SalesTech Star

Will The Role Of The Chief Revenue Officer Change?

The role of a Chief Strategy Officer or Chief Revenue Officer is crucial to any business. Companies large and small realize the importance of having someone on the team who’s oriented toward the long-term future of the company, to the business’ sustainability and profitability.

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Unlike the CEO whose primary focus (usually) lies in ensuring a smooth short-term performance, the CSO or CRO can afford to play the long-haul game. Yet, as desirable as the role of the CSO is, the position is widely unfulfilling. In a survey of 187 CSOs around the world, PwC’s strategy consulting arm, found that only 25 percent of the respondents felt they were ‘very successful’ at creating value for their company.

This tells us that the CSO’s / CRO’s role is still evolving.

The role of the Chief Revenue Officer was born in Silicon Valley to leverage new revenue opportunities created by digital services and products. A CRO is tasked with any revenue-generating activities for a business.

This automatically means a CRO becomes a combination of the sales and marketing arms of a business. Allegedly, Marissa Mayer paid her CRO at Yahoo, Lisa Utzschneider, a whopping $18 million.

A CRO’s job is not only about being concerned with marketing and sales, they have to also play the role of the data-driven-tech-savvy-team builder.

Is sales technology reshaping the role of the CSO and CRO?

Since both these roles have something to do with sales and revenue, the fast-paced growth and advancement in sales technology are driving significant change in what these roles demand.

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Here are a few instances of how the role of the CSO or CRO has evolved with sales technology:

  • Marketing and sales unite – Consider account-based marketing and sales and how there are several tools that support these functions together. Engagio is one such tool that helps executives look at the hierarchy in a prospective organization so they know who makes sales decisions. Engagio puls CRM data, activates marketing automation, measures engagement, and more. Therefore, CROs and CSOs of today are having to look at sales and marketing as one function instead of two separate departments in a business.
  • Customer delight – Sales technology has advanced to include activities right above and below a funnel as much as within the funnel to drive sales. For this reason, the CRO’s job is now focused on attracting and delighting customers just as much as on closing them. CallidusCloud Commissions is one such tool whose suite of solutions covers sales performance as well as customer experience.
  • Data analytics – Data is everywhere and sales technologies and tools are now utilizing underlying data to carve out trends and predict outcomes. Hubspot is one such tool that offers an array of online analytics tools that help improve customer reach and engagement. The role of the CSO and CRO is evolving to use a highly data-driven approach to customer adoption, pricing, and buyer targeting.
  • Targeted customer profiling – With a lot many sales tools, you could now profile your customers into many segments and talk to each one of those with personalized messaging. DataFox helps you identify prospects that perfectly fit your customer profile. With the CRO’s guidance, the marketing and sales teams are now uber clear on their customer profile and focus on attracting, capturing, and funneling highly relevant prospects to the sales cycle.
  • Upselling and cross-selling – For a healthy growing company, at least half of their revenue comes from existing customers. Several sales tools recognize and work on this aspect of revenue generation. So does the CRO or CSO by being ultra-focused on customer satisfaction and actually measuring it through metrics. Smart Rooms (Journey Sales) is one such tool that helps deepen existing relationships with customers.
  • In-depth sales visibility – As we have more tools to give us in-depth visibility into the sales process, the jobs of the CSOs and CROs are evolving. Hoopla is one such tool that helps keep everyone on the same team on the same page and uses dynamic leaderboards and visualized metrics to drive sales staff engagement.
  • Sales intelligence – Tools such as SalesWings make real-time intelligence possible on how prospects perceive your brand so you can create a timely engagement plan. The tool detects specific behavior on your campaigns so you can react to positive signals and do something about the not-so-impressive ones. The role of the CRO and the CSO is expanding to use such creative and intelligent tools to optimize the sales and revenue generation process.

These advancements in sales technology clearly point toward the need for CROs and CSOs to upskill and include sophisticated tools knowledge into their skillset. A lot of these tools have been made possible as technologies such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data came around.

It will be interesting to see how Chief Strategy Officers and Chief Revenue Officers make use of their opportunity to add massive value to their organizations.