Account Executive is one of the most critical roles in B2B sales. Apart from selling products and services by winning accounts, they’re also responsible for growing those accounts by building lasting relationships with their customers and ensuring they stay satisfied.
But what exactly do account executives do every day? What do they focus on? In this post, we’ll look at these questions in more detail.
What Is an Account Executive?
Account executives are responsible for managing the relationships between a business and its clients. So, you'll typically find account executives across different industries, including technology, financial services, marketing, and more.
Because account executives manage customer relationships, they're generally the main point of contact between the business and the customer. They're typically involved in this relationship from the initial contact to delivering the product and service and ensuring customer satisfaction after the sale.
It's also important to distinguish an account executive from an account manager because these terms are often used interchangeably. Although these positions are pretty similar and involve managing customer relationships, account executives also have to source new clients, while accounts managers do not.
What Does an Account Executive Do?
Now that we've recapped what account executives are, let's look at what their day at the office looks like.
As mentioned earlier, a significant difference between account executives and accounts managers is that account executives are generally responsible for sourcing customers. As a result, a considerable part of their time might be invested in researching prospective customers.
This means they'll find prospects on company websites, Google, or social media platforms like LinkedIn.
They will then find out more about these customers, their problems or challenges, and how they can solve them by offering the appropriate products.
There’s a lot of nitty-gritty involved. For example, an account executive may have to use a LinkedIn scraping tool if they want to find a LinkedIn lead’s email address, compile lead gen lists in Sales Navigator, and send cold emails.
Considering the description of account executives outlined above, you might have guessed that a lot of their time is spent on meetings.
They'll have internal meetings with other stakeholders within a business to determine the status of a customer account, follow up on orders, and make sure any issues have been sorted out.
They'll also attend external meetings to speak to existing and potential customers to close more deals or ensure that customers are still satisfied. These meetings can be in person or over the phone, through text messages, emails, video calls, and more. Either way, this is an essential responsibility of every account executive.
Finally, while meetings are important, account managers will also spend a lot of time on email and messaging correspondence with customers. This is typically done to keep customers up-to-date regarding their accounts, order status, and more.
Obviously, closing accounts is one of an account executive’s major responsibilities. This will happen after the account executive has scheduled a meeting with a customer or has obtained a lead from a sales development representative (SDR), scheduled a meeting with the customer, and demonstrated the product.
This meeting will aim to convince the customer that the product offered solves their problem and could make a difference in their business. Typically, AEs will pose high-value buyer questions, work with their marketing teams, and perform other activities to win a sale.
An account executive’s responsibilities don’t stop with closing an account and selling a product or service to a customer to solve a specific problem.
Remember, that same customer also has several other problems that need solving. It's up to the account executive to identify these problems and create opportunities to sell more products or services. In this way, they grow the account and increase its lifetime revenue.
Account Executives Have to Eliminate Competition
In a competitive market, other companies always want to offer their products and services to new customers. Account executives also need to prevent this.
There are a few ways in which they can accomplish this. For one, they need to know what products or services their competitors offer that could solve the customer's problem.
It's then important to distinguish their products from competitors' products by emphasizing their unique value proposition. They should also consider what strategies or tactics their competitors would employ if they wanted to steal the account. When they know this, they can develop strategies to counter it.
Maintaining Customer Satisfaction
Although not an activity that directly generates revenue, it's still crucial that account executives maintain customer satisfaction. When they do, they'll nurture lasting and valuable relationships with their customers.
The simplest way to maintain customer satisfaction is to get feedback from customers.
This feedback will show account executives where they're performing well and where their strategies might need some work. Ultimately, this then results in an ability to make improvements where necessary.
Finally, account executives might also be responsible for reporting. This gives them more profound insights into how effective they are at closing accounts, how well they maintain customer satisfaction, and how effective their strategies are at growing accounts.
These insights will emphasize any shortcomings in their processes or workflows so that they can optimize their approach further.
Account Executives Need the Right Tools
Now you know what an account executive is, it’s worth mentioning that account executives need the right tools to do their job effectively. This is where Findymail comes in!
It simplifies gathering leads from platforms like Apollo and Sales Navigator and provides you with accurate, verified email addresses.