5 Reasons there is NO CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) without “Revenue Science”

Rick McPartlin

When something is new and cool lots want to climb on board and say LOOK “me too.”

CRO is one of those terms that has caught on. Some excellent companies like Twitter, Marketo, University Health System, Policy Works and Gravity4 have CROs along with thousands of firms you never heard of. You can find online CRO compensation and job availability as easily as you can for a CIO or CFO.

The CRO title has arrived and is mainstream.

What has lagged is awareness of exactly why there is a CRO, how they approach their job and what exactly do you hold them accountable for. Too often it is assumed they are a combination of VP Marketing and Sales, which is not true. Almost never is there a recognition of the difference between the person granted the title in the hope the title helps and the professional (a professional is characterized by or conforming to the technical and ethical standards of a profession) CRO who applies “Revenue Science” and Revenue Principles in a disciplined way to create predictable growth in sales and revenue.

Without “Revenue Science” every CRO has to hope to learn the right things, at the right time and to deploy them in the right way (good luck with that). Additionally, without a common set of CRO principles there can be no true trust between the CRO staff, customers or partners.

Let’s look that the 5 reasons “Revenue Science” is required for a professional CRO:

1. A Revenue Strategy is the foundation for a person or organization. Answering the 5 Revenue Strategy questions give every person in the company, partners and customers a way to align, focus resources, and make decisions (large or small). Just having this alignment alone reduces waste, encourages the right staff, partners and customers while increasing sales margin and topline.

2. The Revenue RoadMap clarifies the dependency between the 3 major revenue functions Gold (marketing functions) Blue (selling functions) and Red (delivery functions). NO function can perform at a higher level than the other functions support. The Revenue RoadMap sets metrics (behavioral metrics) for each element and across all 3 functions to achieve the greatest organization wide levels of profitable revenue based on resources available to the organization.

3. The True North is the real-time alignment of field deployment to the Revenue Strategy. The clearer the True North the less time any person in the organization, any customer (current or perspective) or partner spends on things that don’t contribute to achieving the strategic goals. A clear True North draws the line and things that are below the line are those things we say a polite NO to with the explanation of the difference between what you don’t do and what you are committed to doing as the best in the world.

4. The BellCurve, The Revenue Game Message Model, Joint SOW, “Cost per Sales Hour” and other tools to provide the context for “Revenue Science” diagnosis of any challenge or opportunity. Based on the diagnosis “Revenue Science” makes those things “not to do” VERY CLEAR and the rest predictable. Deployment without science based diagnosis and predictable tools is what is called a strategy based in hope.

5. CRO formal and Revenue Resources Required to make everything measurable not just by behaviors in the market but by financial leverage. The diagnostic “Revenue Science” tools both apply to current challenges or opportunities as well forward looking choices to be made. It is the combination of activities, outcomes and financial leverage that remove subjective and gut from “Revenue Generation” decisions. In addition to making decisions objective it makes the various possible decisions comparable using the leverage measure, which can be applied to short-term and long-term comparisons.

Without a Revenue Strategy every decision every person on the team makes can be considered right and the overall results will be wrong.

With a Revenue Strategy comes a deployment plan and Revenue RoadMap. The Revenue RoadMap is based on behavioral metrics (suspects have to behave in a certain way to become prospects, prospects have to behave in a certain way to become qualified prospects and so on) and deployment has required functions. It is the continuous improvement of the deployment to achieve higher value behavioral outcomes that make “Revenue Generation” predictable.

Humans need to be able to visualize and share a company’s strategy and deployment. The fact a True North makes an organization’s direction clear and actionable. The True North helps the organization reach the True North and what moves everything going the wrong direction off the path.

“Revenue Science” has a library of tools for diagnosis and deployment as well as best practices, metrics and the principles to keep everything and everyone aligned to the goals and cultural values.

Lastly “Revenue Science” is a science. There are decisions and actions that move a company toward the True North and others move the company away. Examples of financial metrics which measure the value being delivered and embraced by the market (embraced means they will pay you for the value they receive) are the “Cost of Chaos” to produce revenue and the amount of leverage achieved from any resource committed to the market.

Real CROs are certified in “Revenue Science.” Anyone who claims to be a CRO or “Revenue Generation” professional without certification is risky and likely only interested in generating revenue for themselves.


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