A Breakdown of an Account Executive’s Salary

how much do account executives make

How Much Do AE’s Make?

Acquiring the most successful SaaS sales talent is becoming increasingly competitive. As a result, in-house and external recruiters scan LinkedIn and other sites and reach out to qualified Account Executives (AEs) to find top sellers.

In recent years, many salespeople have turned to look for remote job opportunities that offer flexibility and less time commuting. This is the case all across the country, and it’s raising challenges regarding locating suitable candidates and what to offer in terms of base pay and OTE.

As market leaders in hiring tech salespeople, Rainmakers provides a transparent, data-driven platform to efficiently match top salespeople with the most enticing and forward-thinking tech organizations. The best AEs are consequently paired with the most suitable opportunities that meet their requirements.

Duties Of an Account Executive

An account executive typically works in sales, selling goods and services to corporations and/or consumers. For example, they often deal in SaaS products and hardware in the tech field. To succeed in this role, the executive’s employer commonly sets sales quotas, and the rep’s compensation combines base pay and commission.

The AE might receive clients or work on prospecting potential clients and engaging in cold calls. They identify new customers, learn about their pain points and wants in a solution, and then make specific pitches for services and goods that will satisfy those needs before closing the sale.

But the AE’s duties don’t end there. They will also follow up with customer service teams or talk directly with clients to ascertain whether the products are satisfactory after the sales transaction has been completed. Should issues arise, the AE might help find solutions. In addition, because repeat business is among their goals, the account executive is expected to develop positive relationships with the clients.

Account Executive Compensation

As mentioned, pay is usually a combination of base pay and commission. Levels will depend on experience, geography, quotas, deal sizes, and success rate.

Averaged nationally, base pay will broadly range between $60,000 and $150,000. Most Account Executives are on a fifty-fifty split, meaning commissions can range from approximately $60,000 to $150,000.

A talented and experienced AE stands to earn a fair amount. The above information doesn’t include other benefits such as bonuses, equity, or profit sharing. For more salary information, review this helpful guide.

The Role of Quotas

If you’re looking for a new AE to close a specific dollar amount within a year, you may wonder how that would affect compensation.

Although it changes a lot by company, a good starting point is to assume an AE will earn a ten percent commission on the revenue they bring in. An AE with a quota of $750,000 could see additional compensation of approximately $75,000. A $1M quota could see a $100,000 commission, and a $2M quota could see commissions exceeding $200,000.

The Role of Geography

Economic conditions vary across the United States. Where a business or account is located and its customers can also affect AE compensation.

For an AE with 6-7 years of experience, top markets such as San Francisco and New York will see base pays of approximately $91,000 and OTE of $187,000, while Atlanta may see the average base pay drop to $79,000 and OTE to $172,000 for a rep with the same experience.

In the middle would be a city like Chicago, with an average AE base pay of $87,000 and an OTE of around $179,000.

Overall, national data points to a SaaS account executive’s total earnings averaging approximately $167,000 if they have 6-7 years of experience.

The Role of the Buyer

Does account executive compensation vary by the buyer they are selling into?

The impact of the product on the sales cycle will play a role in this. For instance, a software scheduling tool can be ready to use in minutes. On the other hand, a new digital operations platform (DOP) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system needs time to integrate with any current customer tools.

Some sales contracts will take longer to close, which may affect the overall number of accounts able to close within a year and, thus, the total commissions earned. These longer sales cycles generally command larger deal sizes, larger quotas, and, therefore, larger commissions.

In addition to timing, the department of the buyer has an impact on potential earnings. Therefore, AEs who target specific high-earning departments stand to earn more.

For instance, a relatively new AE who closes with a procurements department stands to earn $135,000 in OTE. Closing sales with an IT department could deliver up to $138,000 in OTE. By contrast, closing with small businesses presents the AE with a potential $100,000 in OTE.

What is Annual Contract Value (ACV)?

Annual Contract Value (ACV) is a crucial statistic that assists in evaluating the effectiveness of your sales teams. A client’s annual revenue to your business is determined by its ACV. It’s the typical yearly revenue per client contract. The ACV is an essential SaaS measure used to market products with annual or yearly subscription plans.

AEs can review their annual customer revenue with ACV and determine which customers to focus on using customer success tactics. Then, once high-value contracts expire, they can use sales analytics and work closely with their Account Management or Customer Success team to keep their top-earning clients.

Consider a scenario where a business examines its sales dashboard and discovers that Client A has an ACV of $50,000 while Client B’s ACV is only $10,000. Client A is bringing in more revenue than Client B, so it makes sense for the business to give Client A a higher priority in time and resources.

But this isn’t a call to ignore Client B.

Instead, an effective business should increase ACVs across the board. This means looking at ways to increase revenue from Client B (and C, D, and so on). This can be accomplished by raising quotas and meeting those goals through upselling and cross-selling strategies and looking if some prices and rates could be increased. This, in turn, leads to higher earnings for both the business and the AE.

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What Cities Are the Best For Account Executive Jobs?

Most people think of the West Coast when it comes to top American cities for technology. However, Northern California’s Silicon Valley is well-regarded as the cradle of the modern technology sector, with San Francisco as one of the top cities profiting from both proximity to the tech sector and the skill pool.

In large part, thanks to technology, other cities around the country are also becoming hubs for IT innovation. New York City leads the pack on the East Coast and rivals San Francisco in potential earrings for SaaS sales representatives. Other cities with top SaaS sales markets include Austin, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Raleigh, and Atlanta.

AE Recruitment Solutions At Rainmakers

Rainmakers accepts only top applicants, so you can confidently interview the most high-quality sales talent. In addition, when we look at potential candidates, you can see all their sales stats, such as performance, what they’ve sold and who they’ve sold to. This allows you to save valuable time by quickly identifying candidates with the skills, experience, and fit you’re looking for.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help fill your tech sales needs. Sign-up now!