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Chief Revenue Officer Job Description: What Does a CRO Do?

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July 29, 2020Hiring

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Looking to ensure long-term financial success? It’s time to hire a chief revenue officer. 

The chief revenue officer is crucial in the management and improvement of revenue-generating operations, such as marketing, sales, and customer service. Their success is measured by their ability to create sustained revenue growth and an effective customer and buyer experience.

Let’s discuss the chief revenue officer job description in detail to give you a better sense of what the position entails and what the ideal candidate looks like, so that you can find the best CRO hire for your company.

Chief Revenue Officer Job Description: Summary

Like most C-suite and upper management positions, the role of the chief revenue officer carries immense responsibility. But what are their specific duties and how do they differ from other C-suite roles?

Sales and account management

As the chief revenue officer is responsible for all streams of revenue at an organization, they also have the responsibility of overseeing all revenue-generating departments—which involves the management of sales and accounts.

Monitor revenue pipelines and manage leads

The CRO needs to be able to monitor all revenue pipelines, which often requires them to manage prospects and leads throughout all stages of the sales funnel. As converting leads to customers directly impacts revenue, they need to work closely with both marketing and sales departments and make sure the two are working in tandem.

Using data to create positive change

The CRO is required to use analytics effectively and accurately interpret data to enhance the customer’s experience, and ideally, increase revenue. By identifying customer problems and identifying solutions, they should be able to develop and implement strategies that drive positive change.

Creating sustainable growth

CROs are often described as “growth hackers”, as one of their primary focuses is to create sustainable growth—the maximum growth rate that can be maintained without needing to borrow money.

To achieve this, the CRO will foster strong relationships, promote synergy between and communication between departments, implement effective customer retention strategies, and help develop a thriving customer base. All of these actions, among others, help increase revenue and optimize company growth at a level that can be maintained.

Chief Revenue Officer Job Description: Skills

The chief revenue officer needs to possess a handful of key attributes and skills, which include the following:

Strong interpersonal and communication skills

Have you missed sales opportunities due to poor communication between growth departments and isolated decision making? The chief revenue officer’s job involves bridging communication gaps and improving the synergy among departments, so that marketing, sales, accounting, and customer service all maintain a harmonious working relationship.

Self-motivated and goal-oriented

The ideal chief revenue officer is both a leader and a collaborator—self-motivated and goal-oriented enough to drive growth while also inspiring others to do the same. They should have prior experience that points to their ability to generate results, meet expectations, and achieve clearly defined goals.

Passion for the company's mission

The CRO needs to not only comprehend and support the company’s mission but also align all of their efforts with it. They should be able to motivate others to align their efforts with the company’s overarching mission as well.

Financial integrity and fiduciary responsibility

The chief revenue officer needs to possess financial integrity, prioritizing honest practices, fairness, consistency, and accuracy. The right CRO will support a strong code of ethics in your workplace, promoting employee and customer satisfaction as a result.

Technologically savvy

The CRO will need to be well-versed in different technologies. Of course, they will need to know your company’s products and services inside and out to understand materials, manufacturing, and other components that impact expenses and profit margins. But they will also need to know how to implement and operate other technologies, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software.

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Chief Revenue Officer Job Description: Education and Experience

A CRO is an executive-level position, so the ideal candidate should have the education and experience needed to fill such a role at your company. When searching for your next CRO hire, you’ll want to consider candidates who possess the following:

Education

At a minimum, your candidate should possess a bachelor’s degree—preferably in an area such as accounting, finance, or business administration. The ideal candidate would also have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in financial management. Of course, you might make an exception to these requirements if you have been intentionally grooming a committed employee for the CRO position—in which case, they may have received comparable training and work experience in preparation for the position.

Experience

The chief revenue officer should have several years of proven sales experience in a leadership role. Ideally, a top tier CRO will also have a proven track record of generating business and revenue growth—the kind of experience that makes them well-positioned to manage not only the company’s finances, but also the trajectory of its finances.

Possible CRO certifications

Education doesn’t begin and end with a four-year degree. Most driven leaders consistently build on their knowledge base and even seek additional certifications that better equip them for their roles.

There are a few different courses that might prepare employees for a role as a chief revenue officer or strengthen a CRO’s position as an attractive candidate. Several organizations offer courses and certifications that are specifically designed to help CROs lead teams, promote communication, maximize revenue, and drive growth at their organizations.

While these types of certifications shouldn’t weigh nearly as heavily as degrees, they certainly don’t detract from the value of your CRO candidate.

How to attract a talented CRO

While you might have a checklist of skills, requirements, and attributes that you’re looking for in your next CRO, you will also need to convince your ideal CRO candidate that your company is a place where they will want to work. To attract a top CRO, your company should consider providing the following:

Growth potential

Just as you’ll want to identify growth potential in your CRO candidate, your candidate will also want to identify growth potential in your business. This starts with a sound business model, a clear mission, and a set of common goals that the organization is working towards. They will also want to identify opportunities where they can step in, have an impact, and ultimately, help drive your organization forward.

A strong leadership team

Successful organizations possess strong leadership, and a prospective CRO will want to see that your organization is stable at the very top—particularly as these are the individuals they will be working alongside daily. Make sure that your candidate understands the infrastructure of your business and sees that there is a clear, defined role for them to fill.

How to write a CRO job description if you’re a startup

When you’re a startup, you might have to write your chief revenue officer job description a little differently. After all, there’s more at stake—your startup’s very survival is predicated on rapid growth and your ability to increase revenue quickly!

In your case, you’ll need to attract an exceptional CRO—one who is committed to your company and its mission, and who possesses the leadership and expertise to become a key decision-maker for your organization. More specifically, you’ll want to make sure that your job description includes the following responsibilities:

Consolidating growth decisions

If your startup has yet to make certain growth decisions or if you’re intentionally leaving these decisions in the hands of the right CRO, your candidate will need to be aware of the need to consolidate them and make sure all departments are on board.

Fixing misalignments

In a startup, organizational misalignments are common, as are communication gaps and discrepancies among departments. The ideal CRO will be able to foster a cohesive, collaborative culture and provide strong leadership for all revenue-generating departments.

Acting as a COO in startup environments

Particularly in a startup environment, you might need your CRO to adopt a much larger role—sometimes taking on the duties of a traditional chief operating officer (COO). They will be required to lead on both a macro and micro level, operating as the company head’s right hand.

As a key member of the management team, they will also need to be responsible for tasks such as overseeing operational functions and daily administration, as well as promoting the company’s culture and improving organizational performance.

Hire the right CRO the first time

The process of sourcing prospects, sifting through resumes, and interviewing candidates is a time-consuming one—even for the hiring manager. If you’re struggling to find top candidates for the CRO position, you might benefit from partnering with a recruiting agency.

At Hunt Club, we leverage our networks and connections to source and place top CROs and other C-suite candidates for all types of businesses. Leave your seemingly endless search for the perfect CRO hire in capable hands. 

This SaaS company hired a Chief Revenue Officer in under 50 days with Hunt Club.

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