12 Questions for Your Sales and Marketing Plan

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Revenue growth requires a company-wide commitment and responsibilities cut across product groups, customer success, marketing and sales teams.  When developing a marketing plan, sales plan or performing due diligence for a private equity investment,  acquisition or a new CEO or CRO role – consider these 12 questions to develop your revenue architecture and revenue performance potential. The 12 dimensions take a broader view of revenue growth dimensions – beyond sales effectiveness and marketing campaigns.Revenue Growth

While there are many factors to consider, these 12 questions can help focus your sales and marketing planning.  When we first developed the Revenue Grader (now being revised) six years ago, we included 50 questions – or dimensions – in the analysis. While all 50 remain valid, we found that it was a bit cumbersome to consider all 50 when starting with a top-level plan or diagnostic. We now focus on these 12 dimensions and drill down into sub elements based on key issues or priorities.

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Chief Revenue Officer Role Description

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The Chief Revenue Officer is Responsible for Achieving Predictable and Sustainable Revenue Growth

Updated Q1 2020

Companies recognize the need for a single revenue focus using 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 the front office. They are responsible for aligning the firm’s go-to-market strategies and delivering on revenue performance goals.



The Chief Revenue Officer is responsible for customer retention, customer growth and new customer acquisition. He/she will coordinate and align marketing, sales and customer success teams to deliver effective customer experiences.

All revenue comes from customers and from three elements:

  1. The % penetration of revenue in the segment or the account
  2. The $ value of sales across each deal or transaction in the portfolio
  3. The t duration of the customer relationship

The Chief Revenue Officer will be responsible to meet or exceed specific metrics including:

  1. Volumes. The % of penetration in selected markets, segments and accounts. This requiring the right level of market awareness and engagement including the volumes at each stage of the funnel
  2. Velocity. The speed and efficiency of conversions though the marketing and sales funnel
  3. Value. The value of the funnel from the quality of inquiries and opportunities and the ability to maximize deal value.
  4. Revenue. The ability to convert sales in the pipeline at or above the expected rate and deliver on revenue objectives.

See additional metrics here.

Role Description

The Chief Revenue Officer reports to the Chief Executive Officer and works closely with colleagues as a member of the senior management team. The Chief Revenue Officer is responsible for defining and maintaining the company’s revenue strategy, revenue systems, and revenue programs.

Revenue Strategy Responsibilities

The CRO is responsible to select the right markets based on competitive position and isolate 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 segment or customer.

  • Define ideal buyers, select market segments and isolate audiences to engage using data-driven insights
  • Set top-down goals and metrics based on both internal goals and external market opportunities in selected markets
  • Partner with product teams to define differentiated offerings
  • Continuously develop and refine offer value propositions that differentiate offerings from competitors
  • Articulate solutions and products portfolio, corporate brand message sand value differentiators
  • Defining the go-to-market model to access buyers, customers, and influencers
  • Organize revenue teams around buyer segments, accounts and decision making units
  • Craft sales & marketing strategies and programs to attract, engage and convert prospective customers.

Revenue Systems Responsibilities

The CRO will deliver the right brand experiences and customer touchpoints based on audience understanding and enable revenue operations with the right technology stack and customer data platform capabilities. He/she will structure and enable the revenue organization across marketing and sales, ensuring the right processes based on segment.

  • Establish and maintain the brand and organizational touchpoints to engage buyers across segments
  • Establish the revenue technology stack including marketing automation, salesforce automation/ CRM, digital channels (e.g. web and social), business intelligence, and the customer data platform
  • Implement predictable, repeatable, and scalable sales and marketing processes
  • Attract, hire, train and retain top sales, marketing and customer success talent and build a performance driven sales culture
  • Structure and manage successful relationships with alliance and channel partners.

Revenue Programs Responsibilities

The CRO will oversee the design and execution of marketing campaigns and programs for buyer engagement and manage the execution of good selling practices to maximize sales and revenue contribution. He / she will ensure customer execution delivers customer success in order to maximize retention, cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

  • Execute target marketing programs using content and experiences to build attract, engage and convert, generating demand with the target customers, industry participants and influencers using a mix of paid, earned and owned media / channels to drive predictable lead conversions.
  • Oversee marketing execution to deliver buyer engagement performance and incremental volume and velocity in the funnel.
  • Manage sales to sell products and services and manage relationships to predictably meet and exceed targets
  • Ensure customer success teams are executing effectively to maximize retention, up-sell and cross-sell.

The Chief Revenue Officer should be prepared to lead and manage your company’s end-to-end revenue value chain.