The CRO: A Position Whose Time Has Come

By: Gary Tubridy Chief Sales Executive Events, Sales Leadership

kingmanink_alexandergroup_cropanel-250Sales organizations continually explore how to meet the needs of ever more sophisticated customers. One recurring action at companies is the creation of a chief revenue officer (CRO) position to unify leadership of marketing, sales and service.

At the 2016 Chief Sales Executive Forum, a panel of chief revenue officers shared their challenges and experiences in this role. The panel included Sal Abbate–Andersen Windows, Larry Dunivan–Ceridian, Kim Kelleher–WIRED Media Group and Sal Patalano–Lenovo Software.

The panel discussed several key points:

  • New Imperative–Sal Abbate explained his company’s new model: Marketing + Sales + Service = Alignment for Results. When you connect marketing with business sales goals and ensure repeat demand thru customer experience, you combine everything into one function and begin effectively marketing to your customers.
  • Removing Obstacles–Through Larry Dunivan’s experience, he notices that the CRO has a better view of the value chain by connecting touchpoints and removing obstacles. His role looks at the intersections and transitions in the sales cycle to understand where the most impact lies.
  • Empowering Others–Sal Patalano sees the CRO position as a jack-of-all-trades and is involved with every piece at every level. The CRO can empower people to cross divides and focus on outcomes.
  • Diversify Revenue Streams–Kim Kelleher shared that her role is to bring new solutions for revenue and customers. As a CRO, she sets expectations with customers, sets sales representatives up to succeed and acts as a consultant for the company.

The illustration below from graphic recorder Kelly Kingman illustrates the CRO panel presentation in a most innovative way. Enjoy!

kingmanink_alexandergroup_cropanel-1000For more insight into the emerging Chief Revenue Officer role, download our recent whitepaper, Observations on the CRO, or listen to our recent podcast on this same topic.

And don’t miss the 2017 CSE Forum Series–registration will be open soon. Reserve your spot today!

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Gary Tubridy

Gary Tubridy is a senior vice president of the Alexander Group and the general manager in charge of the firm’s management consulting business. Gary’s consulting work is focused on increasing marketing and sales effectiveness with particular emphasis in technology and medical products industries. Gary has deep expertise in diagnosing sales management issues and helping clients execute action plans to improve results. His research is focused on best practices of leading sales organizations in North America with particular emphasis on sales force transformation and the role of sales leadership. He leads the Alexander Group executive events series and hosts the Operations and Executive Forums. He is one of three founding stockholders of the Alexander Group.


Gary has been with the Alexander Group for over 35 years. Prior to that, Gary was in sales with the IBM Corporation. Gary holds a B.A. from Brown University and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.


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