The title Account Executive can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It’s a fairly common title from organization to organization, but the exact responsibilities and the specifics of that role often vary. Additionally, that variance can be rather drastic.
At Impact, our Account Executives play an integral part in identifying potential clients, fostering relationships with decision-makers, and ultimately connecting potential clients with our in-house experts who can build them custom solutions. Account Executives also play a critical role in maintaining client relationships, once signed, for the duration of the contract.
There are a lot of moving pieces involved in the Account Executive position at Impact which can be broken into three main phases: opportunity identification and research, opportunity cultivation, and finally account oversight and maintenance.
We sat down with Impact’s very own Enterprise Account Executive of three years, Meghan Fitzgerald, to get more insights on the day-to-day and week-to-week of an Account Executive at Impact Networking.
If you want a better understanding of what Impact offers in the way of cybersecurity, check out our webinar, Dissecting Cybersecurity Breaches: How they Happen & How to Stop Them.
Opportunity Identification and Research
One of the most consistent tasks Account Executives are responsible for in their day-to-day schedule is prospecting. Prospecting for Impact happens in a variety of ways, but it’s mostly rooted in research, communication, and solution alignment.
Understanding our ICP, or ideal customer profile, is crucial in being able to identify customers with a high potential for conversion. Impact mainly works with small-to-medium-sized-businesses (SMBs), but being the right size doesn’t automatically make an organization a target for our services.
Having a growth mindset is a major qualifying attribute for which Account Executives at Impact look. As Meghan puts it,
“We want to work with organizations that want to grow. That’s probably the biggest thing for us.”
In addition to identifying potential clients, Account Executives also spend time throughout the week researching leads they’re already working as well as accounts they’re currently managing.
“Doing a lot of research on LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, and the company website is important, but then also making info-gathering phone calls, as we call them, is really vital and can give insights into the current team set up, their pain points, or even solutions they’re looking for or already working on.”
Conducting research on current opportunities, ongoing leads, and existing accounts is an essential part of the Account Executive role and is crucial in making sure that clients are getting the best solutions for their specific needs.
Beyond filling the pipeline with client research, a major part of the Account Executive role is closing the deal and landing the contract. One of the core aspects in this phase is a client assessment. This is when the in-house industry-experts staffed throughout Impact get involved.
The client assessment will vary depending on the service in which the company is interested in procuring. In other words, a cybersecurity assessment will differ from a managed IT assessment. Different experts will be involved and the solutions will obviously differ as well.
Account Executives get everyone on the same page at the beginning of the contract, make sure everyone who needs to be talking to one another is, and act as a liaison between Impact and the client.
That’s not to say that clients only ever need a single solution, though. One of the exciting parts about being an Account Executive at Impact is the opportunity to learn about clients' needs, understand their pain points, and pair them up with our in-house experts who can provide real solutions to those pain points.
Once you’ve established a strong point of contact within an organization, you can use them to connect with other decision-makers in the company who might be able to shed light on additional or less obvious opportunities that exist for partnership.
The point is to understand the client's big picture and how Impact can fit into that in a symbiotic way. Figuring that out is why closing deals always feels good.
“It’s definitely a huge team effort when any managed solutions closes, which is really exciting because there are a lot of people involved in there that put in a ton of work. So it definitely feels good as the Account Executive, but then it’s also awesome for the rest of the team who dedicated a ton of hours to get it to that point.”
The Account Executive position is sort of cyclical in the sense that you’re never really done working with a client after signing them to a contract or finishing a project.
As discussed earlier, research is one of the main tasks Account Executives perform and this pertains to existing clients as well. Keeping your thumb on the pulse of the client company is vital to finding additional opportunities, staying in contact, and keeping the relationship alive.
While it’s crucial for an Account Executive to be on the kick-off call and to stay involved along the first few steps of a new contract, clients often will be relaying with the in-house experts. That roster could include a vCIO (virtual Chief Information Officer) or vCISO (virtual Chief Information Security Officer), a Solutions Architect, or an expert from one of our other managed solutions, so at that point the Account Executive is sometimes just there to provide additional resources.
“It’s kind of up to the team, between the Account Executive and the experts, to figure out how much involvement is necessary depending on the exact situation of that account.”
Signing Off on the Account Executive Position at Impact
Since Impact works with a wide variety of companies, Account Executives get to know a wonderful spectrum of organizations in all sorts of industries.
“It’s really expanded my visibility into all the different kinds of businesses in the world and how every business operates differently, too. That’s been really exciting to see, and it helps you grow as a professional, so I think that’s a huge benefit.”
The Account Executive position at Impact is both challenging and rewarding, and it offers professionals the opportunity to truly grow in all areas of their careers.
“I would say it’s an amazing job because of all the different things you’re going to go through, the visibility you’ll have into the organizations you’re working with and at the organization you’re working for, because we get to touch every single department here at Impact which is really, really cool. I don’t know a lot of other positions that would be able to say the same. Plus, it’s fun to be to be a face for Impact, as well as knowing how our pipelines are affecting the bottom line of the organization and being able to see that reflected in real data.”
One of the best parts about working at Impact is that no two days are ever the same.
If you want to learn more about the cybersecurity offerings from Impact, check out our webinar, Dissecting Cybersecurity Breaches: How They Happen & How to Stop Them.