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  • Writer's pictureBrian Shea

Understanding the High Turnover in Executive Sales and Revenue Roles


According to Indeed.com, approximately 1,400 open Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) roles are currently published on their platform. Adding in the 8,600 open Chief Growth Officer (CGO) positions and the 35,000 senior vice presidents of sales roles, there is a clear demand for about 45,000 senior revenue leaders. This high number begs the question: Why is there such a high turnover for these executive sales and revenue roles?


Pressure to Perform

One of the primary reasons for high turnover in these roles is the immense pressure to deliver rapid revenue growth and meet aggressive sales targets. CROs, CGOs, and SVPs of Sales are often under significant stress from stakeholders to achieve quick results. The high expectations can lead to burnout, prompting frequent job changes if these leaders do not achieve desired outcomes swiftly​ (ZipRecruiter)​​ (Indeed)​.


Strategic Misalignment

Another critical factor is strategic misalignment. Often, there is a disconnect between the sales leader’s vision and the company's overarching strategic goals. If the sales leader’s approach to revenue generation conflicts with the broader company strategy, it can lead to disagreements with the CEO or board. This misalignment can result in the sales leader being replaced​ (Indeed)​​ (Indeed)​.


Market Dynamics

The role of a senior sales leader is highly sensitive to market conditions and industry changes. Shifts in market trends, customer behavior, or the competitive landscape can make it challenging for these leaders to maintain consistent performance. If they cannot adapt quickly enough to these changes, it can lead to turnover​ (Indeed)​.


Company Growth Phases

Different stages of company growth require different skill sets from their CROs. A leader who excels in a startup environment may not be as effective in a more established company, and vice versa. As companies evolve, they may seek new leadership that better aligns with their current phase, contributing to turnover​ (Indeed)​.


High-Stakes Role

The roles of CROs, CGOs, and SVPs of Sales are inherently high-stakes. These positions involve critical decisions on pricing, sales strategy, and market positioning. Any missteps can have substantial financial impacts, which can result in quick replacements if performance falters​ (ZipRecruiter)​.


Leadership Changes

Changes in senior leadership, such as a new CEO or board members, often lead to a reassessment of the executive team. New leadership might bring in their own trusted team members, leading to turnover in the CRO position​ (Indeed)​.


Conclusion

These factors collectively contribute to the high turnover rate among Chief Revenue Officers, Chief Growth Officers, and SVPs of Sales. The roles demand exceptional performance under challenging conditions and require constant alignment with dynamic business needs. Understanding these challenges is crucial for companies aiming to stabilize their leadership teams and foster long-term growth.

By recognizing these contributing factors, companies can work towards creating more supportive environments for their executive sales leaders, potentially reducing turnover and driving sustained success.


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