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    5 Traits of a Successful Fractional CRO

    Internal hierarchies have continued to adjust swiftly in recent years, causing the emergence of the Fractional Chief Revenue Officer or Fractional CRO. 

    In an industry as fluctuating as sales, organizations must adapt from a structural standpoint to keep up. Internal hierarchies have continued to adjust swiftly in recent years, and one of the most relevant changes is the emergence of the fractional chief revenue officer (CRO). 

    The CRO is still an emerging C-suite position on the whole, and the fractional variety is something many organizations are beginning to consider. Hiring a fractional CRO is a great step to take when looking to align departments and scale revenue from a holistic standpoint. This post will delve into the responsibilities of a fractional CRO and highlight five traits to remember when making your hire.

    What Is a Fractional CRO?

    A fractional CRO is a marketing, sales, and customer success expert who strategizes and implements revenue-growth campaigns that align people, technology, and data. As opposed to a traditional CRO who works full-time with your organization, a fractional CRO joins your team for a set amount of time and implements short- and long-term growth strategies.

    CROs approach revenue growth from a holistic standpoint, incorporating sales, marketing, revenue operations (RevOps), and customer success into one cohesive strategy. Their responsibilities include:

    • Conduct market research and competitive analysis to pinpoint low-hanging growth opportunities

    • Identify long-term strategies that scale revenue and minimize cost

    • Implement tech stacks that improve automation and efficiency

    • Standardize sales process and execution throughout the department

    • Analyze data to create and adjust growth strategies

    • Oversee sales, marketing, and customer success departments

    What Makes a Successful Fractional CRO?

    Fractional CROs can be the missing piece of your organization in terms of alignment, strategy, and execution. From tech SaaS to consumer packaged goods, various organizations are beginning to realize just how valuable a fractional CRO can be in their plans to scale revenue. If you’re ready to hire a fractional CRO, keep these five traits in mind throughout your vetting.

    1. Sales, Marketing, Technology, and Customer Success Guru

    If you’re still operating under the belief that revenue growth only results from sales growth, it’s time to broaden your horizons. Modern revenue scale is holistic, resulting from a concerted effort to align marketing, sales, RevOps, and customer success. Doesn’t it make sense, then, that the person overseeing your revenue growth strategies is an expert in all of those fields?

    A fractional CRO has the skills and experience to lead inbound marketing initiatives, improve sales processes, utilize a CRM to its full capacity, and interact with customers to ensure their needs are met. In modern buying, all of these skills amplify one another and allow a fractional CRO to dismiss the old way of revenue growth — sales is the only way to generate revenue — and encompass a holistic strategy.

    2. Focused on Alignment

    Not only does a fractional CRO have the skills to understand each facet of revenue growth, they also have the drive to create alignment between revenue-generating departments. 

    To successfully scale revenue, you need to empower and prioritize the buyer throughout each and every stage of their relationship with you. As this mindset becomes more accepted and utilized, the divide between sales and marketing strategy will become thinner, and those organizations that embrace that change will reap the benefits, explains Former HubSpot CRO Mark Roberge.

    “With so many buying journeys starting in a domain owned by marketing, like the website and email, and then moving to a domain that’s owned by sales, like Web X or whatever, aligning the two groups is critical,” he said. “Organizations that figured that out have a competitive advantage and those that don’t are not really well-aligned with where modern buying is going.”

    If your fractional CRO brings this mindset into your organization and processes from day one, your scaling goals will be easier to achieve.

    3. Driven by ROI and Data

    Optimizing digital data collection is necessary for organizations ready to scale their revenue and improve ROI. A fractional CRO should be able to analyze your customers’ digital trends and curate a strategy to improve their overall experience using the numbers they find. 

    Site traffic source, session length, bounce rate, and lead conversion rate are some of the many vital pieces of digital data that fractional CROs must understand. Even more technical pieces of data like backlinking, sales rep contact points, and campaign-specific click-through rates all play an integral role in revenue scale.

    From there, they can use the data to identify growth opportunities in how they are interacting with the buyer and begin to create omnichannel marketing and sales opportunities that deliver consistent messaging across multiple channels.

    4. Well-Versed Communicator

    CROs have a unique responsibility of interacting with multiple departments across your organization. Because of that, they must understand how to effectively communicate with audiences who expect different things.

    CEOs, VPs, sales reps, marketing managers, and IT directors all speak different languages when it comes to strategy and execution. Fractional CROs engage with each of those audiences on a daily basis, making it crucial for them to be well-rounded communicators who intimately understand the best ways to engage with different personalities

    5. Strategy and Implementation Experts

    This may be the most important difference (and benefit) of hiring a fractional CRO rather than a full-time CRO. As a whole, CROs are incredible strategists — they can analyze a situation and map out an effective, cohesive strategy to direct an organization’s long-term growth.

    Fractional CROs take that strategy to the next level by actually implementing and executing on it. Because they are brought into an organization for a limited time, they are given the unique responsibility of mapping out a long-term success plan and getting to work on that plan. Most organizations ready to make this hire lack the internal alignment needed to scale revenue efficiently, and the work of the fractional CRO sets them up for success in the short and long run.

    Ready to Scale Your Revenue?

    Hiring a fractional CRO can be one of the most important decisions you make to set your organization up for true revenue scale, not just unsustainable growth. Here at House of Revenue, we help CEOs overcome their revenue plateaus by implementing holistic strategies that focus on marketing, sales, technology, automation, and customer success. Reach out to us today to learn more about revenue scaling.

    By: Mary Grothe
    Mary began her sales career at a Fortune 1000 company, where she quickly advanced from an admin role to being the number one sales representative. By following her natural instincts to always put the customers first and listen to their needs, she was able to drive success for her clients and herself and brought in millions of dollars in revenue. Driven to help others achieve success, Mary founded her first company at the age of 28 and became a business strategist for startups. Over a three-year period, she was instrumental in helping 36 startups reach profitability.

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