What is a CRO?
Today there is a growing recognition for the need for a company-wide revenue focus and a more integrated approach across marketing, sales and customer retention. This is the job of the CRO, or Chief Revenue Officer, who oversees the traditional responsibilities of the VP of Sales and the Chief Marketing Officer and is a member of the senior team overseeing go-to-market strategy and execution. The CRO is responsible for aligning company resources, defining differentiated go-to- market strategies and delivering on the company’s revenue performance goals.
The Chief Revenue Officer is responsible for the company’s Revenue Growth Strategy and be prepared to lead and manage the company’s end-to-end revenue value chain which requires a leadership style that is data-driven, collaborative and also inspirational. The CRO brings a broader, strategic full-funnel perspective, recognizing that revenue growth and performance requires execution of integrated and aligned experiences across end-to-end buyer journeys using digital and physical channels.
CRO Revenue Strategy Responsibilities
The CRO is responsible to select the right markets based on competitive position and target buyers to engage. He / she will ensure that offerings are competitive and positioned effectively and will identify optimal ways to access the market for each chosen market and customer segment. Activities the CRO oversees include:
- Defining ideal customer profile, segmenting the market and identifying personas to engage using data-driven insights
- Setting corporate goals and metrics based on internal goals and external target market opportunities
- Partnering with product management teams to define differentiated offerings
- Continuously developing and refining value propositions and differentiated positioning
- Organizing revenue teams around market segments, accounts and decision-making units
CRO Revenue Programs
The CRO will oversee campaign design and execution for marketing and sales campaigns and programs to optimize buyer engagement and the efficient and effective execution to maximize sales conversions. The CRO will work with product and delivery teams to ensure customer execution results in customer success to reduce churn, maximize customer retention, increase cross-sell and upsell.
Activities include overseeing:
Revenue Systems Responsibilities
The CRO will manage revenue operations including delivering brand experiences and customer touchpoints based on buyer/customer understanding and ensuring that teams are enabled with the right technology stack, organizational structures and sales and marketing (revenue) processes tailored for each customer segment.
Activities include overseeing:
- Establishing and maintaining brand touchpoints – including websites, social media and other channels – to engage buyers across segments
- Integrating the revenue technology stack including sales and marketing automation/ CRM, digital channels (e.g. web and social), business intelligence, and customer data platforms.
- Implementing predictable, repeatable, and scalable marketing, business development, sales and customer success processes
- Attracting, hiring, training and retaining top sales, marketing and customer success talent and building a performance driven culture
- Creating and managing rewards and compensation processes to attract, grow and retain top talent.
- Structuring and managing successful relationships with alliance and channel partners.
Chief Revenue Officer success is measured by revenue performance and he/she is responsible for customer acquisition, growth, expansion and retention, coordinating and aligning marketing, business development, sales, alliances, channels and customer success teams and ensures that processes deliver an effective end-to-end buyer and customer experience. To maximize revenue performance, Chief Revenue Officer Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should include metrics for:
- Penetration percentage in selected markets, segments and accounts
- Speed and efficiency of conversions though the marketing, business development and sales funnel
- Value of the end-to-end funnel generated from the quality of inquiries and opportunities and the ability to maximize deal value.
- The ability to convert pipeline into sales (close rates) at or above the expected rate and deliver on revenue objectives.
Interim Chief Revenue Officer
Given the skills, complexity, sophistication and requisite experience to have an effective CRO, many organizations feel an interim or fractional CRO is a good option to consider.
An interim or fractional CRO offers the following specific advantages:
A search for a Chief Revenue Officer typically takes 4-5 months with another several weeks expected to get the new in house CRO to full capacity. You may face a 1-2 quarter gap in finding your next CRO.TechCXO part-time and interim CROs hit the ground running.
Options for on-demand executives include defined project fees (e.g. assessments, strategy, project plans), hourly rates, day rates, or monthly retainer. A typical in-house CRO’s compensation, benefits and bonus will typically exceed $200k and include significant equity from a startup.
Chief Revenue Officer Capabilities and Experience
Most marketers are not integrated with revenue growth. However, TechCXO On Demand CROs are ready now to lead marketing, business development and sales; run revenue programs and systems from a full-funnel perspective.