drive growth, maximize revenue, sales team, marketing team, revenue goals

What Is a CRO?

January 09, 202410 min read

Your revenue is a powerful driver of business success. What is a CRO, and how can you structure your sales, marketing, and customer success teams for greatness? .


You might have heard of a CFO (Chief Financial Officer), but what about a CRO? What is a CRO exactly, and what role do these professionals play in helping businesses achieve revenue goals?

For companies looking to boost revenue and drive growth, the CRO, or Chief Revenue Officer, is becoming an increasingly important position in the C-suite. And it's no wonder why; traditional sales and marketing roles are evolving rapidly, and the CRO oversees various revenue-generating activities across multiple departments.

Simply put, in today's competitive market, having a skilled and strategic CRO can be the difference between success and failure. So, whether you're a business owner, executive, or simply curious, read on to learn an in-depth analysis of the Chief Revenue Officer role and the key skills, experiences, and responsibilities required to succeed in this crucial position.

drive growth, maximize revenue, sales team, marketing team, revenue goals

What is a CRO?

A CRO is responsible for increasing a company's revenue and profitability. They work alongside the CEO and top-level executives to develop and implement strategies to maximize revenue streams and drive growth.

But what exactly does a CRO do daily, and why are they so important? Let's break it down into a few key areas.

CRO Responsibilities

CROs are responsible for identifying new revenue streams, maximizing the value of existing revenue streams, and developing strategies to grow revenue over time. They collaborate with the sales, marketing, and customer success teams to ensure all revenue streams flow smoothly. 

Note that this is different than the responsibilities and skills needed of a CRO specialist. A CRO specialist, short for conversion rate optimization specialist, is tasked with enhancing online marketing strategies to optimize user experience, boost conversion rates, and increase overall engagement.

Some of the specific responsibilities of a Chief Revenue Officer might include:

  • Leading sales teams to maximize revenue from new and existing customers

  • Developing pricing strategies to optimize profitability

  • Collaborating with finance and other departments to forecast revenue and plan budgets

  • Identifying and mitigating revenue risk factors

In addition to overseeing the revenue-related functions of a business, the CRO is responsible for evaluating customer data and sales analytics to identify areas for growth and improvement. This means great CROs must deeply understand their customers' needs and how their company's products or services can help them solve their problems.

CRO Experience

Given a CRO's scope of responsibilities, it's no surprise that these positions require a lot of experience. Most CROs have a background in sales or marketing, and many have held other high-level executive positions in the past.

They must also be familiar with running a sales organization, including:

  • Managing a team of salespeople

  • Creating sales pipelines

  • Working with marketing to generate leads

CROs often come from roles such as VP of Sales, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Operating Officer, or even CEO. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the CRO position, making them perfect candidates for driving a company's revenue growth.

CRO Qualities

In addition to experience, successful CROs share certain invaluable qualities and traits in this position. Some of those qualities may include:

  • Strong leadership skills, including the ability to inspire teams and make tough decisions

  • The ability to think strategically and see the big picture

  • A data-driven mindset that allows them to make informed decisions based on market and performance data

  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, for collaborating with executive teams, sales teams, and others across the company

Furthermore, CROs must understand technology, including sales automation tools, CRM software, and marketing automation platforms. They must be able to leverage the latest technologies and data-driven techniques to discover new revenue growth opportunities.

CRO vs. VP of Sales

If you read through the list of responsibilities above and thought, "Hmm, that sounds a lot like an executive sales role," then you're definitely not alone. Many people confuse the two, and to understand the difference between a CRO and a VP of Sales, you need to delve into the nitty-gritty details of what each role entails.

A VP of Sales is mainly responsible for leading and managing the sales team, focusing on achieving revenue targets and closing deals. They're the ones who set sales targets, develop sales strategies, and lead the team towards meeting those goals.

On the other hand, a CRO is a relatively new role (comparatively) that's becoming increasingly important in today's business landscape. They're responsible for aligning all revenue-generating departments, including sales, marketing, and customer success, towards achieving the overall revenue goal.

This means they have to work closely with the VP of Sales and other departments that contribute towards revenue generation.

So, which is better for your business goals? Well, it all depends on what your business objectives are.

A VP of Sales is great if you want to focus solely on sales and achieving revenue targets. However, a CRO might be the better choice if you want to take a more holistic approach towards revenue generation and align multiple departments.

Ultimately, having a CRO can lead to better collaboration between departments and a more streamlined revenue generation process. But, a VP of Sales might be a more affordable option if you're a smaller business with a limited budget. It all comes down to understanding your business goals and needs before making a decision.

When to Hire a CRO

At their core, CROs are salespeople who know how to lead a team, optimize processes, and make data-driven decisions. But they're also strategic thinkers who can work across functions, collaborating with the marketing team to ensure that campaigns are driving revenue and that the sales team is capitalizing on those campaigns.

So, when does it make sense to hire a CRO? Here are three scenarios where a CRO could help transform your business.

Scenario 1: Hitting a Revenue Ceiling

Many businesses eventually hit a point where they struggle to grow. This is often because they've tapped out their existing customer base and haven't been able to find new ones.

A CRO can help identify new revenue streams and develop strategies to maximize sales in this situation. They can also help shape product offerings, pricing strategies, and distribution models to ensure the company stays competitive in the market.

Scenario 2: Scaling the Sales Team

Maybe your sales team is doing well, but you want to take them to the next level. A CRO can help:

  • Refine your sales process

  • Enable your sales reps through training programs

  • Build scalable systems that enable your sales team to succeed

By optimizing your sales team's efficiency, productivity, and impact, a good CRO can reduce your customer acquisition costs, improve sales cycle times, and ultimately help increase revenue.

Scenario 3: Aligning Sales and Marketing

Marketing teams focusing only on lead generation and sales teams focusing only on closing deals are missing out on a big opportunity to work together.

A CRO can help bridge the gap between the two teams, ensuring that marketing campaigns are optimized for revenue and that sales reps are presented with qualified leads. By coordinating sales and marketing efforts, they'll help maximize revenue and strengthen the company's positioning in the market.

How to Hire a CRO

With the question of "what is a CRO" answered and helpful information about what they do for businesses, you might consider hiring one for your own company now. Here are some tips to help you in your search.


The CRO role is strategic, so you'll want to hire someone with relevant experience. Look for candidates with experience in revenue management, sales, marketing, or business development. Specifically, you'll want someone with experience in your industry or a related field, as this will ensure that they understand the market and your customers' needs well.


When hiring and working with CROs, results matter. You want someone driven by results and has a proven track record of success, so look for candidates who can show that they've helped previous companies increase their revenue. If possible, ask for specific examples of their work and results better to understand their approach and success in the role.


A good CRO needs to work collaboratively with other departments, so look for someone with experience working across departments who can build bridges between teams. A good CRO needs to be able to work with the sales, marketing, and customer success departments to develop a comprehensive revenue strategy.


Marketing and sales have seen significant changes in recent years thanks to technological advancements. Look for a tech-savvy CRO candidate with a strong understanding of the latest technology trends. They should be able to implement new tools and platforms to improve your revenue results.

Company Values

Finally, finding the right CRO isn't just about evaluating their experience and skills. You need someone who fits in well with your company culture and vision and is aligned with your company's values. A CRO who understands and aligns with your company's values will be more committed to your company and work harder towards achieving the company's goals.

Most In-Demand CRO Skills

Speaking of skills, though, you will eventually need to ensure your CRO has the right skills to succeed on the job. These days, skills matter more than experience, which is why it's so important to test those skills before bringing a Chief Revenue Officer onto your team.

To be successful in this role, a CRO needs to possess a set of hard and soft skills that enable them to understand the market, foster collaboration among different departments, and think critically. So, as you start looking for the right professional to help you maximize business revenue, here are the most important hard and soft skills any great CRO should have.

Business Acumen

Business acumen is undoubtedly the most important skill for a CRO.

As revenue growth and profitability are directly tied to the overall business strategies, a CRO must understand the big picture and how each department contributes to the company's goals. They should be able to analyze the current business trends and market conditions to make informed decisions.

Additionally, they must develop relationships with other C-level executives both internally and externally to bring in more business.

Master Negotiation Skills

A CRO is responsible for ensuring the company gets the most out of every transaction, making negotiation a vital skill CROs must possess to maximize the revenue earned from each deal.

Negotiation expertise helps them close larger deals, acquire more customers, and gain a competitive edge in the market. Knowing the company's strengths and weaknesses is crucial for nailing down the best possible deal.

Analytical Mindset

The CRO must have a data-driven mindset to make informed decisions and set metrics-driven benchmarks for success. They should be able to analyze data and use it to identify opportunities for revenue growth.

Utilizing data to study customers' buying patterns can help a CRO make better decisions to enhance revenue growth and identify potential risks that damage the revenue streams. This means a good CRO must stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and competitors' tactics.

Communication and Leadership Skills

A CRO must have excellent communication and leadership skills to align all revenue-generating departments with the company's goals. They should be able to articulate a vision that all the stakeholders can get behind.

It's not just about others in the C-suite, though. A good CRO should inspire and motivate their teams to meet or exceed their aggressive sales and revenue growth targets. They should also ensure every department knows its role and how it fits into the business plan.

It's helpful if they can use those communication skills to ensure customers are happy, too. They should be able to identify the customer's pain points and understand their requirements to develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with customers.

How to Boost Sales Without a CRO

While the answer to "what is a CRO" might be clear, what if you don't have the resources to bring one onto your team? 

Leedly is a great, cost-effective solution that allows you to reach leads across multiple channels, increasing your response rate by up to 80%. Leedly also books appointments for you and gives you insights into your campaigns and team's performance.

Ready to maximize revenue and drive growth? Save time and increase your bottom line with Leedly. Schedule a demo to see how it works!

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