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      Chief Revenue Officer: Job Description and Responsibilities

      Ash Wendt, President of Cowen Partners Executive Search
      Ash Wendt, President

      Companies are evolving to aim for greater and sustained revenue growth, focusing on revenue creation, and capitalizing on opportunities created by digital services and products, which has made hiring the right Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) one of the most critical hires a company can make.

      As the CRO role grows in popularity, it’s important to understand not only the attributes and experience needed, but also how the responsibilities and job description may be nuanced by industry, company size, and other factors.

      What Does A CRO Do?

      Before we determine who to hire, it’s important we understand what a CRO’s objective is and what they do.

      The CRO aligns and optimizes the entire customer experience with the aim of increasing revenue. They have a long-term perspective, understand and embrace the differences between sales and marketing, and streamline how these departments work together.

      They remove defects and improve cohesion between departments by placing the right tools, metrics, and strategies in place that will have a significant impact on revenue growth. In short, the Chief Revenue Officer is responsible for all activities that generate revenue by integrating and aligning marketing, sales, customer support, pricing, and revenue management.

      CRO Skills & Background: Unique Experience Needed

      CRO Job Description | CRO Recruiters

      Since a keen understanding of multiple teams and their functions is required to be an effective CRO, assigning this role to the wrong person can have substantial consequences. More than just an expanded role for the VP of Sales, a high-level, disciplined, and strategic vision is favorable over the short-term horizon usually embraced by sales leaders.

      Sales leadership is, however, a “must-have” in the toolkit of a CRO. The position was originally popularized by Silicon Valley companies that had CEOs with product and engineering backgrounds but needed forward-thinking sales leaders to translate initial traction into lasting revenue growth. The CRO has their finger on the pulse of revenue growth across departments, identifies activities that lead to revenue growth — namely, sales and marketing — and brings them together.

      Primary objectives and responsibilities can vary depending on the size of company. Large company CROs should have a track-record of successfully scaling revenues, building lasting C-level relationships at Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies, and managing large sales teams. At smaller companies and startups, the CRO should be an expert in leading rapid revenue growth.

      Regardless of company size, the Chief Revenue Officer will:

      • Oversee channel and partner development, adding new and profitable sales channels, partners, and resellers
      • Evangelize the company at industry events
      • Skillfully negotiate contracts
      • Actively participate in strategic business unit planning to develop accurate projections for budgets
      • Establish and refine strategies to analyze sales performance

      The CRO will also have extensive marketing experience and a deep understanding of cross-channel marketingnative advertising, and programmatic advertising. They will remain up-to-date on the latest trends in advertising, and how these trends may be leveraged for revenue growth.

      Chief Revenue Officer Job Description: Personality Traits of Effective CROs

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      Character attributes are subjective, but an effective CRO should have most, if not all, of the following personality traits:

      • High integrity: strong moral and ethical principles.
      • Natural leader: motivational and energetic, with a high emotional intelligence.
      • Critical thinker: objective analysis of an issue in order to form a judgment.
      • Goal oriented: driven by purpose.
      • Self starter: compelled to take action without being told to or encouraged by others.
      • High business acumen: quickness in understanding and dealing with business situations.
      • Maturity: awareness of how to behave and knowing when to act, according to circumstances.

      Chief Revenue Officer Salary & Total Compensation

      Chief Revenue Officer salaries vary greatly by location, years of experience, company size, maturity of company, required skills, and additional compensation (bonuses, profit sharing, etc.).

      At the time of this writing, Payscale lists the “Average Chief Revenue Officer Salary” at $191,132, while Glassdoor has the average salary at $240,590. LinkedIn Salaries says the median CRO salary is $200K, with a total compensation of $345K including stock options, commissions, and bonuses.

      For a Chief Revenue Officer job description example, or to help determine if your company needs a CRO, please visit the Cowen Partners Executive Search website.

      Cowen Partners has a strong record of identifying and recruiting executive-level talent for our clients. Contact us if you would like to discuss recruiting your next Chief Revenue Officer, VP of Sales, or Individual Contributor.

      B2B Sales Executive Recruiters | B2B Demand Generation Recruiters | Cowen Partners


      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 OfficerChief Financial Officer, and include vice presidentgeneral 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 City, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond:

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