An account executive is the main point of contact a customer will have with a business, and is responsible for maintaining a strong relationship with their assigned customers to ensure that they are always satisfied.
They are responsible for introducing new products or services to customers, negotiating deals, maintaining contractual agreements, arranging meetings with other departments in the business and the client, and overall, keeping in touch with the client on a regular basis. An account manager may work in any industry, but they are most prevalent in technology, financial, public relations and advertising companies.
Day-to-day tasks of this role:
- Schedule regular meetings with customers.
- Establish goals and objectives with customers, and create action plans to achieve them.
- Spend time introducing, explaining, and demonstrating new products, features, or services.
- Negotiate sales agreements.
- Adhere to contract conditions.
Understand the Role
Review the skills profile
To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, what it contributes to the organization, and the skills needed.
Write a job description based on skills
Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.
Select the ideal candidate
See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customise one for your organization.
Interview top performers
Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLE
Skills profile for an Account Executive
It is crucial that an account executive has excellent negotiation skills when dealing with clients. They must be confident in negotiating prices, sales and products to ensure both parties are satisfied with the deal, and are able to use additional offerings, services, or products for leverage to increase sales. They must also not shy away from tough conversations with customers or potential customers, and see each challenge as an exciting prospect.
An account executive must also be able to maintain strong relationships with all clients. They must build, develop and foster positive relationships with businesses and multiple stakeholders within the organisation, as well as always provide added value to key stakeholders outside of the product/service, such as market knowledge or networking.
It is important that account executives are strategic in their relationships with clients. They must be strategic about how they approach customers or prospects and align this with the organisation’s unique selling criteria, as well as always strategically think about how to expand their customer’s accounts and execute this effectively.
Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position.
Account Executive Job Description
- Why is this role being filled?
- How does this role fit into the organization and the team?
- What makes your company unique?
- What would it be like to work for you?
- What technical skills are needed for this role?
- Which soft skills are applicable?
- What are the nice-to-have experiences of your ideal candidate?
- Include availability preferences in this section
- What are the key deliverables for this role?
- What does the day-to-day of this role look like?
- Compensation & bonuses
- Employee benefits & perks
- Ongoing training benefits
PRO TIP #1
In building your candidate profile, you’ve already identified what skills are needed to be successful in the role. You will have already identified the ‘must-have’ skills needed to be successful in the role, but it is also a good idea to include some ‘nice-to-have’ skills too. For example, an account executive must have exceptional relationship management skills, but it may be nice and useful to hire someone that is also creative and tech-savvy, so that they are able to create exciting presentations to show customers new and exciting features, products or services offered.
PRO TIP #2
Ensure that the entire recruitment process from job description to assessment to interview reiterates your company vision and values. This will help you identify the right people for the role, and applicants will know whether your company is the right fit for them.
Sample skills assessment
Question Type: Document
How do you seek feedback? What actions have you taken from feedback given to you? Please answer in the document below.
Question Type: Text
Describe a time where you have had a tough conversation with a customer.
Question Type: Video
Describe the most positive business relationship you have built in a previous role. How did you do this and why was it so positive?
Interview guide for an Account Executive
Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The PDF interview guide contains structured questions against each of the competencies for this role.
This interview guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the Vervoe skills assessment. Where a candidate has scored Low – Medium on a skill, focus on asking more questions from that skill to gain deeper insight into their level of competency.
PDF INTERVIEW GUIDE
Get your copy of the interview guide to complete the hiring process. Includes questions against each of the skill competencies for the role.