ensure that candidates can close deals.
Personality tests like our Enneagram test can show you if candidates exhibit empathy, resilience, and other key traits.
You can even add custom interview questions to your online assessments to get a stronger understanding of your candidates.
Account executives are responsible for acquiring new clients, managing relationships, and achieving sales targets. Account managers, usually more senior, focus on nurturing existing relationships, helping clients gain value from the company’s offering, and growing the accounts they oversee. However, their job titles and seniority levels vary across companies.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an account executive in the US is $70,810, while estimated additional pay is $35,371/year. This includes bonuses, sales commissions, and other forms of compensation.
An effective and resourceful account executive generates leads, converts them to paying customers, and upsells and cross-sells to existing customers. Mis-hiring for this role, therefore, can be hugely detrimental and cost you revenue and your reputation.
A concise and well-written job description is the first step to preventing this by attracting the right candidates to the job. Additionally, TestGorilla’s skills assessments can help you screen these candidates quickly. This way, you can select the best ones for your account executive interviews.
To address its increased recruitment needs and influx of applicants for roles that include customer support and leadership, Dyninno Group implemented TestGorilla. See how the Dyninno Group of companies improved candidate screening and recruitment productivity by 400%.
Create pre-employment assessments in minutes to screen candidates, save time, and hire the best talent.
No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
Our screening tests identify the best candidates and make your hiring decisions faster, easier, and bias-free.
This checklist covers key features you should look for when choosing a skills testing platform
This resource will help you develop an onboarding checklist for new hires.
How to assess your candidates' attention to detail.
Learn how to get human resources certified through HRCI or SHRM.
Learn how you can improve the level of talent at your company.
Learn how CapitalT reduced hiring bias with online skills assessments.
Learn how to make the resume process more efficient and more effective.
Improve your hiring strategy with these 7 critical recruitment metrics.
Learn how Sukhi decreased time spent reviewing resumes by 83%!
Hire more efficiently with these hacks that 99% of recruiters aren't using.
Make a business case for diversity and inclusion initiatives with this data.