Hone Your Skills

6 Tips for a Soon-To-Be Account Executive

September 6, 2022
5 min read

Account executives are responsible for the initial interactions with prospective customers. Among many other things, they’re tasked with daily Zoom calls, follow-up emails, and CRM updates. They also work closely with product, marketing, and customer success teams. Perhaps the most critical function for these professionals is hitting the sales goals established by their companies. 

Being an account executive is a demanding job. But if you are highly organized and genuinely enjoy interacting with others, it can turn into a fulfilling and lucrative career. Below, Poised shares six practical insights for becoming an outstanding senior-level account executive. 

6 Things To Remember When Starting as an Account Executive

So, you’ve started a new role as an account executive. Here are six tips for setting yourself up for success and playing a vital role in your company’s sales strategy:

1. The Way You Speak To Your Team Matters

Communication skills are crucial to the account executive role. You’re the primary point of contact for clients, meaning you must be able to communicate their message effectively and serve as a liaison between them and your team. That’s how you form strong customer relationships. 

It’s helpful to produce regular reports and updates to ensure everyone is pursuing the same strategic goals in terms of partnerships with prospective clients.

Further, you must communicate well with your team. Nobody likes working for arrogant, hot-headed sales managers who frequently tear people down, yell at entry-level employees, or neglect to hear other points of view. Prioritize excellent communication with your sales team, speak to everyone with respect, and listen to what others have to say. 

2. Confidence Is Key

While you always want to remain humble, you also want to lead your team and accounts with confidence. Just as your fellow sales representatives won’t want to follow an unpredictable know-it-all, they’ll find it challenging to follow and respect you if you don’t believe in your own abilities. 

Also, it’s essential to approach new challenges and opportunities with a positive attitude. Constantly seek to expand your knowledge and skills, work toward exceeding the duties of your job title, and feel your confidence building each day.

3. Make Eye Contact When Talking To Someone

Whether you’re speaking to a new client or a colleague face-to-face or virtually, don’t forget to maintain the right amount of eye contact. Looking off to the distance or at your phone during meetings will suggest to the other person that you’re disengaged and uninterested in the topic at hand (or in what they have to say). 

Conversely, constantly looking down at your hands or the desk will make you appear unprepared or unsure of your abilities. That said, it’s appropriate to look away from the other person occasionally. You don’t want to stare them down or make them feel uncomfortable. 

The key is to hold eye contact for a few seconds at a time. It’s especially important to look at the other person when they’re speaking so they know you’re engaged and listening.

4. Listen When Your Team Members Talk

When analyzing an account executive's job, you might find that it is similar to that of a therapist. You must listen to your team members with an open mind instead of thinking about how you will respond while they’re speaking. This requires training, courage, and patience.

Improve your active listening skills, and you quickly realize it helps you to build rapport. Every employee and manager on your team should feel comfortable sharing ideas and opinions, and part of the account executive's role is to foster open lines of communication and healthy collaboration.

Further, listening well to clients is critical as well. If you’re meeting with new customers, it’s imperative to gauge their needs so that you can land new accounts and build strong client relationships. 

Learning and evaluating client needs is a vital component of the sales process. Make sure you approach each meeting, survey, and data analysis project with a listening ear.

5. Make Your Words Count — Avoid the Filler

Conciseness and clarity are critical elements of successful business communication. Anytime you have a team meeting, it’s time that each of your employees and managers could be spending on tasks directly related to new business opportunities and growth. But a productive meeting can equip your salesforce with the tools and knowledge necessary to spur business development.

Don’t waste words during team meetings or one-on-one encounters with sales reps. Learn the filler words you’re most likely to use and when, and practice communicating without them. You can even rely on AI programs to help alert you to your filler word usage.

You’ll sound more confident, save your team time, and have meaningful discussions that produce better sales strategies. 

6. Keep Your Tone Positive and Persuasive

Being pessimistic in the workplace isn’t going to help anyone in your company work productively and efficiently. In sales jobs, one of the most important management skills is a positive attitude. 

Yes, it’s important to bring attention to mistakes and challenges, but you must approach each issue constructively.

Anytime you communicate with your team members, check your tone to ensure it’s positive and hopeful. Also, use your knack for persuasion to convince others of your ideas. Don’t forget to listen to other points of view, even if you are confident that your way is the right way.

Speech Coaching: Why Is It Essential for Account Executives?

You must be able to speak well if you want to maximize your account executive salary, inspire your team to work more productively or work your way from junior to senior account executive. 

Speech Coaching Can Improve Your Communication Skills

Using a speech coach like Poised can take your communication skills to the next level. You can take advantage of real-time feedback during meetings to make corrections and present yourself as more competent.

Speech Coaching Can Make You More Confident 

As you get used to using speech coaching software and improve your communication skills, you’ll naturally become more confident. We all know how important confidence is, whether you’re a junior account executive or a CEO!

Speech Coaching Makes You a Better Leader

Excellent communication is a fundamental characteristic of effective leadership. Whether you’re guiding an employee in their sales role, helping a startup strategize for growth, or collaborating to enhance your company‘s sales cycle, being able to deliver your ideas with impact will establish you as a trustworthy and competent leader.

Use Poised for Personalized Communication Coaching

Lastly, Poised offers personalized communication coaching. In addition to real-time feedback and long-term trend analyses, we offer customized plans with expert content and resources. 

Get Started With Poised 

An account executive job can entail anything from working with development representatives to handling public relations, project management, and financial services. If you approach it strategically, you can forge a fulfilling and lucrative career. Remember to implement the tips above and kickstart your communication improvements with Poised!


How to Talk With Respect Toward Your Employees | Chron

What is Active Listening? 4 Tips for Improving Communication Skills | Colorado State University Global

Definitions and Examples of Filler Words | ThoughtCo.

Say it like you mean it.

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