Do you need to hire a Chief Revenue Officer?

Posted

4th March 2021
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ere’s when and how you should

More and more, the Chief Revenue Officer, or CRO, is gaining in popularity as a crucial role within technology businesses of all sizes as they aim for more significant and more sustained revenue growth.

Additionally, with the technology businesses looking to new revenue streams and capitalising on the opportunities digital services and products create, the Chief Revenue Officer is fast becoming one of the most critical hires.

Having a dedicated employee to focus on your company’s revenue streams is important, and the role of the CRO is to compliment the product or engineering skills typical of the majority of tech business founders.

If you’ve found yourself at the stage where having a dedicated senior employee focusing on your revenue streams is essential, it might be time to ask yourself, ‘do I need to hire a Chief Revenue Officer?’

The role of a Chief Revenue Officer

As mentioned, Chief Revenue Officers are responsible for all your company’s revenue streams, and their influence and accountability stretches across the business and all revenue-generating departments.

Their role is to take a unified view across all customer interactions and align and optimise their experience to increase overall revenue. They, therefore, have a role to play across the sales, marketing and customer success teams and streamline how these departments work together.

They are responsible for the tools, strategy and metrics used to drive revenue growth and take a long-term view to sustain these channels through implementing infrastructures and processes.

Lead flow management is a crucial aspect of the role of a CRO, and the best are able to:

Collaborate with the customer teams on customer satisfaction and understand the probability of these customers, both renewing contracts and increasing the products or services they use.

Optimise the marketing department’s efforts in discovering and increasing relevant sales leads across multiple channels.

Track how these leads are progressing through all stages, from opportunity creation to onboarding new customers.

It is these strategy cross-department and multi-functional elements of the role which make the role of the CRO unique and much more than just an expanded role for the VP of Head of Sales.

When should you hire a Chief Revenue Officer?

The need to align all your revenue-generating departments is the key thing to consider when deciding whether it’s time to hire a CRO for your business.

As a tech business, if the following scenarios ring true, it could be time to hire a CRO:

You’re experiencing misalignment across your teams

Is each different department looking to the other to get things started?

The marketing department says the sales team aren’t following up on and closing the leads they’ve been given. Sales don’t think the leads generate robust enough, and the customer success team are struggling to onboard or retain customers because sales are closing deals at all costs.

Leads, deals and customer retention all impact revenue. Bringing someone in to align these growth departments and improve communication quality across them could be a strategic move.

Decisions are being made in isolation.

Scenarios such as running marketing campaigns that sales don’t know about or the sales team using their marketing collateral can all equate to missed opportunities or lost customers.

Fragmented messaging and poor cross-department communication can all negatively affect your revenue streams.

If you find yourself requiring all heads of department to report to the same person, then having a CRO in place will improve communication and increase the level of accountability.

How do you hire a Chief Revenue Officer?

If you’ve identified the need to bring someone in to manage the revenue streams and ensure that your teams are joined up and cohesive in their approach to driving growth, there are several things to consider throughout the hiring process:

You’re not looking for a CFO

Your CRO will wear a lot of hats, but it’s not their responsibility to look after the day-to-day financials and accounting. The CRO is charged with driving revenue, whereas the CFO is responsible for managing the business’ financials.

Make sure you’ve clearly defined and understood what it is you’re looking for from a revenue management point of view.

They’ll need cross-team experience

Can your candidate demonstrate their experience in harmonising the work done by the marketing, sales, customer success and operations team?

If they have an understanding of where the barriers to revenue generation can occur, this will help you create a robust sales process which has customer experience at the heart of it.

Getting all departments on the same page is an essential responsibility of a CRO. Focus your interview questions around drawing out their experiences team management and the role they played in optimising any area involved in revenue generation.

Even better, if they can demonstrate taking a long-term view to the required processes and infrastructure, then these candidates should make their way to the top of the pile.

Do you need help from a specialist recruitment agency?

Doing so will tap into their networks and experience, as well as saving you time.  

If you go down this route, it’s important to work with an agency that specialises in helping businesses to hire senior-level technology professionals and not a ‘one size fits all’ agency. A specialist will understand the current market conditions and what it takes to encourage a move so you can secure the best CRO talent.

Revere Digital Recruitment have a wealth of experience hiring senior sales-focused professionals into technology-driven business across the UK. If you need advice on whether hiring a CRO is right for your business, then get in touch.

This is the fifth in our When and How to Hire’ series which looks at hiring for senior-level technology talent. For more information, you can read our articles here.