Account executives form the foundation of an entity’s sales team. They act as a liaison between clients and the company, more akin to a senior salesperson. They frequently have a wide range of skills, including marketing, communication, conflict resolution, empathy, and organizational skills. The account executives’ primary focus is on generating leads, completing sales, and satisfying client needs by setting and exceeding quotas.
According to industry experts, effective account executives:
Account executives’ objectives can be to:
Account executives typically major in marketing, business administration, and finance (or related fields), and they generally have a master’s degree in business (or similar fields).
However, in most cases, actual work experience is prioritized over education, as the job of an account executive is usually hands-on, and they have to rely on professional competence and expertise most of the time.
Generally, the average account executive is required to have the ability to:
The majority of an account executive’s responsibilities revolve around client satisfaction and maximizing sales; however, this does not mean they must physically handle these tasks. Additionally, they collaborate with other divisions like marketing, public relations, and sales to make sure that client objectives are met. Depending on the scale of the organization, these roles become more strategic and defined.
Account executives typically hold senior positions in the organization, depending on the industry and organizational structure. However, if you enjoy strategizing and interacting with clients, it is a financially rewarding career path. On average, an account executive makes $114,384 a year in the US, plus a bonus that amounts to, on average, about 19% of their base pay.
This salary is, however, influenced by a number of factors such as the:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors and how they contribute to account executives salaries and compensation.
The salary of account executives is also typically influenced by the cost of living in the company’s location, with a higher cost of living attracting higher pay. This is why account executives in cities like New York usually earn more than their colleagues in more remote locations.
Due to their knowledge of the industry and technical proficiency, account executives with extensive professional experience also command significant wages. After all, they bring more knowledge, skills, insights, connections, and other value to the table and the company.
The amount of money paid to account executives will also depend on the size of the company. While much larger companies tend to be able to pay more than smaller companies, there can also be more flexibility at smaller companies to negotiate for the right talent.
The take-home pay may also be impacted by the type of compensation. Account executives, for instance, are frequently compensated on a commission basis, which motivates them to surpass higher sales goals. This would typically result in the highest kind of compensation when the market is booming and there is, of course, no commission cap. However, some businesses combine a fixed salary with a commission because doing so could be unfavorable if there are poor sales returns.
Accounting executives’ salaries vary by industry depending on the volume of work required of them in that industry but more specifically, their saturation in the industry and the average revenue turnover of the companies in that industry. Here is a list of account executive salaries in 2022, broken down by industry.
Account executives in marketing services work with customer service teams to grow and nurture customer relationships, increasing leads for the firm and, in turn, profit. The account executive may also manage campaigns, coordinate target market research, initiate campaigns, and employ various forms to boost the customer base.
A bachelor’s degree in marketing is considered the minimum qualification for a marketing account executive. However, most marketing account executives have master’s degrees in the field. Experience in marketing and sales-related fields will also give you an edge in securing a role as an account executive.
A marketing account executive is a sales position that demands excellent negotiation and persuasion abilities. Top-earning marketing account executives have a reputation for speedy deal closure. Marketing account executives typically earn an average of $55,000 per year.
Account executives in the finance industry manage client accounts based on the services provided by the business. Account executives in finance typically have a strong technical accounting background and have led financial audits and account reconciliations. Account executives play a similar role to account officers, despite the fact that account officers are distinct from account executives.
Account executives in finance are precise, excellent record keepers, and forecasters. Additionally, because they are responsible for helping clients manage their accounts and providing a distinctive customer experience, they must be able to manage professional relationships with clients.
A professional degree in finance, accounting, or banking is required to work as a financial account executive. Finance account executives make the most money in places like New York, where they can expect to earn between $60,000 and $90,000.
Venture capitalists (VCs) are becoming more and more interested in the burgeoning technology industry, and the pay for tech account executives in the sector has benefited from this. Account executives in the technology sector don’t need to be knowledgeable about technology or have experience with coding, but they do need to know how to secure financing, handle investor interests, and reassure the broader public.
Account executives represent customers’ interests and make sure that their demands are satisfied and services are provided in accordance with the standards of service that were promised. Account executives in tech sales fulfill the customer success function by making sure that the product portfolio aligns with the client’s shifting needs. They also put methods into practice to maximize their chances for business success.
In the US, the average annual income for a tech account executive is $102,300, with entry-level pay beginning at $75,000.
Pharmaceutical account executives are key players in driving drug actual sales and advancing crucial research. Their role revolves around new customer acquisitions, uncovering opportunities in the pharmaceutical markets, establishing and maintaining relationships with key players in the pharmaceutical industry, negotiating contracts with new and existing customers, and maintaining a presence in the pharmaceutical sector.
The Pharma account executives should have knowledge of pharmaceutical industry trends, knowledge of the US FDA drug approval process, and experience in the medical and health fields, preferably as sales personnel.
The average salary for account executives working in the pharmaceutical sector is $160,795 per annum. However, this can vary depending on qualification, certification, and experience.
Every business, including telecommunications and media, needs account executives. To deliver value to the clients, they collaborate with the creative staff and media personnel. They make sure the creative team adheres to the requirements and criteria set forth by the customer.
The account executive will be in charge of meeting with clients to ascertain their needs, communicating these to the creative team, settling long-term contracts, and negotiating contracts with clients.
The salary of Account executives in the telecommunications and media industry averages $68,000 per year.
At Cowen Partners, our executive recruiters are exceptionally skilled at delivering in-demand candidates, no matter the need and across all industries. Backed by a proven executive recruiting process, we have been the partner of choice for startups, corporations, small businesses, non-profits, and more, meeting unique and critical recruitment needs across the entire C-suite, including CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, CIOs, CTOs, CHROs, VPs of sales, other VPs, directors, and several other leadership roles.
With our executive recruiters, you get senior partner-led searches, due diligence-run networking, meticulous candidate vetting, and so much more, all geared towards one goal — placing the very best talent as soon as possible, all while ensuring a seamless fit with your company culture, your big-picture objectives, and other factors. Plus, we have one of the highest candidate retention rates in the industry while consistently delivering world-class talent faster than the competition.
That’s how Cowen Partners has become a leading executive search firm nationwide, and it’s why our executive recruiters have a reputation for excellence and success.
We also invite you to continue exploring more executive recruiting insights from our team: