CCOs Are Appointed 2.2X More Than CROs and CMOs. Why?

8 Jun 21

Chief Commercial Officers have quickly overtaken Chief Revenue Officers and Chief Marketing Officers as the main person responsible for revenue growth strategy.

While the position of the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) has been around for some time, it is witnessing an upswing in adoption across large, medium, and small-scale businesses. CEOs are now more inclined to appoint a CCO to lead commercial operations rather than relying on traditional roles like Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), whom CCOs are overtaking as the chief architects of revenue growth strategies.

The Rationale Behind Choosing a CCO First

What is driving CEOs to transition to CCOs from well-established, conventional roles? The most significant factor is the desire for unified leadership across the entire revenue function. This encompasses traditional Sales and Marketing roles, Customer Success, certain elements of Pricing & Packaging, and the Revenue Growth Office. The notion is that a singular leadership role can provide comprehensive oversight of all the components influencing revenue and customer interaction, thereby enhancing their execution of the revenue growth strategy and boosting customer experience.

The rise of the CCO does not imply that traditional roles like CROs and CMOs are becoming redundant. They continue to exist within the organizational structure, usually in roles that report to the CCO, and manage their respective functional strategies. However, their direct reporting to the CEO has ceased. Considering the diverse responsibilities of the CEO, having a single point of contact in the form of a CCO rather than multiple functional leaders is beneficial.

Additional Tasks That Differentiate CCOs From CROs or CMOs

This often leads to questions about the distinct duties or added responsibilities a CCO has compared to a CRO or CMO. Although the distinction is not absolute, at the heart of a CCO’s role is the development of the Revenue Growth Strategy, comprising four key elements:

  1. Revenue Levers refer to the company's strategic plans for revenue growth. CCOs must first decide whether to center their strategy around pursuing organic or inorganic growth, which will influence the entire corporate growth strategy.

  2. Revenue Model is the company's method for revenue generation across its products and solutions portfolio. The CCO must analyze the 13 potential revenue models a company can implement and pick the most effective for their business. This strategic decision is made in close collaboration with the CEO and CFO.

  3. Go-to-Market Model is how the company chooses to distribute commercial resources across various markets, accounts, and partners, and the routes to market. This decision forms the commercial organizational structure and affects many other aspects of the company, like their revenue marketing tactics, compensation schemes, and quota philosophies.

  4. Customer Experience is another fundamental responsibility of the CCO. It is one of the most demanding aspects of a Revenue Growth strategy, but CCOs are well-positioned to manage it due to their comprehensive oversight of the revenue cycle and various levers at their disposal. Traditionally, the responsibility for customer experience is divided across several functions within a company, but having a CCO in charge enables a superior ability to enhance customer experience.

While CCOs bear the ultimate responsibility for these four core areas, they work in close coordination with the individuals managing the daily revenue and marketing tasks within their teams. However, CEOs appreciate having a CCO to hold accountable for these critical decisions due to their link to the company’s overall strategy.

The role and popularity of Chief Commercial Officers are likely to continue expanding in the near and medium-term future. As this happens, their responsibility to formulate a well-defined, consistent, and effective Revenue Growth strategy that encompasses the four crucial elements will become even more important.

If you are a CEO evaluating whether the CCO role is the right move for your organization, let one of our Revenue Strategy experts help you by discussing your options. Contact us here.


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