Account Executive – Higher Ed/Public Sector


Position Summary: An Account Executive (Higher Ed/Public Sector) acts as business manager by networking, identifying, and developing new clients to build business specifically in the higher education and public sector verticals. Must be competitive, aggressive, and have the desire to perform outside sales and attend industry networking events. Account Executives assist with the development and implementation of a prospecting and sales strategy to develop new business and to meet revenue goals determined by the organization.

  • Identifies growth opportunities within clients and markets, and creates strategies for winning new business;
  • Provides direction and motivation for the effective creation and design of solutions on behalf of clients;
  • Ensures development of additional revenue streams within company margin expectations
  • Partners with the Management Team to develop solutions and services that drive client revenue and profitability;
  • Supports New Business Development and ensures successful transition of new customers to client service teams.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform the following satisfactorily; other duties may be assigned. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

1. Manage Client Service Specific Responsibilities:

· Responsible for overall client relationship and account growth / performance

o In collaboration with other departments to develop annual key account plans, annual team forecasts as well as weekly reporting.

o Maintain an in-depth understanding of assigned client’s business model, business plans, building expansion/improvement plans and communicate unique aspects of client to internal teams.

o Develop ongoing client relationships at management levels within this specific vertical.

o Drives account growth by identifying and pursuing new divisions or facilities within existing clients.

o Expand existing business contracts by finding ways to increase account deliverables: design services, project management services, facility planning, research, business trends, support needs, service reporting, training, system assessments, etc. to gain larger share of clients’ total facilities/technology budget(s).

o Implement and oversee annual iSpace account reviews with key clients (how are we doing, where can we improve and what else can we assist them with while learning about future business/project needs).

· Provide direction to the ideation process and oversee project progress.

o Collaborates with Design to create solutions that position iSpace to win the business.

o Generates proposals for existing customers and new business opportunities.

o Acts as key liaison with upper-level external customers and partners (architectural firms, building management, General Contractors, Project Management firms, etc.) during project initiation, solutions presentation, and problem-solving phases of project.

· Responsible for all aspects of assigned account team performance for project delivery and financial results.

o Communicate and negotiate all financial terms and conditions of a project with the external customer, based on the company’s standard terms and agreements.

o Oversees and evaluates projects for existing customers based on requests from the external customer, while providing specific and sufficient information for the internal customers; Designers, Field Services Manager, Project Manager, and Field Services; if applicable. 

o Review and approve proposals and invoices for accuracy and profit margins prior to submittal to customer.

o Recognize variances, or potential variances, and address as appropriate.

o Create strategies to build iSpace’s reputation as a partner that provides solutions, not transactions.

o Develop strategies and approaches to expand contacts and create new revenue streams within clients.

o Negotiate resource allocation and project prioritization issues.

o Ensure consistency between teams and sharing of best practices.

o Monitor competitive landscape, clients’ business climate and industry trends

· Partner with internal teams to understand cost drivers and best practices that will drive improvements in profitability and throughput.

· Support New Business Development (NBD)

o Participates in conversation about what RFP’s NBD should pursue based on defined criteria of the right client and the right project.

o Acts as second set of eyes to ensure pricing is accurate and that prospect is a good fit for iSpace that will result in profitable business.

o Partners with NBD to ensure the successful transition of new customers to client service teams.

o Responsible for soliciting new business customers through cold calls, influencers, networking, industry events, and door-to-door contact.

2. Serve as a Steward of iSpace Core Values and Brand 

  • We are EXPERTS: We provide well thought out solutions to support our client’s business needs.
  • We are RESOURCEFUL: We will find ways to get it done and make it look easy.
  • We VALUE all PARTNERSHIPS: Our partners are not viewed as transactions, but friends. We support each other and celebrate in each other’s successes.
  • We believe in TEAMWORK: All of us together are better than each of us alone.
  • We have FUN: Having fun is part of our work experience. We bring our culture to life by enjoying ourselves and each other.

3. Other duties as needed to meet business needs

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities:

· Sales experience within the contract office furniture industry, preferably in the higher education and public sector verticals.

· Basic knowledge of workplace trends and the corporate market. 

· Experience using Microsoft Office software programs. 

Competencies: To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following.

Adaptability - Accepts criticism and feedback. Adapts to changes in the work environment. Changes approach or method to best fit the situation. Manages competing demands.

Communications - Exhibits good listening and comprehension. Expresses ideas and thoughts in written form. Expresses ideas and thoughts verbally. Keeps others adequately informed. Selects and uses appropriate communication methods.

Customer Service - Displays courtesy and sensitivity. Manages difficult or emotional customer situations. Meets commitments. Responds promptly to customer needs. Solicits customer feedback to improve service.

Impact and Influence - Pursues and wins support for ideas; displays ability to influence key decision-makers; achieves win-win outcomes; uses authority appropriately to accomplish goals; addresses divergent opinions.

Problem Solving - Develops alternative solutions. Gathers and analyzes information skillfully. Identifies problems in a timely manner. Resolves problems in early stages. Works well in group problem solving situations.

Sales Skills - Achieves sales goals; overcomes objections with persuasion and persistence; initiates new contacts; maintains customer satisfaction; maintains records and promptly submits information.


Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Bachelor's degree from four-year College or university in business or marketing; or equivalent combination of education and experience. 5+ years demonstrated success in a deadline driven, customer-experience based business model requiring strong project management skills. 

· Successful outside sales experience selling to specific vertical.

· Must have the ability to make sales presentations to small and large sized groups.

· Strong analytical, time management, problem solving, prioritization and planning skills.

· Exceptional verbal and written communication skills are essential along with computer skills, including spreadsheets, presentation, and word processing programs. 

Prior commercial furniture experience desired. Knowledge of contract furniture lines as well as pricing and discounting.

External candidates: 5+ experience in a customer-facing sales role and project management experience required. Minimum of 5 years office furniture or design experience.

Internal candidates: typically 2+ years successful performance with iSpace, leading to a strong understanding of iSpace’s business model and knowledge of Client Service department operations.

Computer Skills:

Highly proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Software proficiency - ability to become proficient in others as needed.

Other Requirements:

· Must have proven ability to drive growth and profitability and lead / influence teams 

· Must have an exceptional ability to guide teams, influence projects and drive results.

· Strong customer focus with solution orientation.

· Must possess strong attention to detail and time management skills.

· Strong, effective communication with coworkers and clients at various levels.

· Desire and ability to succeed in a fast-paced, results driven environment.

· Must be flexible and adept with multi-tasking and changing priorities.

· Detail and organizational skills are essential for success.

· Ability to manage multiple projects and delegate to other team members.

· Must have proven ability to collaborate within teams and cross-functionally and meet deadlines.

· Willingness and ability to work beyond a normal work schedule during peak periods to ensure client needs are met.

· Ability to travel up to 20%.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level is usually moderate. 

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit; reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk and stoop. The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include Close vision, Distance vision, Depth perception and Ability to adjust focus.