The senior account executive typically refers to a senior sales or marketing position at a company. The senior account executive holds more experience than the account executives on the roster. While this executive is not a boss or general manager, he or she is usually looked up to for advice and role modeling by the other executives. There are several basic tasks and experience requirements for a senior account executive.
A senior account executive is expected to achieve sales targets assigned by the general manager based on past performance. They are also responsible for developing client relationships and finding new clients. This can be achieved through cold calling, the process of contacting a potential client for the first time without prior solicitation. This is often the most daunting task of a sales position as rejection is high.
Also responsible for consulting with clients, senior account executives make sure they have defined geography or target markets correctly. The executive develops innovative proposals and delivers strategic sales presentations to sell clients on an idea. They offer insights on new products or promotional opportunities. In the radio industry, he or she may even write the clients' radio commercial scripts for them.
The executive’s main role is to keep excellent relations with clients while constantly looking to add more clients. He or she often takes his or her clients out to lunch or to sporting events to get better acquainted. It is important to find a balance between friendship and business because monetary transactions can be hard on friendly relationships and cause tension. One of the executive’s main roles is to make the client feel comfortable and well taken care of. The strongest and most loyal clients will stay with an executive for the long haul if the relationship is strong and business goals are met.
The experience requirements for a senior account executive are usually five to seven years in their respective industries, strong written and oral communication skills, and negotiation skills. Extensive industry contacts, a willingness to travel, and a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or the sciences top the list as well. In the marketing field, senior account executives are expected to have a background in qualitative and quantitative research methods. In a sales role, a background in communications, communication arts, or business is the most typical degree.