The role of Chief Revenue Officer seems to be gaining momentum, and I have recently noticed more and more corporations naming CROs. And from what I can tell, they are doing so for varying reasons—some very good, some probably not so much.
However, one must always implement the CRO structure strategically. Revenue Performance Management requires profound shifts in the way companies manage their sales and marketing functions. Appointing a CRO to be the instigator and steward of this transformation is the right reason for doing so, and many of the best companies are getting this exactly right.
Yet I have seen too many other cases where the CRO title is used simply as a perk and promotion, a highfalutin new title for the same old job. It’s dangerous to generalize too much, but it often seems that the title is given as a promotion to the VP of sales, perhaps to create C-level parity with the Chief Marketing Officer. That’s a mistake. The CRO’s mission needs to be one of binding marketing and sales into a single team, not of “keeping up with the Joneses.”
But is CRO really a new job? What about the title of President, or Chief Operating Officer? In many companies, one or both of these titles is held by the executive who manages both marketing and sales. So doesn’t that mean companies really have had Chief Revenue Officers for years, only with a different, more traditional name? Maybe, but only rarely, as far as I can tell. In most cases, the person ...