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Critical Skills for New Chief Revenue Officers

As the newly elected Chief Revenue Officer, you’ve been entrusted with one of the most important jobs in your company — revenue strategy and growth.

If you’re like most CROs, your job is equal parts exhilaration and apprehension. After all, revenue is king and the health of your company depends on your success. While every CRO’s challenges are slightly different, here are a few tips that you should find helpful.

Integrate your sales and marketing teams: Revenue growth is not achieved in a vacuum. The closer your sales and marketing teams work together the more opportunity you’ll have for success. Sounds logical, right? Yet it’s no secret that sales and marketing are traditionally at odds—often with fingers pointed directly at each other. To maximize revenue potential, you’ll need to combine leadership with diplomacy to forge a tightly integrated alliance between sales and marketing—one that encourages and rewards unified goals and accomplishments. It all begins with you—the clearer your strategy and goals are, the easier it is for teams to unite behind them.

Balance short and long-term goals: To achieve sustainable revenue growth, you need to lay a foundation for long-term success, yet unrelenting pressure to hit the quarterly number often erodes the very foundation you need to support consistent top-line growth. It’s a delicate balancing act. Solid planning, communication, and unification of team efforts can help your company reduce end-of-quarter acrobatics and deliver more predictable growth.

Watch for potential gaps in resource alignment: If your resources are not fully aligned with your goals, then the gap between revenue performance and revenue potential will always be present, no matter how hard your team works. A rigorous and honest gap assessment is critical to your company’s success. When gaps are identified, view the discovery as positive, not punitive. The closer your resources and goals are aligned, the better your revenue engine will perform

Stress-test all assumptions: We all come to the table with unique perspectives — viewpoints derived from our experience and shaded by the lens we’re looking through. It’s natural, but the odds of achieving success increase exponentially when team members leave their biases at the door. While this is easier said than done, there is a way to do it—subject every idea to a stress test that pits assumptions against facts. Here’s how:

  • Put plans through a rigorous, objective test that factors internal and external variables into the equation.

  • Ensure the team is aligned on the assumptions and agree on the revenue dynamic. Challenge, test the plan until the entire team is confident they can achieve it.

Ownership is a powerful motivator. A plan borne out of collaboration and rigorous fact-based testing can mitigate individual biases and gain support from the departments who have to work together to achieve it.

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