It is no secret that the overall goal of any business is to generate revenue and, ultimately, profit. However, in the modern business world, revenue is not enough. Any enterprise, of any size, requires efficient, reliable and, ideally, fast revenue. That is why many forward-thinking organizations are adding another member to their ever-growing, ever-modern c-suite: the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).
It is somewhat surprising that, despite its universal acceptance as critically important, revenue generation (and optimization) is not placed at the very centre of an organization’s strategy and, in many cases, afforded a seat at the top table. This is where the CRO comes in.
More than just a ‘glorified salesperson’, the CRO is at the centre of all revenue-generating processes, creating and leading strategy and, in many cases, even getting their hands dirty and closing the big deals for their respective organizations.
Originating from Silicon Valley and the world of SaaS and rapid-growth tech companies, the CRO roles now spans from hospitality and hotels to world-renowned sports franchises, household name media brands to e-commerce, and everything in between.
No industry is exempt from the need for harder, better and faster revenue.
As a result of their sector variances, the role of the CRO differs from organization to organization. However, like all new inductees to the 21st century c-suite, there are a number of commonalities.
All CROs, regardless of industry, are tasked with the identification, generation, optimization and acceleration of revenue activities; as well as, pipeline management, financial forecasting and sales team management, mobilization and motivation. These duties involve creating an overall strategic plan for all revenue-generating activities, a well-defined and process-driven approach to sales, as well as utilizing technological tools, such as Data Analytics, Data Visualization and, of course, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. In addition, CROs grapple with the typical day-to-day challenges of any emerging c-suite member; role validation, top-down and bottom-up communication, change management and cultural innovation.
As a result, CROs require an extremely diverse and well-honed skill set. First of all, a CRO absolutely must be results-driven. Whilst streamlined processes are nice-to-have, if they don’t yield results, they are worthless. Secondly, a CRO must have business acumen and a strategic, top-level focus; without this, a CRO is likely to get bogged down in the minutiae, fail to secure executive support and, ultimately, fail in their objectives. Thirdly, a CRO must lead from the front – simply put, a CRO must be able to communicate (to all levels, internal and external) and, crucially, be able to sell. Practising what you preach. However, this does not apply only to external relations when trying to win customers but also internally, when trying to garner support across the business. Without this, a CRO will be just another fancy job title without any influence. Fourthly, and increasingly important in the world of modern business, the CRO must be technologically driven. With the plethora of tools available to improve customer understanding, pipeline management, forecasting and revenue performance management, CROs must not only be open-minded towards technological innovation but also actively embrace and understand them. Without them, the difficulty of the CRO role increases exponentially.
Needless to say, the role of the CRO is challenging but, done properly, the impact on an organization can be dramatic. Something we will explore in more detail in due course.
For more interviews, analysis, case studies and research related to the CRO role, sign-up for the Chief Revenue Officer Hangout. Hosted by Corinium, the CRO Hangout will provide exclusive and free-to-access content exploring the role of the CRO in more detail than ever before, written by our research team and key industry influencers.
Check back soon the for more content in the coming weeks as we prepare for the first-ever Chief Revenue Officer, USA event, taking place in New York City on April 4-5. This one-of-a-kind event is the first-ever industry agnostic gathering of CROs and senior-level revenue executives. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Adam Plom:
Adam Plom is the Managing Director for Americas responsible for developing Corinium’s C-level forums and roundtables across the region. Contact Adam: email@example.com