Account Director Job Description
An Account Director grows sales revenue and improves the organization’s profitability by maintaining a good relationship with the company’s crucial accounts and securing new and repeat business. The role is also supervisory in nature, so an Account Director is also responsible for overseeing the account management team in an organization.
The role is a combination of sales management and direct sales responsibility and demands both sales expertise and leadership skills. Successful Account Directors can get promoted to senior sales management or sales directorship roles.
What Does an Account Director Typically Do?
An Account Director plans sales activities for designated long-term clients and ensures that the plans are implemented by the account management team.
The role’s tasks include:
- Maintaining and growing sales to designated accounts
- Planning sales activities, revenue, and profit with the organization’s long-term clients
- Setting account management team targets and managing performance
- Liaising with the marketing department to develop sales support initiatives
- Forecasting sales
- Reporting to senior sales management
Maintaining and Growing Sales to Designated Accounts
Account-based sales differ from other sales activities in that they rely on the long-term relationship between the client and the sales organization, so an Account Director focuses on ongoing client satisfaction to maintain and grow revenue.
Client satisfaction is determined by a range of factors over and above simple product quality or price. Continual sales growth requires that the complete sales offering to the client is in place, including:
- Rebate or growth bonus systems
- Delivery terms
- Payment conditions
- Merchandising support for retail environments
- Marketing initiatives
- Advertising budgets
Each element must be in place, and an Account Director negotiates with designated accounts to achieve a balance between competitive terms and account profitability.
An Account Director must be an expert negotiator capable of achieving a win-win outcome, where both the client and the sales organization are satisfied with the agreed terms and conditions.
Planning Sales Activities, Revenue, and Profit With the Organization’s Long-Term Clients
Sales planning involves analyzing historical data, setting realistic future targets, and deciding which activities are required to achieve the desired sales growth.
It is a combination of data analysis and intuition based on extensive knowledge of the clients and the sales environment.
Once the annual sales plans have been drawn up, an Account Director liaises with the finance team, marketing department, and operations management to ensure that the necessary support is in place and presents the sales plans to senior management for sign-off.
Setting Account Management Team Targets and Managing Performance
Once the overall sales plans have been agreed upon, an Account Director presents them to the account management team and breaks the targets down by month, client, account manager, and product group.
The presentation includes a breakdown of all the planned sales support activities and marketing initiatives, so the account management team can build a calendar of events to support their sales efforts.
An Account Director monitors the performance of each team member against the plan through regular performance review meetings and offers support where required.
Liaising With the Marketing Department To Develop Sales Support Activities
The marketing department is a crucial ally in guaranteeing the sales success of an organization, and an Account Director makes sure the marketing and account management teams are aligned in their efforts.
First-hand information from clients, customers, and end-users is essential to guarantee that marketing activities are focused and relevant, so an Account Director passes on market intelligence and client feedback to the marketing team to help them fine-tune their efforts.
Many organizations plan their production and operations based on forecasts. It is the Account Director’s job to provide long-term sales forecasts for each product and each client they are assigned to.
The forecasts are primarily statistical but include insights and intelligence from the account management team to add in any known future changes in the sales environment.
Successful Account Directors get the whole team involved in preparing monthly rolling forecasts and verify them with the clients before collating them into totals. In some organizations, forecast accuracy is built into performance standards for the account management team and is incentivized as part of the sales bonus system.
Reporting to Senior Sales Management
An Account Director monitors and tracks every aspect of the sales function and compiles comprehensive monthly reports for senior management.
The reports include a full analysis of all sales activities as well as rolling sales trends, profit breakdowns, forecasts, gap identification, and corrective action where required.
Account Director Salary
An Account Director’s salary ranges from $111,000 to $155,000 a year in the U.S., with the median lying at $129,700.
What Is the Account Director Pay Difference by Location?
An Account Director’s location will have the following effect on earnings:
|San Francisco, CA||$162,125|
|New York, NY||$156,029|
What Is the Account Director Pay Difference by Experience Level?
Experience in the role affects an Account Director’s earnings as follows:
|Experience Level||Average Salary|
|< 1 year||$121,174|
Account Director Job Description Template
[Company] is intent on expansion and requires an experienced and professional Account Director to grow and oversee our account management function.
As an expert Account Director, you will lead a team of Account Managers and run selected key accounts to generate incremental revenue and profit.
Account Director Job Responsibilities
Your tasks as an Account Director at [Company] will include:
- Managing key clients and driving their growth
- Developing annual sales and profit targets
- Planning sales drives, initiatives, and activities
- Overseeing the account management team
- Running the monthly sales forecasting process
- Reporting to management
Required Skill Set
- Bachelor’s degree in Sales, Marketing, or Business
- At least ten years’ sales experience
- At least five years’ account management experience
- Expert knowledge of common CRM systems
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Proven strategic thinking ability
- Strong leadership abilities
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