Selling the Cloud

Growth of the Chief Revenue Officer with Warren Zenna, Founder and CEO of The CRO Collective

November 02, 2021 Ray Rike
Selling the Cloud
Growth of the Chief Revenue Officer with Warren Zenna, Founder and CEO of The CRO Collective
Show Notes

The Chief Revenue Officer title is growing in popularity across the B2B Cloud industry.  Is the CRO a new role in companies, or just a fancy new "C-Level" title for the head of sales?

Warren Zenna has recently launched "The CRO Collective" to educate and inform CEOs, first-time CROs, and aspiring CROs on the role of the Chief Revenue Officer.

Warren identified that the CRO role was often being mispositioned within a company and too often ending in failure.  His goal is to help hire, onboard and enable first-time CROs to be successful.

The desire to found and lead his own company, not work for a big company, and passion to leverage his own leadership experiences across marketing, sales, and customer success to help fellow revenue leaders who aspire to become CROs.  When Warren shared his vision to advise and assist CRO's and the CEOs who hire them to find success, he was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming confirmation that this was a much-needed service.

The traditional customer acquisition and expansion models are not performing well in concert with the evolving customer buying journey.  Traditional metrics that are siloed within marketing or sales or customer do not provide valuable insights into the entire customer journey. Moreover, the siloed nature of these three different departments is not in alignment with the need to provide each potential buyer and then customer a consistent customer experience across the entire lifecycle.

How can a head of sales develop the experiences and competency in marketing to become an effective CRO?  Warren's path started with selling marketing services and solutions to CMOs. This experience allowed him to apply the practice of enterprise sales directly to impact and improve marketing ROI.  After thousands of conversations and deal cycles with marketing departments and executives, he had built the foundation to include marketing into his responsibilities as he advanced his career.

When asked if we invest too much time on internal processes versus the external customer experience, Warren responded with three reasons this is the case:

1. Venture Capital money comes with expectations that are primarily focused on revenue growth and not necessarily customer the short term.  This heightened focus on growth often affects the priorities and focus

2.  Most CROs come from a sales background, and their experience is often far too focused on "closing new customers" and not on the longer-term customer satisfaction or the skills required to create brand awareness and/or target buyer engagement

3.  When companies have three separate departments focused on specific phases of the customer journey, no one owns the customer experience across their entire journey.

So what does the "CRO Collective" do?  There are three unique components to the CRO Collective members:

1.  Advisory services to CEOs considering the introduction of the first CRO role
2.  Advisory services to first time CROs as they maneuver through their first CRO role
3. Educational services to aspiring CRO candidates

If your company is considering introducing a CRO role or you are a sales, marketing, or customer success professional that aspires to become a CRO, this conversation with Warren Zenna and the CRO Collective is a great listen.