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.

Pivot to the NEW NORMAL – Accelerate Revenue with Tech-savvy Sales Talent and Tools

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Do you have a focused SALES business recovery plan?  Does it allow for current year goal achievement post-crisis? 

Most businesses have a business continuity and resiliency plan that allows for continued operation in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, but most businesses do not have a revenue recovery plan!  The pandemic crisis has forced new ways of working and impaired business performance, but companies must anticipate coming out of the crisis and being  prepared for the new environment. This is the time to take advantage of the crisis by examining and addressing ineffective and unproductive elements of your revenue architecture including systems and talent.

An informal survey of CXO’s conducted by Revenue Architects over the last 6 weeks indicates that sales and marketing organizations are functioning differently through the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The results confirmed that 90% have been materially impacted. 

  • 60% of participants stated that they have or plan to layoff/furlough part or all of their sales and marketing teams
  • 50% stated they do not have a formal recovery plan to return to Pre Covid-19 performance.
  • 100% stated that working remotely had a positive impact on their productivity while also representing new management challenges
  • 80% indicated that it was harder to bring some staff given the reverse incentives of government programs.

Conducting business under current constraints with social distancing, remote working and the reduction of capital expenditures is a new challenge. It can be harder to sell if you are not in front of the client. Yet even before the pandemic the skills and profile of sales superstars were changing. And the B2B buyer, already digital savvy, was becoming more educated and self-sufficient using online resources to self-sell. 

“If you give me a techno-savvy, Internet-friendly, google ranked, instant responding, collaborating, differentiated, social media savvy, value-driven, a value-based messaging, salesperson who uses the voice of the customer testimonials and is interested in how the customer profits…then, I will give you sales results”.  

 

But how do we infuse these talents and skills along with sales best practices into our selling team and drive sales, take market share, and position for the upcoming market expansion?

Read more

Professional Selling with LinkedIn

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Professional selling is senior selling. It may be a seller-doer model, as in consulting, or an expert-driven sales model for high value products and services. Professional selling is not about directing a junior team of salespeople, it is about senior people doing the selling – establishing their personal brand, actively building a network and engaging both existing relationships and new prospects with thought leadership and insights.

Clearly, LinkedIn is an established resource for professional sales. It helps senior professionals find and engage with specific prospective clients or buyers with personal 1:1 interaction, establish professional credibility and share content and resources to nurture and develop prospects. It also offers paid options to build awareness and encourage lead conversions.

So how can senior professionals take advantage of LinkedIn? You can simplify it with three steps (and a few sub-steps). 1. Develop a strategy, 2. Establish the systems you need, 3. Execute your program(s).

Read more

Three Reasons to Audit Your Sales Messaging

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Improving the quality and completeness of sales messages delivers hard ROI. Here are three reasons you should review the content your sales teams are using and take a diagnostic approach to assess the effectiveness of your sales messaging:

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Three Reasons to Audit Your Sales Messaging:

1) Reduce the time required for achieving channel effectiveness: 

  • Channel effectiveness occurs when the average salesperson can cost effectively close the sale. Eventually the sales channels [and customers] will learn the value of the differential being offered, but while the market is still learning these values, the effectiveness of the sales channels is reduced. It is difficult to close the sale when the customer doesn’t know the value of the differential being offered, and the sales channels has not been provided with the values, calibration, and evidence needed to convince them.

2) Increase sales capacity

  • Sales capacity is the number of salespeople [or outlets] that are effectively selling your products and solutions. Retail uses a term “self ware” to refer to products that are sitting on the shelf but aren’t being bought. Having salespeople that are expected to sell the product but can’t/don’t is the channel equivalent of shelfware. Frequently this occurs when the skill required to sell the product exceeds the skill available in the channel. So the top 10% of the salespeople can sell the product, but the average salesperson can’t. Poor quality sales messaging is frequently the cause of product shelfware.

3) Reduces the cost of sales

  • Improved messaging increases the close rate and reduces the number of sales calls required to do so because the customer value being offered is clear and with evidence.

Use a diagnostic process for more consistent implementation

  1. Review the “top 10” sales messaging deficiencies to see if the issues are identified.
  2. Check the material being sent to sales people –  before it is sent!
  3. Use a checklist to ensure the quality and completeness of the information being provided.

Make certain your content and messaging is sufficient for the average salesperson to cost effectively close the sale. Would you like a copy of the checklist? Check out the 9 Sales Enablement Content Imperatives.

Here is another article by Bud: 10 Message Deficiencies.  Contact us to schedule a discussion.

This is a guest post by Bud Hyler – a member of the Revenue Architects’ expert network.