We kicked off our 2021 event calendar last week in style with the virtual Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) Summit.
16 revenue leaders from the likes of ZoomInfo, ShipBob, Highspot, Motus and SalesHood, filled one action-packed day with real-world stories about their journeys to success, and gave actionable, no-BS advice in live Q&As.
We didn’t want you to miss a single thing so take a tour through our highlights (there were a LOT of options) from each of the day’s talks.
Data is power
Saima Shaukat, Chief Revenue Officer, ATP
Saima shared best practices on connecting systems and processes to make insightful and strategic data-driven decisions in the revenue organization.
“Analytics-driven organizations take a lot of cultural change. It takes a combination of people, processes, and technology.
“The really important part about creating the end state is you might not have something that's perfect, but you have to fail fast, which means you have to get started."
How to Navigate and Lead Through Change
Paul Rosen, Chief Revenue Officer, ShipBob
Resilience is an essential attribute for all companies argues Paul. His talk explored why the ability to ‘bounce back’ after turbulence or change can make or break a business, and how periods of change are defined by leadership.
“There may seem like some situations are insurmountable but if you break down your challenges into mini, bite-sized opportunities and levers they can compound on each other, and you can make big things happen.”
The Role of the CRO - How is it Different to Traditional Sales Leadership?
David Satterwhite, Chief Revenue Officer, UserTesting
David’s talk focused on defining the role of a CRO and the need for developing the right culture to support it.
“The CRO is responsible for everything in the company that impacts consistent growth and retention of revenue, whether it reports to him/her or not.
“The CRO’s job and, especially as it's contrasted with the traditional Head of Sales or VP of Sales, is the ‘big picture’. It's a 360 degree view. It's the whole machine and all the levers that drive growth for a business.”
Architecting Future-Forward Partner Growth
Dan Costello, Chief Revenue Officer & SVP of Innovation, Phoenix Suns
Dan took us through the process of designing a partner matrix in the digital age.
“We really focused on trying to find a partner that would add a deeper meaning to our community but also helped us visualize our business in the future. We started looking at this idea of merging categories and tried to figure out what partners in these specific areas would align with our brand.”
New Product Launch and Sales Enablement In 3 Weeks: A Pandemic Response
JD Miller, Chief Revenue Officer, Motus
JD discussed the data, dashboards, and processes that enabled Motus to grow their pipeline by 18% after creating and launching a new product to market in the middle of a pandemic.
“Responding to the market with data and compassion isn’t just for pandemic times, it’s a strategy we should use at all times. It may have taken Covid to force us to be explicit about our practices and what we were doing. But they were there all along.”
How Motus negotiated with customers post-Covid
How CROs will exceed 2021 Revenue Targets by Mastering Sales Enablement
Elay Cohen, CEO & Founder, SalesHood
Elay Cohen played a major role in the hyper-growth of Salesforce and he continued to make waves when he co-founded SalesHood.
“When companies roll out programs, whether it’s a new product launch, whether it’s training, whatever it is, they tend to just roll it out and communicate it and assume their people understand. But your sales team haven’t embraced, practiced and applied what they need to know to be successful and deliver a great buyer experience until they can actually show you themselves.”
Elay's method of replicating top performer successes at scale
Panel Discussion: Navigating Uncertainty and Building a Culture of Resilience
Stephen Defina, Clearbanc; Maria Green Danell, Peltarion; Debra Senra, Hireology; Stephen de Blanche, TransUnion; and Phil Felice; Orchard
Key takeaways from the discussion:
"Uncertainty is acknowledging that the plan you have today will not work for tomorrow. When that happens it is key for leaders to embrace the terrifying feeling about ‘what’ their next move is, and sharing that with their team in a very raw approach. They need your honesty in a time of uncertainty, and it is also important for them to know you are not a character from the Marvel Universe.”
“Don’t train out the skillset of active listening to customers by being too prescriptive with playbook training and trying to pre-empt customer’s response - you’re going to come across as trying to sell rather than trying to help.”
“Keep your team healthy, happy and ready to work. Keep the human element and the sense of belonging with themed activities like cooking contests, virtual charity events, and online personal training.”
Building a Scalable Revenue Engine
Steve Hallowell, VP, Strategic Services, Highspot
Consistent team performance is the key to navigating inevitable change with a revenue engine that runs full throttle, was the message behind Steve’s presentation.
“The keys to consistency, the keys to building that scalable revenue engine are to define what you want your team to do. And then help your teams to master those winning behaviors. Far too many companies go halfway on both of these, and then they wonder why they can't scale.”
Steve’s 5-step plan to mastering consistency
Why Your Company is not CRO-Ready
Warren Zenna, Founder, The CRO Collective
Warren shared his insight on the real role of a CRO and the risks that come with not properly preparing your organization.
“The issue right now is that the sales, marketing and customer success across organizations aren’t aligned, and it’s a problem lots of B2B CROs don’t make a priority. Most CROs don’t understand or appreciate the enormous bottom-line potential of having an aligned organization and they also don’t know what the costs are of having a misaligned one, and they’re huge.”
Fireside Chat: Flipping the Script with a Remote Team
David Simon, Chief Revenue Officer, Fyber & Elay Cohen, SalesHood
Chatting to Elay, David discussed how he keeps the sales team focus aligned with that of the whole company.
“We create not just individual goals but also company goals that are measured and tracked every day. So when the board and the C-suites sit down and write the budget for the year and the quarterly forecasts, the revenue team takes down those numbers and breaks them down into monthly, weekly and daily numbers.”
The Challenges And Opportunities of Creating a Fact-Based Sales Decision Support System - Using High Quality Data
Steven Byerton, VP of Sales at ZoomInfo & John LaMancuso, Managing Director at Revenue Vision Partners
John: “We’ve identified a pattern that exists in a lot of businesses and that’s this huge void in using smart data to drive decisions. We’re talking about data that is really targeted and allows you to have that backbone of information to make C-suite level decisions.”
Steven: “The majority of organizations don’t have a strict internal data quality standard and so when you start thinking about making decisions, despite having the best intentions, oftentimes they’re being made out of incomplete or half-baked data. This results in decisions which turn out wrong because you didn’t have the right picture to begin with.”
Doing Right By Your Customers & Prospects Without Sacrificing the Bottom Line
Debra Senra, SVP Revenue, Hireology
Debra explained why and how it’s possible to react with empathy while still maximizing revenue opportunities.
“2020 was by no means easy. But, by maintaining a laser focus on doing right by our customer, and by letting our customers’ and prospects’ needs to be the starting point for our retention as well as our sales strategy, we were able to successfully navigate the uncertainty and come into 2021 stronger than ever.”
Debra’s drivers to understand the will, skill and territory strategy of her team
And there you have it, our top takeaways from the Chief Revenue Officer Summit.