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The Complete Gartner Account Executive Review Guide

Learn about the Gartner salary, sales culture, and responsibilities.

Role Basics

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What does a Gartner Account Executive do?

Externally, Gartner Account Executives are known as account managers, account executives, senior account executives or client directors. However, do not be confused by all the different titles as they all do the same job function, which is full cycle sales. 

Gartner Account Executives are responsible for both renewing and growing business within their accounts.

The difference between an account manager, account executive, senior account executive or client director at Gartner is years of experience and compensation. 

For example, an internal promote from the mid-size enterprise group to the large enterprise group will enter as an Account Manager, and eventually work their way up to a senior account executive within that group. As they move up within that group and get an account executive or senior account executive title, their compensation will also be bumped.

Thus, within each of the 3 main sales orgs  (mid-size enterprise, large enterprise, and global accounts), the sales rep hierarchy is:

  1. Account Manager
  2. Account Executive
  3. Senior Account Executive
  4. Client Director (*generally only for Global accounts)

Gartner also has a business developer role who’s responsible for full cycle sales in net new logo accounts.

What type of work experience do you need for this role?

For the SMB/Mid-Size Enterprise account executive role, as an outside hire, you need 1-2 years B2B sales experience, ideally in technology sales. You can also enter into this role right out of college into their ‘sales academy’ program with no sales experience.

For the large enterprise account executive role, you need 5 to 15 years B2B sales experience, ideally in technology sales.

For the global accounts account executive role, you need 15 or more years B2B sales experience, ideally in technology sales.

For the business developer role, you need 2 to 3 years B2B sales experience.

How is the sales org structured?

Gartner segments their sales org by account size and geography.

The three main account size segmentations are SMB (mid-size enterprise), large enterprise, and global enterprise.

SMB Reps will have a small book of business to manage, typically only 1-2 accounts.

Large Enterprise Reps will have 7-10 accounts and Global Enterprise Reps will have 1-2 accounts.

 

Which Gartner offices do salespeople work at?

Gartner large and global enterprise sales reps are work from home technically, as they are located where their territory is.

The SMB Reps are located in the Dallas and Fort Myers offices.

Culture and Daily Life

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What's the Gartner sales culture like?

In the large enterprise org, the sales culture is best described as supportive and collaborative. Sales cycles are long (3-6 months), infrequent, and strategic in nature, so it lends itself to a strategic and collaborative sales environment.

In the SMB org, you will experience a more cutthroat, churn and burn, micromanagement type of culture. The sales manager micromanagement is mostly due to most sales reps being right out of college or having less than 2 years experience.

Gartner is a numbers driven company, so if you’re not tracking to hit your quota as a new rep, you can certainly get put on plan relatively quickly. If you have tenure and a track record of success, you will be given much more leeway when it comes to underperforming.

 

How many hours per week do Gartner Account Executives work?

Gartner Account Executives work 40 hours per week on average. Managers do not expect you to work nights or weekends. If you’ve already hit quota or having a slow week, you can work as little as 10 to 20 hours per week.

What's the Sales Rep turnover like?

The sales rep turnover at Gartner is higher than average. Most sales reps are at Gartner for 2-3 years before leaving. Most people are leaving on their own accord – they’re not leaving because they’re getting fired.

What's the biggest negative about Gartner sales?

Gartner’s territory and rep alignment for global and large enterprise accounts can lead to internal battles, politicking, and confusion for the customer.

Gartner has multiple reps selling the same product assigned to the same account. The only segmentation between all these reps on the account is location. For example, the Pepsi account will have offices in 15 different locations. If the CMO at Pepsi is in Texas, the Texas Gartner rep will make that sale. However, if the VP of Marketing is in New York, the Marketing VP will have a New York Gartner rep who might have different goals, messaging, etc than the rep in Texas. The customer might confuse who their actual Gartner rep is and the Gartner reps will fight for that title. Ultimately, having multiple reps selling the same product to one account leads to a lot of confusion and politicking.

What is the Gartner sales training like?

New Grads into the sales academy will undergo 12 weeks of training. You will learn sales skills, basic business, and Gartner’s products. Gartner teaches value selling and the challenger method of sales.

Large enterprise reps will under a 4 week training program – 3 weeks in Fort Myers followed by 1 week of virtual training. You will learn service delivery, enterprise sales skills, and Gartner’s product portfolio.

Salary, Commission, and Quota

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How much does a Gartner Account Executive make?

Compensation depends on location, experience, and account size. You are either in a tier one city (New York, Chicago, San Francisco) or a tier two city (Detroit, Tampa, etc.). Tier one cities have about 10% higher OTE.

For detailed compensation data, visit our Gartner company page.

How are the quotas structured?

Gartner account executives have annual quotas which can be satisfied by renewals and/or net new sales.

For example, you might be expected to bring in $900,000. Gartner does not care if that $800,000 of that $900,000 comes from renewals and only $100,000 from net new sales. As long as you bring in $900,000 from either net new sales or renewals, you will satisfy your quota.

Gartner Competitors

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How competitive is the product and solution set?

AWS’s product set is top of the line. It consistently ranks at the top of Gartner’s cloud rankings and is well known throughout the industry as the top cloud provider. You can consistently win greenfield customers, grow existing accounts, and close multi-million dollar deals.

Who does Gartner compete with?

InfoTech, IDC, and Forrester compete in the syndicated research space. 

Gartner also competes with the big consulting companies such as Accenture, KPMG, and McKinsey.

Tips to Succeed

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How big of a role does territory play in your success?

Territory plays a pretty big role in your success. Because the sales cycles are so long and the number of accounts within a territory is small, if your territory is having a down year you will struggle to hit your number.

Is now still a good time to join Gartner as a sales rep?

Yes. There’s still tremendous opportunity within most accounts. Gartner is still innovating with new products, new services, and updating older products. 

However, keep in mind, that Gartner is a revolving door and numbers-focused, so if you don’t hit your number, you can get put on plan despite prior years of high performance.

What advice would you give to a new rep?

  • Negotiate a territory that has several accounts coming up for renewal in the next calendar year
  • Focus on renewals first before net new business to hit your quota
  • Gartner can be very political, so make sure to find a manager who will protect you from the political and red tape type of issues
  • If you inherit a territory where all the CIO’s hate Gartner, you’re in for a ton of relationship building work
  • Your sales process will be very consultative, diagnostic, and strategic, so make sure to listen to customers and figure out which of Gartner’s several solutions can solve their challenges
  • Be prepared for long sales cycles
  • The sales environment isn’t necessarily high pressure, but you need to have a clear path to be hitting your number to keep management off your back
  • If things don’t work out, Gartner’s name on your resume opens many doors so you can always jump elsewhere