In today’s competitive business environment, growth companies must be agile and adaptable to better serve their customers and stay ahead of their competition.
One of the most critical components of a growth strategy is revenue. Revenue is the lifeblood of any business, and without a predictable and consistent flow, no company can reach its potential.
While most companies have a number of separate departments responsible for contributing to revenue, there is a growing realization that these departments do not naturally coordinate their efforts, let alone generate the leverage necessary to meet the expectations of leaders, investors, and board members.
Hence the growing trend of appointing a head of revenue or chief revenue officer (CRO) to lead the charge.
A CRO is a senior executive responsible for overseeing all revenue-related functions of a company, including sales, marketing, customer success, and business development.
The CRO’s primary goal is to drive profitable revenue growth by ensuring all revenue-generating departments are working together to anticipate and respond to both the opportunities and risks presented by the market every day.
In this article, we will explore the most important reasons why every B2B growth company needs a head of revenue or CRO, and how to know you are talking to the right candidate.
Revenue is a Team Sport
Revenue generation is not a game for individual contributors. It requires a coordinated effort from all departments that touch the customer and lead the buyer’s journey.
Traditionally, the departments responsible for driving revenue like sales, marketing, and customer success operate in silos — they work independently of each other. This approach leads to internal competition, duplicated efforts, misaligned incentives, costly blind spots, and a lack of accountability.
The result is a disjointed customer experience and a lack of sales leadership that ultimately produces missed opportunities, revenue leakage, and the organization’s inability to consistently compete and win.
The concept of revenue as a team sport means that when customer-facing teams work together they not only perform well, they win championships.
Each department has its unique role to play in serving and leading the customer journey, but the ultimate goal is the same – to generate predictable revenue growth. When all departments work together in harmony, they can leverage each other’s strengths and create a multiplier effect that produces results that are far greater than the sum of its parts.
The Chief Revenue Officer Role
The CRO’s role begins by breaking down silos and creating a collaborative revenue-generation machine. The CRO is responsible for unifying sales and customer-facing teams under one go-to-market strategy, with shared operating metrics and a single shared goal. The CRO is also responsible for identifying new revenue streams, improving competitiveness, and innovating the art and science — the leaders, people, and systems — that form the revenue engine.
To achieve all of this, the CRO must lead the formation of a revenue growth culture that is aligned with the mission, vision, and values of the company at large. This culture must focus on revenue growth as the primary objective, but not at the cost of the company’s larger commitment to its brand and the communities it serves.
The right CRO will work with each department to identify their unique role in ensuring the team’s success and provide the motivation and accountability required to ensure every member is committed to furthering the purpose of the company and its stakeholders.
Benefits of a CRO
Appointing a CRO has several benefits for B2B growth companies. Firstly, it ensures that revenue growth is a top priority for the entire company. The CRO and the revenue growth culture they build will align everyone toward this goal.
Secondly, it creates a collaborative environment where all departments work together to their individual and mutual benefit. This approach leads to a more holistic view of the company, customer, and competition. Showing each member of the larger team how to leverage their unique strengths and multiply corporate value.
Thirdly, the CRO brings a strategic competency that expands the idea of revenue generation beyond the usual suspects, working with each discipline to identify new revenue streams and opportunities to compete and win in the marketplace. The CRO also identifies potential roadblocks to revenue growth and works to remove them.
Fourthly, the CRO provides a single point of transparency and accountability for the CEO, founders, and investors. This eliminates blind spots, simplifies communication, and ensures that everyone in the company is activated with a coordinated focus, while minimizing waste and risk.
Finally, the CRO brings a data-driven approach to revenue growth. They leverage data and analytics via a strategic revenue operations program to generate predictable decisions, actions, and outcomes. This approach enables revenue teams and companies to identify meaningful trends, opportunities, and potential roadblocks that would otherwise be overlooked.