What is an Account Executive?

Managing the customer relationship

While sales positions can take on numerous names within organizations, this particular term has usually referred to a person responsible for existing customers rather than developing new business.

This title should not be confused with a role such as project manager. They generally are focused on:

  • Renewal of contracts
  • Upselling and expanding existing accounts
  • Looking for referrals for new accounts from their existing clients

New business development teams are often referred to as hunters while account executives can be considered farmers. The tend to their clients and generate revenue for the company. Hunters on the other hand should always be looking for and closing new business, hence the analogy.

While they are both sales positions, they tend to have different traits. Business development sales people are seen as more competitive and driven while AE’s are generally more nurturing and customer service oriented. At a certain point as a business grows, they usually end up splitting sales into these two categories.