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The Rise Of The Data-Driven, Digital CRO.
The Rise Of The Data-Driven, Digital CRO.
November 16, 2020
6 min read
Topics covered in this article
Digital transformed the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). The Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) is up next. As buying and selling become digital and remote, no role will change and solidify more than the role of the CRO.
The CRO role started becoming prominent in mid 2015s as SaaS Economy shifted the balance of revenue from new business sales to recurring revenue from existing customers. The idea behind the CRO role was to unify all customer-facing roles from marketing to sales and customer success under one leadership and optimize the customer journey towards higher lifetime values.
Fast forward. The near-complete shift to remote work.
Fast forward now, the shift to remote work has pushed selling into a highly digitally immersive process and activities. Inside Sales, Field Sales, Pre-Sales, Customer Success, Account Management have all gone entirely digital. The data produced from digital selling and digital customer success is a huge opportunity in helping CROs get a unified view of their business without depending on end-users to input data.
Even more, as buyers have been more empowered with usage-based pricing, free trials, try before you buy models, and desire to purchase remotely, CROs have to up-level customer engagement skills across sales, marketing, and customer success.
The modern sales force is unskilled in digital sales. Digital selling shortens the buying cycle — as the time between information exchange reduces under email, Slack, and Zoom calls. Digital is also changing from textual content to personalized videos created by sellers. From single-channel touches to multi-touch selling across social and digital, from managers being able to overhear rep’s calls and give feedback in their face-to-face 1:1s to more asynchronous digital interactions between reps and managers.
Today these areas remain disparate with the systems to manage these three areas siloed, with different UIs and workflows without any unified views. Automated digital data from inboxes, calendars, and Zoom calls eliminates reliance on end-users to input data and makes the entire sales and customer experience function a lot more transparent and much less of a black box.
Front-line sales managers are not skilled in digital selling management.
Front-line productivity in the remote work and digital era is a primary concern for today’s CROs, where doing more with less is critical. Managers need to be trained to manage a growing volume of deals and the growing number of reps they need to manage. Reps need to be trained on how to digitally engage with prospects and how to collaborate internally with their counterparts in customer success to sell effectively.
Digital buying/selling and subscription-based business models mean that the teams – sales, marketing, product, customer success, support, and finance – must all remain ALIGNED to deliver customer engagement across the entire lifetime.
CROs are not equipped to handle the shift.
Today’s CRO, though, is unprepared to handle the new shifts, and most CROs are still operating the playbooks of offline sales. While buying/selling has changed, the systems to manage sales, marketing, and customer success remain different and siloed, with disconnected data and processes.
Disconnected data and systems result in dis-connected processes and make it hard to generate a unified view of the business across all digital activities. Data from digital revenue work has exploded, but the feedback loops are missing. Unlike marketing that becomes more targeted with every click, sales analysis still operates reactively in quarters. We have advanced our data generation from 1 manual signal per seller per week to 1000+ automated signals per seller per week. But that data is trapped inside noisy channels and remains unactionable.
The rise of the Revenue Operations function.
Revenue Operations or RevOps has emerged as a strong ally to the digital age CRO in unifying data and insights across all customer functions and integrating data and roles into a single view and UI. RevOps is either buying pre-connected data platforms or investing in in-house projects to connect data and drive processes on top of connected data.
Competing effectively in the digital economy is about the speed of action. When accurately combined, data drives the feedback loop of optimization and amplifies the ability to know and act before competitors do. Sales data scientists and sales operations analysts are applying AI-based predictive analytics on sales-specific data sets to build models that are both predictive and actionable.
Like any shift, there will be winners and losers in the digital transformation of sales. Successful digital age CROs will invest aggressively in training and tools for their managers and reps to help them transition into effective digital sellers. They will also invest in Revenue Operations personnel and platforms to bring all data together in systems where all customer-facing roles can live and collaborate on connected processes.
BoostUp’s contextual revenue intelligence platform enables companies to drive revenue through efficient and reliable forecasting, from new pipeline to renewals to optimize customer lifetime value. Purpose-built for digital, hybrid, and remote workforces, BoostUp automatically ingests data from dozens of digital channels and business applications. BoostUp then extracts context and sentiment from that data to increase forecasting accuracy, accelerate deals, reduce account churn, and get AI-driven guidance on pipeline gaps. For more information, please visit: www.boostup.ai.