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The RevOps Career Path to CRO

A CRO with RevOps experience can bring valuable insights and strategies to improve sales processes, enhance customer experience, and maximize revenue generation.

The RevOps Career Path to CRO

A CRO with RevOps experience can bring valuable insights and strategies to improve sales processes, enhance customer experience, and maximize revenue generation.
The most common entry point to a Chief Revenue Officer role is someone with sales leadership experience. However, with the elevation of revenue operations to that of a strategic function with executive visibility, RevOps leaders are worthwhile contenders for the CRO ring.

RevOps Strengths

Here are some potential advantages of hiring a CRO with a revenue operations background:

  1. End-to-end Operational Scope: A CRO with well-rounded RevOps experience understands how different departments, such as sales, marketing, and customer success, interact and impact revenue. They can align these functions to work cohesively towards revenue goals, in contrast to many CROs who come from a sales-only domain and lack this experience.
  2. Strategy Expertise: CROs are expected to be strategic decision-makers who can plan and orchestrate revenue delivery over people, process and systems, identify emerging issues or opportunities, and drive agile response as necessary. RevOps leaders have direct hands-on experience with the design, implementation, and execution of the GTM strategy including budgeting, forecasting, ICP modeling, hiring and commissions.
  3. Data-Driven Approach: Revenue operations heavily relies on data analysis and metrics to flag issues, identify underperforming cohorts, and make informed decisions on remediation. A CRO with RevOps background is much more likely to ask the right questions, pursue data-driven 360-degree analysis and drive strategic improvement initiatives across all GTM operations.
  4. Process Optimizer: RevOps professionals specialize in optimizing sales, marketing and CS processes, implementing best practices, automation tools, and improving overall operational efficiency. A CRO with this expertise can introduce best practices, standardized workflows, and effective systems to enhance the revenue generation process and ensure scalability.
  5. Cross-Functional Collaborator: RevOps encourages collaboration among different teams, fostering better communication and shared goals. A CRO with experience in revenue operations will inherently be a better facilitator for cross-functional collaboration, breaking down silos and driving synergy between sales, marketing, customer success, as well as with other important stakeholders in finance and product.
  6. Adaptability and Change Management: RevOps leaders are skilled at managing change and chaos throughout the revenue org whether it is dealing with radical strategy shifts, restaffing, or modifications to processes or tech stack. This kind of in-the-trenches experience can be very useful to them in the capacity of the CRO.

RevOps Skills Gaps

For a revenue operations (RevOps) leader aspiring to become a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), there are certain skills gaps they may need to address to transition successfully. Here are some key areas where skill development might be beneficial:

  1. Leadership and Team Management: As a senior executive, a CRO needs excellent leadership and management skills to guide and inspire their large org. This includes providing clear direction, setting goals, fostering a collaborative environment, and motivating employees to achieve targets. RevOps leaders who have not ‘carried a bag’ need to be comfortable in hiring, managing and coaching specialists in sales and CS.
  2. Executive Communication Skills: CROs need to develop excellent communication and story-telling skills tailored to board-level or executive-level discussions. RevOps leaders should practice conveying complex revenue insights, strategic plans, and financial performance to people outside the revenue function in a concise, influential, and compelling manner.
  3. External Relationship Management: CROs frequently engage in business development initiatives and strategic partnerships to create new revenue opportunities or close existing ones. RevOps leaders aspiring to become CROs should focus on cultivating skills related to building relationships with external stakeholders, negotiating deals, and building partnerships.
  4. Overall Business Operations: While RevOps leaders have a deep understanding of revenue-related functions, aspiring CROs should broaden their knowledge of overall business operations. Gaining familiarity with areas such as product development, supply chain management, customer experience, and market expansion will help them provide strategic guidance that encompasses the entire organization. This also applies to other first-time CROs with a sales management background.

As with any upward move, incoming CROs without prior experience in the role are likely to face a certain level of ‘imposter syndrome’ in the first few months of taking on the role. By working to close the aforementioned skill gaps, they will be better positioned to operate from a position of strength due to their RevOps background rather than a position of weakness from inexperience.

BigLittle Is THE Co-Pilot for Data-Driven CROs

We’ve built BigLittle RevenUp for CROs and RevOps leaders. By working at a level above the operational GTM tools across sales, marketing and CS, BigLittle helps CROs gain better visibility into the inner workings of their revenue engine, as well as the detection and remediation of revenue leaks across all GTM operations including marketing, sales, customer success, product and finance. RevenUp can drive improvements of upto 15% in ARR!

Talk to us to learn more about how RevenUp can help you outperform as a CRO.

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