The New Pressures Facing Revenue Leadership

The New Pressures Facing Revenue Leadership

In today’s business landscape, revenue leadership has become more complex as technology continues to alter consumer behavior, and the levers for revenue growth spread wider across the organization.

Gone are the days when the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) had a straightforward path to driving sales. Traditional boundaries between sales and marketing have blurred, and the CRO's success has become more dependent on people, technology, and teams delivering from outside the direct sales organization. Today, the Chief Revenue Officer is intricately connected to brand strategy, product development, customer experience, audience growth, demand generation, and more. Advanced technologies, such as AI, have created opportunities for multiple divisions to drive revenue, challenging CROs to adapt and highlighting the urgent need for collaboration across the company. CROs, who in the past spent most of their days externally facing, now must balance sales and partner activities with managing the holistic growth engine, becoming proficient at the complex ecosystem that now drives revenue growth.

As taxing as this is for the CRO, CEOs are also struggling with how to address the challenges and opportunities for revenue growth, how to design their organizations, and the type of leaders they need to hire. We are seeing the C-suite expand as CEOs work to bring specialized expertise into the company, which can also bring with it crossover in roles and frustration for the CRO. CROs are looking to secure their positions as much as they are looking to secure the business.

For CROs that have an open mind, a desire to learn, and great leadership skills, this moment can bring unlimited opportunity, even expanding their role and preparing them to advance to a COO or even CEO position.

The smartest CROs capitalize on this moment by doing these things:

  • Think broadly about revenue: This may seem obvious, but too many CROs think only about sales versus examining all ways to drive revenue growth. The best CROs have a keen understanding of where the market is going and stay ahead of buyer behavior, influencing corporate decision-making, to open new lanes for growth.
  • Collaborate cross-organizationally: Understanding the full revenue ecosystem and influencing cross-organizationally is how revenue leaders are getting their needs met. It is essential to build internal relationships and trust to be able to influence indirect initiatives that will result in higher revenue opportunities.
  • Have a marketing mindset: We are seeing a merge between sales and marketing and a much deeper dependency between the two divisions. When marketing is at its best, it is driving measurable sales. When sales is at its best, they are creative thinkers who embody the brand.
  • Be a builder: A builder is always looking for innovative ways to grow a company, and the best CROs experiment with new revenue streams that are additive, not disruptive, to the core business.
  • Embrace technology: Relationships will always matter, but technology has created new opportunities to reach prospective buyers and drive efficiencies. Getting smart on new technologies that can impact growth is becoming more essential for a CRO to be successful.

As revenue growth becomes more intertwined within multiple areas of a company, savvy Chief Revenue Officers can be at the forefront of transformation by rethinking everything from implementing new technologies to how to approach the marketplace. Although, for many, this time can be filled with pressure, for those with the right mindset, this moment can deliver an outstanding learning opportunity with unlimited career potential.