Over the past few months, I’ve been speaking with leading Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) at private equity and venture capital-funded businesses to gain insights on their approaches to their work, especially when starting out in the role. It soon became clear that there were common themes that every CRO must do when starting out in the role.
So I’ve put together the CRO Must Do’s for the first 60 days, to help you get your time in the role off to a flyer!
Relationship Building: Meet Everyone!
Getting to know and understand all the different people who you will be working with regularly is a vital part of that beginning period. Who's on my team, and who influences my team? What are the personality types? What are people's strengths and weaknesses, fears and ambitions? How can I help people to be the best version of themselves?
By understanding the people you work with, you can utilise their skills and influence to help you achieve your own targets, as well as making them feel heard and supported in their roles.
Revenue Insights Analysis
Understanding the current state of revenue in the business is of course vital. But it may not be as simple as you would like, especially if the reporting in place isn’t to your liking.
The first question you need to ask yourself is “What reporting do we currently have in place?” Is it just sales reporting, or can you see a full end-to-end view of the funnel. You may also need to ensure you have access to forecasting and attribution so you have a strong foundation to base decisions on.
Objectives and key results review
You need to ensure that your team are all pulling in the right direction. Are people targeted with the right metrics to move the needle on revenue? Should we be increasing or decreasing targets? What needs to change, to better motivate people to achieve the best returns? Understanding the short and long-term objectives will help massively beyond this vital 30 day starting period.
Process Gap Analysis
Putting the right processes in place is so important when starting out as CRO. You need to make sure that you have the processes in place to ensure alignment between marketing, sales and customer success. You can then look for any issues or mistakes that need to be resolved. Are there gaps that are causing blockages, or revenue to fall through the net? If so, then you can work to remove these blockers.
People Gap Analysis
Identifying any skills gaps or talent shortage is also of maximum importance. You need to ensure that you have the right people in the right seats. If there are any areas where you lack the capacity or skill set to serve the needs of your customers and revenue operations, then it’s important that you work to fill them.
Data Gap Analysis
The data you work with will be the difference between success and failure. Does everyone in your team have the information they need to make the right decisions? Where is the missing data across the bowtie model and what’s slowing down people's ability to do their jobs better?
Technology Gap Analysis
As well as having the right people and data processes, it’s also a good time to review your technology stack to ensure you have all the tools you need. Is missing technology or innovation the reason for a revenue plateau? And how is your technology stack working together?
You may be able to identify any duplication that will allow you to cut costs fast. You may also find that some technologies you’ve invested in aren’t worth the expenditure. Are people actually using the technology you've put in place?
Route Cause Analysis
Before you start road mapping, it's important to consider the route that causes revenue growth inefficiencies in the business. There is a risk that you might fix a symptom rather than a cause, resulting in little impact in the long term.
Build a project plan using a Gannt chart that's easy to communicate with everyone. Make sure the priorities crystal clear and include quick wins alongside longer more impactful projects. That way you can celebrate the small victories before you get to the big ones.
What the community had to say
When I first shared this topic on LinkedIn, I received some very interesting responses. Here are just some of them:
"Here's another critical one for a new CRO, something I saw from the marketing side of the house - do a thorough analysis of your team's comp plan! I've seen my share of cases where a great sales team was demoralised for selling some things, due to a bad comp plan. So, don't trust what you've inherited from your predecessor. Check it thoroughly. Ask your team about issues with their existing comp plan. They know it best and will tell you (it doesn't mean you should accept everything they say, but it will at least give you a direction as to what issues there may be)."