How to Become a Senior Account Executive?

Are you thinking of becoming a Senior Account Executive or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Senior Account Executive, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Senior Account Executive job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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Steps to Become an Account Executive

An account executive works in a sales role assisting in maintaining or growing existing accounts and customers while developing new accounts. In many companies, an account executive will work with account managers and sales representatives to offer higher-level leadership. Here are six steps on how to become an account executive.

Get your education in communications or business administration.

The first step in starting your career as an account executive is obtaining your general education, such as a high school diploma or equivalent. This education is necessary to continue your education, such as a bachelor's degree, which many employers require. Some of the common majors for a bachelor's degree include communications, marketing, and business administration. You may wish to pursue a master's degree to open up more job opportunities with the possibility of higher pay.


Gain sales experience by being a sales representative.

Before becoming a successful account executive, it's important to have enough experience to get adequate on-the-job training, or experience in sales, to help master the techniques you'll need. Many job opportunities require three years of experience. Some entry-level jobs include:

  • Sales representative
  • Market research analyst
  • Customer support representative

Sharpen your communication and presentation skills.

The following are skills that you'll need as an account executive:

  • Communication Skills. You must be able to communicate efficiently over the phone, via email, and in person. Practice asking for feedback, conveying your points clearly, and your listening skills.
  • Interpersonal Skill. Building relationships with clients and meeting their needs will be a part of your job as an account executive.
  • Sales Skills. You'll be able to sharpen your sales skills as you work, but it's important to master your technique so you can sell services and products to clients.
  • Presentation Skills. Strong public speaking skills will be useful.
  • Data Organization Skills. Word-processing software skills will track goals and other information and tasks, such as writing documents and contracts.
  • Customer Relationship Management Software. CRM software can help you track upcoming tasks, points of contact, and other stages throughout the sales journey.

Gain management experience.

As an account executive, you'll typically spend some of your time overseeing various teams of sales representatives. Management experience will help you further enhance your skills and qualifications. You can try asking your current supervisor or manager for more work responsibility, registering for seminars, and signing up for any additional leadership training that may be offered at your current job.


Earn a certification in sales.

To help you stand apart from the crowd and improve your skills, you can opt to get certifications as an account executive. One such certification is the Certified Professional Sales Leader credentialing from the National Association of Sales Professionals. Earning this certification requires you to complete a training session, as well as an exam.


Get a job as an account executive.

After completing your education, gaining valuable work experience, and obtaining certifications you wish to have, begin applying for jobs as an account executive. Parts of your daily job tasks may include the following:

  • Following up with potential customers via phone, email, or in-person meetings.
  • Nurturing relationships with clients will help create the connections needed to meet your staple goals, meet your customers' expectations, and more.
  • Developing solutions for any problems will help you offer solutions to client issues.
  • Creating action plans and effective sales strategies.
  • Managing your sales team.

Senior Account Executive Career Path

Senior Account Executive

2 - 4Years of Experience
$111K - $198K /yrMost Likely Range
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Lead Account Executive

5 - 7Years of Experience
$89K - $160K /yrMost Likely Range
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Principal Account Executive

No Years of Experience Reports
$143K - $256K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Senior Account Executive Career Path

Account Executive I
Account Executive II
Senior Account Executive
Account Executive Manager
Lead Account Executive
Senior Manager of Accounts
Principal Account Executive
Associate Director of Accounts
Director of Accounts
Vice President of Sales
Senior Vice President of Sales
Executive Account Executive
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Related Careers in the Sales Industry

Interested in other Sales careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Senior Account Executive skills. Discover some of the most common Senior Account Executive career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Strategic Account Executive
No skills overlap
16% transitioned to Strategic Account Executive