CRO: Chief Revenue Officer


CRO: Chief Revenue Officer

"It's raining projects. Great ones. So many that I need to start cloning the Product Team."

  • Maintain impeccable documentation around deals so that the Product Team can have a smooth handover. Map everything you sell to one or more "Activities". Each Activity should include at least:

    • customer details

    • billing preferences (email vs post), and any potential purchase order numbers

    • appropriately detailed summary of scope

    • budget, billable amounts, payment milestones and conditions attached

    • main POC (point of contact) on the customer side

    • AE responsible for the deal

    • lead source

    • cost center for accounting

  • You aren't involved in billing, so you don't need to inform the HoF of anything. The PMs are responsible for that. Just make sure that your deliverable has the appropriate information attached to it so that the PMs can pass it on to the HoF when needed. See Customer Invoicing Protocol to see what the HoF will need on the deliverable for billing purposes (it's more than just the above).

  • Involve the PM Group in the sales process so that the Sales Team sells realistic projects. You will need the HoP to approve your project, so work with the Product Team to establish a realistic budget and timeline taking into account available resources. Don't just wing it and pull numbers out of thin air.

  • Minimise risk when selling projects. Prefer T&M based engagements.

  • Ensure that there is a smooth handover to the Product Team. The PM must demonstrate to the customer that they deserve to be their new main point of contact. Litmus test for a smooth handover: the customer doesn't miss the sales guy.

  • Communicate the quality level of expectations for the project to the Product Team. Is this a quick and dirty project, or should we build a masterpiece?

  • Tell the HoP what the customer "credit rating" is when handing over a project. If there is a risk of default on payment, or the customer is a slow payer, give this information to the HoP so that they can provide realistic payment estimates to the HoF.

  • Tell the customer who our main POC will be after handover to the Product Team.

  • You must seek approval for deals from the HoP. They have the responsibility of reviewing and accepting deals.

  • Support the Product Team with upsells that may need more sales legwork.

  • Ensure that the Product Team is informed about project financials and payment milestones when handing over a project. You are encouraged to create a standard process for this.

  • Make sure that any necessary contracts or framework agreements are signed for all new projects and in place before the project starts.

  • Sell projects in such a way that the Product Team is happy to deliver the project. Don't sell turds. A turd would be something where the budget is unrealistic, or the timeline would drive the Product Team mad, or the technology will make the engineers unhappy, or the management of the customer is set up to make the project fail, or the customer has unreasonable expectations.

  • Sell projects with healthy payment milestones that are good for our cashflow. No 60 day billing targets.

  • Your job is to convince the potential customer that we are a good partner. Remember that the HoP is responsible for providing you with a realistic price and timeline estimate. Don't make something up and then impose it on the Product Team, rather negotiate with the HoP until you can both live with it.

  • Ensure that the customer is understood, and that we find out what is important to them. Is it safety, performance, analytics, etc.? This information is crucial for the Product Team to succeed, so collect it and make sure they get it. You need to collect enough information so that you can draw the "mountain graph" of the project for the PM taking over the project.

  • Ascertain the level of software engineering competence on the customer side, and inform the HoP about this so that they can pick the appropriate process for the project.

  • Design appropriate targets for the Sales Team. Make sure these are tracked.

  • Hold the Sales Team accountable for hitting their targets.

  • Ensure that VIP Guest Etiquette is followed.

  • Approve all spending of the Sales Team. At the end of each quarter, present to Management a breakdown of spending and provide justification. Slice this spending by:

    • activity type (flights, car hires, dining, etc.)

    • AE

    • prospect

  • Provide to Management a monthly report containing:

    • Number of leads that were promoted to SQL

    • Probability adjusted revenue projections

    • Current close rate for each AE

  • Establish, maintain and enforce a sales process. Constantly be tweaking this.

  • Ensure that the Sales Team has the best software tools available and that these are working well. You may delegate the work to whomever you see fit, but you are ultimately responsible for this.

  • Design Sales Team compensation packages and submit changes to it to Management for approval.

  • Design an external commission scheme. Make sure that it is not better than the internal Sales Team compensation scheme. You are responsible for informing the HoF when external sales commissions should be paid out.

  • Establish and maintain relationships with key strategic partners. Build new such relationships.

  • Own the "first impression" experience of visiting our offices.




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