CEO, CFO & CRO Recruiters

      20 Chief Revenue Officer Interview Questions

      By Ash Wendt, President Cowen Partners Executive Search

      The chief revenue officer (CRO) is an executive-level position responsible for overseeing the revenue-generating functions of a business. Specifically, CRO responsibilities typically include sales, marketing, operations, and partnership strategies.

      A CRO leverages the power of both sales and marketing to optimize the customer experience and ultimately drives business growth. By working closely with these two key departments, the CRO can align a company’s revenue-generating strategies so your business message is clear and effective. 

      Chief Revenue Officer vs Chief Financial Officer (CRO vs CFO)

      The CRO reports to the CFO, in most companies, to ensure revenue goals are being met and financial strategies are aligning. In addition to working closely with the chief financial officer, the chief revenue officer also works with department heads.

      From this brief description, it’s clear a CRO can play a pivotal role within a company. If your business is ready to start interviewing candidates for the role, make sure your team is prepared with the right interview questions.  

      20 CRO Interview Questions: How to Hire a Chief Revenue Officer

      A CRO can push forward your company’s growth initiative and help your business achieve results. Finding the right candidate for the job, however, takes time and thought. You need a CRO who can implement a scalable revenue pipeline, but a scalable sales strategy isn’t the only function of a CRO. You also need someone who can build a top-performing team to successfully implement your company’s business strategy.

      We’ve compiled a list of important CRO interview questions you can use to help you sift through qualifying CRO candidates. These 20 questions will provide insight into the CRO candidate’s experience as well as highlight their top qualities.  

      1. Before we start, do you have any questions I can answer?
      2. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure?
      3. What field/ industry experience do you have as a Chief Revenue Officer/ VP Sales
      4. What professional development have you pursued in the last year?
      5. What would you like me to know about you?
      6. Why do you believe we should hire you?
      7. What knowledge do you have about the company/ product/ service?
      8. Why are you leaving your last job?
      9. Tell us about some of your deliverables in your last positions
      10. Are there any key metrics or goals you were held to?
      11. What do you consider to be your best strength?
      12. What do you consider to be your biggest weakness?
      13. How do you manage others?
      14. Tell me about the teams you have managed in the past
      15. What do you see yourself doing in five years?
      16. What are your salary expectations? Salary, not total compensation
      17. What total compensation are you accustomed to?
      18. How have you been bonused/ commissioned in the past?
      19. What metrics were tied to your bonus/ commission?
      20. Did you achieve those goals? Quarterly, annually? Why/ Why Not?

      Take a Deeper Dive into CRO Recruitment Topics

      You can also get answers and information right now from one of the nation’s top sales executive recruiters.

      The Best Sales Recruiting Firms | B2B Sales Executive Recruiters | Cowen Partners

      CRO Recruitment: How We Find the Right Sales Leaders

      Placing sales leaders that generate results means asking the right questions. That’s why every sales executive recruiter at Cowen Partners does a deep dive into each candidate’s history and experience. Shedding more light on our approach, we’ve shared the key questions our sales executive recruiters use to start conversations, along with what we look for in candidates’ answers, to find the right fit for your role.

      1. What is the difference between your prior company and this new one? How would these differences cause you to update your sales methodologies?

      You want your sales leader to adapt their experience to your market. Asking them to explain how they’d adjust to the change in the market, we can see:

      • How they’ll use their experience to develop new methods
      • If they will rely on old ones not fit to your needs
      • Whether they have the right experience in terms of software, methods, and best practices for your industry, regardless of whether you are in industries like (but not limited to) CPG and manufacturing, sports and entertainment, real estate, or private equity

      2. What do you look for when hiring salespeople?

      Every market is different. That means you can’t hire the same salesperson for every type of company. This question lets us see if your candidate will adapt to your needs or settle for hiring what they already know and are comfortable with.

      3. How will you structure a compensation plan to fit the business’s needs?

      Your leader will need to structure the sales team’s compensation plan. You want a sales leader who can set standards that match company expectations with what you plan to offer. This question lets us find if a candidate will do what they’ve done before or if they’ll structure the sales process and strategies to fit your demands and needs.

      Fundamental Qualities for In Sales Executives

      Great sales executives all share key traits. Here’s what we look for to identify not only those key traits, but what type of culture and company their talent is fit for. 

      • 10 years total successful sales experience in the XYZ space
      • Experience Hunter with Enterprise level SaaS software sales experience, with emphasis on a Challenger approach to growing existing accounts and opening new buying centers
      • Proven track record of delivering high-quality results in a timely manner, including consecutively exceeding past sales quotas
      • Deep understanding of multiple facets of retailer, agency and consumer products with prior experience selling into marketing, shopper and/or consumer insights
      • Deep knowledge base of the sales process with the ability to engage senior-level executives in strategic meetings to ensure top-down alignment regarding strategy and objectives
      • Skilled at building and managing customer relationships, including stakeholder management
      • Strong oral, written, and presentation skills
      • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree (preferred)
      • Able to travel up to 50%

      Fundamental Qualities for a Top Demand Generation Executive

      Finding the right demand generation executive means asking the right questions. Here are the demand gen interview questions we use when building your candidate list. We’re sharing these so you understand what our demand generation recruiters consider as we create your candidate list. We invite you to review and use them as you are searching for and screening your next demand generation executive. 

      Beyond those interview questions, here are some key qualities our demand generation recruiters look for to find the top 1% of talent for our clients: 

      • Plan and execute end-to-end demand generation programs, including (but are not limited to) webinars, emails, nurtures, paid media & content syndication
      • Develop and execute innovative, multi-channel campaigns to drive enterprise MQLs and sales pipelines
      • Closely monitor conversion rates and optimize campaigns at each stage
      • Manage agency and contractor relationships, expectations, and budgets
      • Develop a comprehensive marketing plan to drive net new prospects to a large-scale digital conference. Communicate internally to the business on progress and results, and support project management to execute conferences and provide a delightful experience to prospects and existing customers.
      • Own the customer webinar program by partnering closely with product marketing and sales
      • Provide a stage for customers to share their stories, ensure that customers have a seamless experience, and communicate progress and results to internal teams
      • Partner with SDR team to ensure quality lead delivery and proper follow-up according to established SLAs. Build a consistent feedback loop and continuously improve and optimize lead hand-off processes in conjunction with the Marketing Operations team
      • Own campaign strategy and implementation plans with execution support from web, design, and field marketing teams

      B2B Sales Executive Recruiters | B2B Demand Generation Recruiters


      Our hands-on sales executive recruiters have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEOChief Operating Officer, CHRO, Chief Financial Officer, CMO, and include vice president sales and marketing, general counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.

      Check out our industry-leading retained search resources to see why Cowen Partners is a top sales and marketing executive search firm in New York CityAnchorage, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond:

      Cowen Partners Executive search provides CRO recruitment services to all major and minor industries including:

      Accounting, Advertising, Aerospace & Defense, Biotechnology, Banking, Board and CEO Services, Computer Hardware, Construction, Consulting, Consumer Products, Computer Software and Hardware, Education, Energy & Utilities, Entertainment & Sports, Finance, Financial Services, Food Products, Government, Human Resources, Health Care, Hospitality & Tourism, Insurance, Industrial, Internet & New Media, Legal, Journalism & Publishing, Marketing, Manufacturing, Medical Device, Non-Profit, Pharmaceutical, Real Estate, Retail & Apparel, Sales, Technology, Telecommunications and Transportation.

      Get in Touch.

      Fill out the email request form to learn more about our approach.

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