A question that comes up frequently for us when working with high growth companies, especially in retail, is how to structure hires focused on sales and revenue, including the following titles:
When our clients are considering hiring any of the above roles, they also want to know how those roles potentially interact. Further, is one more important than the others?
In this article, we look at the fine differences, and how they can impact your organization.
How Sales, E-Commerce and Revenue Management Interact
The growth of e-commerce has changed the equation in hiring. Traditionally in consumer-facing businesses, like luxury retail, the role of sales was important in establishing relationships with department stores, managing accounts, regions and territories.
These day, even within industries like luxury watches and jewelry, where retail locations have been important, the most forward-facing companies are thinking of innovative ways of using e-commerce. That means that having C-suite executives that are able to do sophisticated revenue management and data analysis has become even more important.
The Pitfalls of Splitting Sales and E-Commerce
Retailers are finding that there are pitfalls to completely splitting their retail and online operations.
Consider the case of Macy’s, which is facing pressure from investors to split the physical store operations and the online presence. In a recent call with investors, Macy’s Chief Executive Jeff Gennette gave several reasons for keeping the business unified, including:
- high separation costs and the expense of running two businesses
- diluting the brand and deterring customer loyalty
What is a Chief Revenue Officer?
A chief revenue officer (CRO) takes the responsibility of overseeing all of the revenue generation processes in an organization. CROs further work to integrate all revenue-related functions within an organization, including marketing, sales and customer support.
Mastering Omnichannel Sales
CROs can be particularly helpful in mastering omnichannel sales, which nowadays includes the following:
- Social selling
- Direct-to-consumer marketing
- Developing retail “experiences”
- Distribution management (for example, placement in hotels and spas)
How a Chief Revenue Office Interacts with Marketing and Sales
Chief Marketing Officers have long been seen as a bedrock part of any consumer or business-facing organization. They craft marketing plans, oversee advertising, crunch numbers and analyze their success rate.
Chief of Sales oversee the sales force, make forecasts and meet targets.
Chief Revenue Officers can often be used to bridge silos between marketing and sales, along with:
- Combining a data-backed strategic focus with numbers provided by marketing and sales
- Bottom-line thinking
- Partnerships and growth hacking
- Extracting the most value of out of each line of business
How to hire an effective Chief Revenue Officer
When looking for an effective CRO, some of the things we consider are:
- Entrepreneurial qualities: can this person do more than just look for more revenue and can they create new opportunities and markets?
- Business acumen: a successful CRO has the ability to analyze balance sheet, create strategic road maps, understand market positioning and communicate all of this to every important individual in the org chart.
- Data-driven: A great CRO is always numbers-minded, able to harness data to craft better plans and exceed prior benchmarks.
- Results-oriented: We look for candidates who can deliver results but also take ownership for tactical issues in the short term as well as long-term planning.
Need more helping in hiring any of the above positions? Contact us for help.