Summary: Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) face the challenge of aligning marketing, sales and service processes to optimize the integrated customer experience. However, redesigning processes from scratch may take too long to generate an important sense of initial momentum. Instead, pragmatic CROs often start by quickly identifying and accelerating the existing “Shadow Processes” that their employees have already developed for collaborating across organizational functions to improve the buyer journey.
The Challenge: Many companies today realize that the key to driving their growth is integrating and improving their customer’s entire life-cycle experience vs. allowing that experience to be defined by an uncoordinated series of “touches” from silo-based employees. Chief Revenue Officers (CRO’s, or similar titles like EVP Sales and Marketing or Chief Customer Officer) are charged with making this integrated experience happen across marketing, sales, and customer service. However, CROs can face such a broad array of challenges in reshaping roles, culture and customer management across functional groups, that progress often stalls.
One Solution: In Alexander Group’s experience, and our recent CRO best practice research across 80 companies, we have seen smart CROs work hard initially in a “Phase I Approach” to find a set of “quick wins” that will build vital momentum for change. Specifically, these CROs quickly identify, evaluate and reinforce those existing “Shadow or Virtual” Processes which employees have already built to provide a more integrated customer experience. These processes often reveal crucial insights about what customers are really looking for and how to provide it across current company functions.
Getting Started: Based on our experience, the CRO should use the following evaluation framework to determine which Shadow Process to 1) enhance on a short-term “quick-win” basis, 2) potentially institutionalize for the longer-term, or 3) transition to a different structural or process approach
AGI research shows that CROs should explore the following Shadow Process areas. These are often innovative approaches that can be reinforced and scaled to create Quick Win improvements in providing a more integrated and compelling customer experience:
Common Shadow Activities – Sales Personnel Focus
Common Shadow Activities – Sales Management Practices
Evaluating Shadow Processes: To evaluate existing “Shadow Processes” for insights on improving the customer experience, CROs need to weed out the self-serving and inefficient ones, using such criteria as:
Conclusion: We hope you found this overview of emerging CRO best practices to be a useful starting point as you think through how to drive a transformation towards a higher-value and more competitive sales model and integrated customer experience.
Read more about AGI’s CRO Best Practices
Learn more about our Sales Operations Practice
Read Part I of this blog series.