Why You Need a Chief Revenue Officer

A number of well-known fast growing companies have created the title of chief revenue officer ("CRO") as part of their executive team.  The CRO is charged with ensuring that the company remains focused on identifying and exploiting all potential revenue streams for the company's products, services and other core competencies (e.g., technology).  In order to accomplish this task the CRO must be given authority to intervene in and oversee the activities of several different departments, each of which will also have its own executive and top management group, including product development, sales, marketing and customer service.  The CRO should be involved in every major new business development project and should have a say in which customers receive top priority and when and how the company sacrifices profitability in order to increase revenues, market share and customer loyalty.  For example, the CRO should commission the research necessary to determine which customers have the highest potential for long-term revenue growth and should work with various functional departments such as sales and customer service to make sure that those customers are serviced properly.  The CRO should also decide whether it is worth pursuing a new sales channel through a discounting strategy that may reduce margins in the short-term yet expose the company and its products to a whole new group of customers.  Obviously the CRO must be highly effective in creating and managing cross-functional teams and reconciling the divergent views of managers in different departments.  It is also essential for the company to provide real incentives for senior managers of departments such as sales and marketing to follow the direction established by the CRO.


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