Chief Revenue Officer Success – The First 90 Days

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Marketing and Sales

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.

Financial Advisors (2 OF 9): Craft Market-Ready Service Offerings and Segment Messaging

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This post is updated. The original post was published in 2017.

Personas represent the needs and behaviors of your ideal clients and are helpful in shaping your positioning and messaging.

We recently published the 2020 Edition of the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™.  This resource is a comprehensive guide to help independent financial advisors build an ‘independent difference,’ that is, a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase Conversion Rates
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

[Strategy 2 of 9] Valued Offering ~ Craft Market-Ready Service Offerings and Segment Messaging

You will be surprised how effective it is when you communicate offerings based on specific personas that represent the needs (or pain points) and behaviors of your best clients.

Read more

Financial Advisors: Define Ideal Clients and Market Segments

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Market Success

This post is updated. It was originally published in 2017.

 

Independent Advisors need a strategy-led, systematic growth program.

We recently published the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™, 2020 Edition.  This latest edition has been updated and outlines the Revenue Architecture Methodology that financial advisors can use to add greater structure and predictability in their revenue engine. We introduce nine steps and advisor-specific marketing and sales strategies that are helping advisors capture client value.

The comprehensive guide helps independent financial advisors build a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase your Conversion Rate
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

Having a vision and game plan for growth is important for financial advisors to thrive in a challenging marketplace. The Smart Book™ outlines how you can achieve more predictable and sustainable revenue growth by establishing a Revenue Architecture that fits your firm. The key is to commit to a systematic sales and marketing process by following the 9 proven strategies to guide your approach.

[Strategy 1 of 9] Markets & Buyers – Define Ideal Clients and Market Segments 

This may seem obvious, but we are surprised how many advisors we work with have not done a marketplace assessment, defined segments, and personas.

Read more

Chief Revenue Officer Role Description

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Chief Revenue Officer

The CRO is Responsible for Predictable and Sustainable Revenue Growth

This post is updated. It was originally published in July 2016

Today, companies recognize the need for a company-wide revenue focus and a more integrated approach across marketing and sales. The CRO 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.

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10-Stage Integrated Marketing and Sales Process

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Structured or Unstructured Process?

Some businesses need a highly structured sales process that dictates specific activities sales reps need to execute.  These might include things like a discover call, a demo, a pricing meeting, proposal, signature meeting, etc. Often a structured process is needed for more junior sales reps and where the volume of sales activity is high and the dollar value of the sale is low.

For complex sales cycles and when selling professional services, sales teams do not need a highly structured process. For these teams, a stage-based marketing and sales process works better.  In each stage, there are a range of activities, strategies and tactics teams will use to engage the buyer and DMU (decision making unit) across the buyer’s lifecycle.

Buyers Don’t Care if it is Marketing or Sales

The buyer wants a simple and clean buying process. They don’t care if they are engaging with your marketing a sales team. They are simply following their buying process – often in an unstructured and unpredictable way.  The typical stages of the buyer process are:

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Financial Advisor Smart Book™ (5 Of 9): Integrate a Multi-Channel Technology Platform

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Professional Selling

Build a technology platform to support your go-to-market strategy.

 

We recently published an enhanced edition of the  2020 Financial Advisor SMART BOOK. This resource is a comprehensive guide to help independent financial advisors build an ‘independent difference,’ that is, a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase Conversion Rates
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

Read more

Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™ (4 OF 9): Craft a Distinctive Brand Identity and Digital Presence

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Set yourself apart with an authentic and differentiated brand identity

We recently published the 2020 Edition of the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK. This resource is a comprehensive guide to help independent financial advisors build an ‘independent difference,’ that is, a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase Conversion Rates
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

[Strategy 4 of 9] Brand Presence: Craft a Distinctive Brand Identity and Digital Presence

Brand matters, but many advisors look and sound the same. You want your brand identity to tell a story and build trust in the hearts and minds of your prospective clients. Set yourself apart with an authentic and differentiated brand identity, collateral, and digital presence.

Read more

Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™ (3 OF 9): Define a Go-to-Market Model Tailored for Your Firm

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2018 FA Smart Book

Envision the best ways to access your particular market segments and ideal clients.

We recently published the 2020 Edition of the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™.  This resource is a comprehensive guide to help independent financial advisors build an ‘independent difference,’ that is, a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase Conversion Rates
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

[Strategy 3 of 9] Go to Market – Define a Go-to-Market Model Tailored For Your Firm.

The go-to-market model is based on your business model and target personas and helps you envision the best ways to access your particular market segments and ideal clients.

Read more