Written with contributions from Ed Funaro
As growth focused companies realize the critical synergies required across the marketing, sales and customer success functions, they are increasingly recruiting a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to lead the way. Yet many CROs fail without a properly defined role and an adequate onboarding process. It is vital to ensure CRO success.
A Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) is responsible for a company’s revenue streams. He/she has the ultimate accountability for driving revenue growth. The role is clearly cross functional. The CRO oversees and aligns revenue-generating departments: Marketing, Sales and Customer Success. It is a challenging role. The average tenure of a Chief Revenue officer working at the same company is incredibly brief – only about 18 months, according to an annual survey from CSO Insights.
The first 90 days are critical – Whether a company makes money rests with the CRO. Expectations are that the CRO will have about one quarter or 90 days to prove they can meet management’s expectations. As Michael Watkins points out in his top selling book The First 90 Days.
What are the attributes of a successful Chief Revenue Officer?
Market Maker: A CRO works closely with the executive team and others to craft and communicate the company’s vision and then transform that vision into a long-term strategy for pioneering new markets and opportunities.
Leading From the Front: A CRO must be able to see and clearly communicate the company vision and the revenue strategy across all relevant functions and ensure the right goals are defined and met.
Business Acumen: As a business leader first, a CRO must regularly measure and analyze productivity and effectiveness, form strategic product road maps, create market positioning and competitive advantages, and determine budget trade-offs with a goal of continually improving and developing predictable and sustainable results.
Informed Arbiter: The best CROs understand and embrace the differences between marketing and sales, while at the same time establishing processes to ensure their coordination across the full revenue cycle to ensure the greatest possible revenue growth.
Data and Metrics-driven: The right CRO creates a culture of accountability by setting the right metrics and tying company performance, compensation and promotions to tangible results.
Results-oriented Accountability: A CRO assumes a long-term, integrated perspective while also striving to drive quarterly revenue results – he or she commits to short-term results, forecasts future revenue, and takes accountability for both short-term success and longer-term strategy.
How do you measure Chief Revenue Officer success?
The Chief Revenue Officer is responsible for all aspects of the Revenue Architecture. So what does success look like? Here are success outcomes for each of the 9 revenue architecture dimensions.
Markets and buyers are clearly identified and segmented and buyers and influencers are fully understood.
Valued product and service offerings are created, defined, priced and articulated for maximum ROI in each market.
Go-to-market strategy is continuously evaluated and selected to provide the most effective and profitable channels for distribution and buyer engagement in each market segment.
The Brand presence effectively delivers on the brand promise and is clearly and consistently expressed across all brand touchpoints.
The revenue technology stack enables marketing, sales and customer success and fully supports a seamless end-to-end buyer experience.
The revenue operating model is designed, sized and managed based on business requirements. The right organization structure and closed-loop process enables revenue performance at the right cost of sales.
Marketing execution generates buyer awareness and engagement and is analyzed and refined to isolate the activities that generate the greatest ROI
Sales execution predictably and actively engages qualified buyers with the right activities and opportunities are orchestrated for maximum close rates and revenue.
Customer execution delivers a complete feedback loop and ensures customer success, satisfaction, retention and expansion.
At Revenue Architects, we specialize in helping growth companies with CRO success. We help companies envision, enable and execute their revenue architecture for accelerated, predictable and sustainable revenue growth. Our fractional CRO services and 90-day success plan helps companies build the foundations they need while accelerating marketing impact, sales volumes and velocity. Contact us for a tailored briefing.