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.

Have Something to Say, and Say it Well

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Persuasive Communications

Persuasive Communications Enhances Sales and Marketing 

Persuasive Communications helps you deliver your message and deliver it in a logical and persuasive way. It is a buyer-centric approach to communicating. I use what I believe is a very useful framework  for communicating and persuasive arguments.

At Revenue Architects, we often ask each other, “What is your S-C-Q-A? ”.

Read more

The Problem with Today’s Sales Methodologies

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Good Better Best Sales

 

Face it. Most of the sales methodologies from the 80’s are tired. They do not address what growth companies need today. Growth companies need to shift from using a sales methodology to using a revenue methodology.

Read more

Increase Revenue at a Lower Cost of Sales

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Many management experts remind us to find the most important element to manage and stay focused on it! What is that “one thing” for increasing revenue?

I would argue that most important factor is the difference in the amount of revenue produced by the top sales person compared to the average salesperson during the first years of a product’s introduction.

Frequently for new differentiated products the “top 10 percent” salespeople will sell more than 2x or 3x the amount that the average salesperson sells. The early sales are critical for gaining market share for new products while the differentiation is high.  Over time, as the market and the other salespeople learn more about the product and the customer value delivered, the size of the revenue gap will decrease…but by then the competitors will have started to catch up also and the differentiating advantage decreases.

What does the average salesperson learn after the introduction and a couple of sales cycles that enables them to increase the amount of revenue produced, approaching closer to the sales levels of the top salespeople? If the firm provided that information earlier, would the average salesperson be able to produce higher sales levels earlier? The answer is yes!

Firms really can’t get much more revenue out of the “top 10%” salespeople, and trying to save the “bottom 10%” is a waste of time. But we can provide the information needed by the average salesperson to impact their revenue production by almost 2X.

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:

Office

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.

Better Salespeople Need Less Sales Enablement Content

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Generating revenue and winning customers requires a balance of good content and confident sales. Design your sales enablement content around what your medium-skilled salespeople need.

Bad Sales Guy

Your top salespeople have sufficient confidence and sales skill that they don’t need a lot of content to be successful in their sales efforts. However an average salesperson with less confidence and less sales skill will require much more content.  Top sales people usually need less content because they are able to develop a greater level of customer relationship and trust.

One of the responsibilities of sales management is to specify the content requirements that sufficiently augments the sales skills of the average salesperson so that revenue is successfully generated.

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AMA Boston: Actionable Marketing Metrics Recap

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I recently had the pleasure of attending the American Marketing Association Boston event Actionable Marketing Metrics: Tools and Methodologies on Tuesday, 24 January, 2017.

The two guest speakers, Thor Johnson, CEO of Bedrock Data, and Kristen Hambelton, CMO of ServiceChannel, gave outstanding presentations. They raised interesting points on how businesses should approach defining metrics in both marketing and sales.

Here are a few main takeaways that are particularly pertinent to B2B businesses (though, of course, they do apply to B2C companies as well):

Good Selling Checklist: Activities and Competencies

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There is a continuum of different B2B business models – from luminary consultants to commodity products – and each model needs to have a distinct structure for marketing and sales.  Before we assess sales team readiness, we begin by ensuring that the right revenue architecture (the product and process of marketing and sales) is in place and aligned with the target business architecture.

For businesses with a complex, solution sale or consulting sale, there are sales effectiveness attributes that we look for. Below, we’ve outlined competencies, activities, and attributes for good selling. Sales executives, client managers and account reps that sell complex products, business solutions or consultative services should possess the following: