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24 Oct 2022
Startup Journey

When to hire a CRO

The key component that drives the success of a business is revenue. Without a solid revenue stream, the company cannot have a smooth sailing operations…

The key component that drives the success of a business is revenue. Without a solid revenue stream, the company cannot have a smooth sailing operations system and make sure its employees are paid.
Generally, once a company surpasses the start-up status and needs scaling up, the position of Chief Revenue Officer is needed. At this stage, a business needs to prevent any “leaks” in its revenue stream, optimize its revenue strategies, and build on the pre-existing revenue structure to create plans of action.

What is a Chief Revenue Officer?

A CRO is responsible for all customer-facing departments of a business. They will oversee marketing, sales, customer service, and production. A CRO help achieve the business’ sales goals by aligning the efforts of the four aforementioned departments.  This responsibility entails direct communication with the departments and holding regular meetings to ensure the departments are moving in the same direction.

Generating revenue is and always will be the main focus for a CRO. Nevertheless, a great CRO knows that the sales team’s responsibilities do not stop at revenue-generation efforts. The sales team also works with marketing to ensure the company has a solid customer-attraction strategy. In addition, a CRO should also cultivate its relationship with the production department of a company, to ensure the company is making products that meet the need of its clients.

Finally, a CRO needs to have ties with the customer service department to further understand the buying behavior of the customer and perhaps solve the issues that may arise after the purchase is completed.

Main responsibilities

When it comes to the responsibilities of a Chief Revenue Officer, it should be noted that as a c-suite member, this figure will act as a bridge and communication link with the CEO, COO, and the board of directors. With that, other main responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • The CRO is in charge of connecting with a company’s different departments and ensuring operations run smoothly and are optimized to the best of the company’s capabilities.
  • Customer retention and acquisition strategies are organized by the CRO, as well as ensuring a great return on marketing investments for the company.
  • As industries adapt to new technologies and trends, a CRO should also be responsible for the identification of micro-markets and the creation of specific products to target those markets.
  • CROs are in charge of idealizing pricing strategies for the products to target the micro-markets and generate the highest possible returns.
  • Monitoring all the revenue streams and adjusting them if necessary as well as planning revenue generation strategies.
  • Finally, CROs need to be updated on new trends and strategies of the competition of the company, thus introducing new sales channels and partners if needed.

When To Hire a CRO

The hire of a Chief Revenue Officer can be a milestone for companies in the process of scaling up. Adding another member to the c-suite of an organization not only brings stability and structure but also gives the company a sense of direction for the future as the right candidate will boost the company’s assets considerably.

So when is the right time for a company to hire a Chief Revenue Officer?

Firstly, an organization must look at its processes and identify if there are misalignments between customer-facing departments such as sales, product, customer service, and marketing. Without a strong sense of leadership that oversees these four departments, the result will inevitably be a lack of communication and common goals between departments in an organization. The more each department works as an autonomous unit, the more the goals and vision of the company will drift apart.

Working collectively towards a goal is beneficial for the company as resources will be used more effectively, but also for the employees as a combined effort will make the job far easier for every party involved. The figure to prevent or mitigate this instance is the CRO.

Nonetheless, hiring a Chief Revenue Officer requires a great investment. If a company has reached millions in revenue but the strategy that brought them from zero to a hundred is not working anymore, then the hire becomes an enticing proposition. The figure of CRO should be seen as the go-to person to accelerate revenue, a hybrid sales leader that possesses a combination of marketing, product, and operational skills. The person that can unlock the true revenue potential of the company.

How Much Should a CRO be paid?

The salary and benefits packages of a Chief Revenue Officer are dependent on many factors which include but are not limited to the size of the business, the industry, the growth stage of the company, and the type of products the company is producing.

Nevertheless, the expected salary can be allocated between €120,000 and €300,000 annually, with additional benefits such as private medical insurance, performance-related bonuses, and pension contributions as standard for this level of role. Generally, the compensation is highly dependent on the size of the company, a large global business will be closer to the top range, with an early-stage scale-up towards the lower end of the scale. It is not odd to find equity packages as compensation methods for smaller companies to make the position more appealing for the best candidates. It is also worth mentioning that if a company requires a CRO in a niche industry, the candidate will have negotiation power over the overall salary and benefits packages.

Key Attributes

A Chief Revenue Officer should also possess some key qualities that will make this figure stand out. One of the first qualities is the ability to execute and implement change within the organization, being a leader, and being able to see the strengths and weaknesses of a team and plan accordingly. Being passionate about the company’s mission is key, as well as being both a critical thinker but also have an energetic personality.

Due to the nature of the role, the figure of CRO needs to be a great communicator and a great listener.  Someone who can establish and maintain excellent relationships and credibility quickly. Naturally, maturity in character is extremely important, having a good balance of risk-taking and judgment traits is fundamental for the development of the revenue streams of a company. Finally, perhaps the most important attribute is the ability to have unquestionable integrity, credibility, and character. As a leader of teams, a CRO needs to embody the vision and passion of the company.

Storm5 is here for You

Storm5 has placed a large number of CROs in some of the world’s leading RetailTech and e-commerce companies, so get in contact with us today if you need skilled and experienced support.



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