An account executive in a software company is a great position to hold. Account executives are often some of the biggest earners when it comes to commissions and if you play your cards right you can start building a very healthy stream of income from not just the sales you make but the residuals from second and third year customers. Becoming an AE can be difficult. Positions usually expect you to have mastered the sales process as well as have a strong understanding of software sales methodologies, the product you’re selling and the specific industry pain points that you’re solving for leads.
So what’s in it for you?
Although AE roles are very high pressure they are often very financially rewarding. Most AE roles have a good mix of base salary and commissions and commission structures will most definitely reward those that are successful the role. When it comes to large enterprise deals you may find yourself working on deals that are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more all while getting a ten percent or more slice of the pie on the way though. When you’re ramped up and doing well a ten percent slice of large enterprise deals can role up to a very large amount of on target earnings.
Why makes it hard?
With any role where you are earning a lot AE sales is a very results driven position. Meaning not only can you lose out on that nice commission slice of the pie if you’re not doing well but your job may be on the chopping board very quickly if you don’t get ramped and start moving deals though the door. Another difficultly with being an AE is that when times are hard for a company the sales team is often the place management goes to start making cuts first. This makes the role a risky one especially when you pick up a role in a small startup.
How do I become an account executive?
Most AE’s cut their teeth as a junior business development rep when they start their careers. The key skills of sales methodologies and product knowledge are learned during this time. If you want to skip this stage you’ll have to have very niche knowledge of the specific industry that the company is in or a working understanding of high pressure sales for somewhere else. Companies also often look to hire AE’s that have industry connections with the industry that they are selling into. The idea that you can bring a black book of possible contacts you can call from day one to sell to helps!
What Will You Learn?
- This course will teach you the basics of what it is to be an account executive in a software as a service business.