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  • Writer's pictureBrian Shea

Sales is Hard. Being a Chief Revenue Officer is Even Harder.

A lot is expected of today's Chief Revenue Officers (CROs). When this C-suite function is added to the leadership team, rainmaking revenue just pours into the organization, right? OK, not so fast.

Today's CRO's need to put early points on the board and make a measurable impact within 100 days. Both the CRO's senior leadership colleagues and the board are expecting it. Unfortunately the life expectancy of a CRO is less than 20 months in role, so turbocharging these first 100 days is paramount to success. And reminds me of a classic Queen & David Bowie hit: "Pressure pushing down on me. Pressing down on you no man (or woman) ask for. Under pressure that brings a building down"

Under Pressure, indeed!

As a founder led CEO, or a CEO placed by a Board to drive next stage growth, its mission critical to hire the right revenue leader, with the right experience and the right tool kit.

So what should you consider when beginning your search? Salesforce identifies the top five traits that make for a standout CRO.

Trait 1: Visionary

The chief revenue officer owns a company’s outlook. They need to be confident and aggressive on one hand, steady and predictable on the other.

Trait 2: Data-obsessed

CROs own the go-to-market strategy. They drive pricing and product structure, and they set the buyer journey. The fuel for these decisions is data.

Trait 3: Passionate about building teams

Chief revenue officers are seasoned executives. They grow revenue, sure — but they also grow people and culture, believing that a rising tide lifts all boats.

Trait 4: Cool under pressure

CROs are distinctly “on the hook” compared to their C-level peers, and they hold the most accountability to the board.

Trait 5: Nimble against change

For a person so driven by consistency and predictability, the CRO is dealing with some big shifts at the same time.

To enable your newly placed CRO, your leadership team should have two key revenue engine flywheels in place. #1 formalized talent system and #2 is a formal sales process, and don't require an expensive CRO to build. With a mature talent and sales process system in place, the new CRO can focus on driving revenue motions versus laying foundational bricks and mortar.

To learn more about building foundational maturity of your sales organization, reach out to us at . We can help.

Brian Shea


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