5 Key Traits of Highly Effective Account Executives

Renee Wagner
Vice President, Business Development

When you visit NetCraftsmen’s website and blog, you’ll typically find information that revolves around network engineering, infrastructure, and security — technical things.

But not everyone on our team is an engineer. Consider our account executives, for example. They act as the liaison between NetCraftsmen and our clients; they’re primarily responsible for building and maintaining relationships with customers, and making sure they have everything they need to be successful.

What does it take to be an account executive? At NetCraftsmen, our role may look a little different than the same position at other companies. Here are what the best account managers — including the ones who work at NetCraftsmen — have in common.

They’re Collaborative

While the official title is “account executive or sales director,” this role is often described as a relationship manager. A professional in this position isn’t meant to work in a vacuum to determine what’s best for a client. A great account exec works with the customer to collaboratively discuss and agree on solutions. They actively seek out the client’s opinion and discuss options with them before making any final decisions.

That means that they have to be good listeners and go into every conversation with an open mind. At NetCraftsmen, our account execs work with incredibly talented engineers — but that doesn’t mean their opinions are more important than the client’s. NetCraftsmen account execs must learn to truly listen to a client’s concerns and be open to discussing what solution may work best for them.

They’re Honest and Direct

Of course, frequent collaboration can occasionally lead to some tough conversations, but a good account team shouldn’t be afraid to discuss those issues candidly. For example, here at NetCraftsmen, if a customer wants something that we can’t provide, our account executives won’t make promises they can’t keep — they will confront the issue head-on and inform the customer that we can’t meet that request. That’s because we’re not just trying to sell more products or services; we’re trying to accurately and effectively solve our customers’ business challenges.

Account executives that over promise and under deliver, on the other hand, can quickly lose their clients’ trust. The best relationships are developed through honest, direct communication.

They Put Customers First

In the world of network engineering and security, account execs are expected to be available 24/7. That’s because network problems can happen at any time — even on a Friday afternoon.

A great account exec understands and is able (and willing) to meet that expectation. That means when a request comes in at 4:58 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, they don’t ignore it until the following Monday morning — they address it before they go home for the weekend. It’s a sacrifice, but it’s well worth the effort.

They Always Strive to Be Better

Internal drive is essential for successful account executives. In order to demonstrate the qualities mentioned above — to be collaborative, honest, and responsive — account execs must have the desire to succeed in their roles.

But it doesn’t stop at having an inner drive. The smartest account execs find additional motivation by putting themselves in a work environment where they know they’ll be pushed to be better, where they’re surrounded by people who inspire them, and where they have opportunities to learn and grow.

That’s the kind of environment we strive to provide at NetCraftsmen. Here, our account executives work with some of the top engineers in the world, in an environment where everyone is treated like family. That inspires and motivates them to provide the best service possible to their clients.

They Believe in the Mission of the Company

It’s tough to sell something you don’t believe in — and that’s the way it should be. Why would you be excited to sell someone a product or service that’s not actually going to help them?

That’s why smart account execs choose to work for an organization that has a mission they’re truly excited about. Then, when they talk to clients on a daily basis, they don’t have to embellish or feign enthusiasm; their excitement for the company is 100 percent genuine. And that allows them to be the most effective account executives possible.

That’s the kind of company NetCraftsmen is. Our account teams trust in the quality of the products and services we provide; they believe in our mission.

If you’re interested in working at NetCraftsmen, you don’t have to be a network engineer — but you do have to be willing to display the traits above and go above and beyond for our customers. Visit our careers page to learn more about our team and any open positions.

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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.