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"To CRO or Not To CRO...That is the Question" with Warren Zenna

The Selling Excellence Podcast: Episode 9

On this episode of the podcast, Tim speaks to Warren Zenna, CEO of the CRO Collective. They talk about how organizations need to be CRO-ready. Warren’s philosophy brings insight to Chief Executives that will help them make the right decision to hire, or not to hire, a CRO. Listening to this will save you the pain and agony of making a hiring mistake.

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Episode Transcript

Tim Geisert (00:06):
Welcome to the Selling Excellence Podcast for business executives, presented by AuctusIQ. We all know B2B selling is not getting any easier, and what’s worse, it is getting more expensive. Hello, I’m Tim Geisert, your host and partner at AuctusIQ, a selling excellence as a service company. Our goal today is to give you some insights, some learnings that help you turn your sales organization into an asset, a company asset, not a pain in the asset.

Well, what a good day we have here on the podcast. We have a special guest with us, Warren Zenna. Hi, Warren. Say hello to the audience.

Warren Zenna (00:42):
Will do. Hey, Tim. Thanks for having me. And hello everybody, and really great to be here.

Tim Geisert (00:46):
Well, it’s exciting to have you here. I met Warren at a New York event here, what, about give or take six months ago? And Warren has a company called the CRO Collective. Let me say that again, the CRO Collective. It’s a real interesting business. And I’m going to let you talk a little bit about it, Warren. Tell me about the CRO Collective before we get into the rest of the podcast.

Warren Zenna (01:10):
Sure. Thanks, Tim. So yeah, it was great meeting you there. And so I started this business a little over three years ago. I’d come out of the sales and marketing space, about 25 years in. And I’ll condense the story a bit, but I had the benefit of being on the sales side of the business as an executive and then on the marketing side as an executive. I actually have my own marketing agency, and then I was=-

Tim Geisert (01:39):
Kind of a jack-of-all-trades, aren’t you?

Warren Zenna (01:39):
It’s called the Zenna Consulting Group. And then I became an executive at a number of large agencies where I was building out capabilities and I needed to hire tech companies to help me build out the product that I was creating for my clients. And so what ended up happening was I was being sold to; now I’m a buyer. So now I’m on the other side of the table and all these startups, tech companies were coming in and selling, like five a day. And it was fascinating because the perspective I brought to that particular conversation was different than a lot of the other people. And I made a lot of sort of, I guess you could say, realizations about what’s going on in the B2B space; things I knew, but they all sort of coalesced and they suddenly made sense to me, which was, as you know, B2B companies suffer from misalignment issues. After a certain level of complexity, B2B companies start to become siloed, the revenue operations become broken up into groups, factions, they start to fight.

Tim Geisert (02:37):
Right, different owners, territories, empire building, all that stuff.

Warren Zenna (02:40):
Right. 100%. Yeah. And it causes incredible problems. There’s probably more content out there to sales and marketing alignment, I mean, you could probably find 1,000 white papers on this, but no one’s ever solved it. It’s like dieting. You can find a million documents on diet, and everyone’s fat. It doesn’t matter how much information’s out there. And so I thought what’s really going on is it’s always systemic. Everyone’s looking at things like symptoms: “Oh, it’s marketing’s fault. Let’s fix the marketing machine. Oh, it’s sales, let’s fix the sales organization.” Really, it’s systemic. And what’s missing, and I realized this, there’s no one overseeing the revenue operation properly to ensure alignment, because there isn’t anybody trained to do it properly. It’s supposed to be the chief revenue officer, but chief revenue officers are being hired to run sales.

Tim Geisert (03:28):
Yeah, right. Just retitled head of sales.

Warren Zenna (03:31):
[inaudible 00:03:32] It’s just taking a title and just basically promoting a sales leader to a chief revenue officer role. And it actually makes the problem worse. So I thought, “Look, there’s no one supporting chief revenue officers,” which is nuts. There’s no organization for chief revenue officers. There’s no training program for chief revenue officers. There’s no programs or curriculums. There isn’t even a advisory group or even any standardization around what the definition of the role is. I couldn’t believe this. So I thought, “I’m going to create it.” So I built the CRO Collective to support a number of constituents within that sort of revenue leadership model.

Tim Geisert (04:08):
Well, and your business has just taken off like crazy. I mean, when I saw you speak there in New York, I was really taken aback, because you’re right. I mean, we’re in an interesting situation where many B2B companies are trying to solve it, yet there’s a lot of finger-pointing going on between the departments. They’re trying to figure out by, “Well, let’s just roll this all up into a CRO. Let’s go find ourselves a CRO,” and they don’t know what they’re doing. Right?

Warren Zenna (04:33):
No. What they do is they bring a CRO in … And a big factor here that’s important to mention is aside from just organizational dynamics that we’re talking about, there’s also other factors that are a big part of the problem. And mostly it has to do with the financing community. So what’s happening is the gravitational forces of financing and funding, they generally exacerbate these problems, mainly because what happens is, as a CEO, you need money to fund the company. So you find some VC group or some other investment organization that invests in your company.

Tim Geisert (05:12):
Right. Brings in capital.

Warren Zenna (05:12):
And then those investments come, understandably, with conditions and expectations and demands. And those demands become actually more important to the CEO than the customer outcomes, because if I keep making my investors happy, then I’m going to keep getting money from them. So it actually becomes an investor-led organization as opposed to a customer-led organization.

And so when I hire a chief revenue officer, I’m going to want that chief revenue officer to march to the drum of the investors, not march to the drum of the customers. And that’s what drives these behaviors. So what I’m trying to do is sort of recalibrate the way a CEO looks at their business, and understands that there’s a balance between, “Yep, I need money, but I also need to grow my business. And I can’t allow those funding demands and those pressures that come with my reimbursements, et cetera, to affect the way that I go to market.” And that’s what happens. So the CRO has expectations within like six months to get results that are impossible to get. They sell their way out of their problem by becoming salespeople or running sales. And then they’re stuck in that job and they don’t really get back out of it.

Tim Geisert (06:16):
Well, that’s the thing I noticed in that as I sat in the group that came to see what you were putting on and some of the learnings around it, it was really interesting because there were groups of … it seemed like pockets. One group was, “Hey, I’m a head of sales and I want to become a CRO. What does that mean? What do I need on that?” And then there were a couple senior executives, CEOs, who were like, “I’m trying to figure out, what is this role?” And that’s really what you do, right? Those are your two areas, help the CEO figure out … I guess you call it CRO ready, as an organization, is that right? And then, is the CRO ready for that kind of role? Does that summarize it?

Warren Zenna (06:58):
That’s exactly right, yes. So there’s sort of … let’s call it almost a progression of things that are happening along that, right? So at the nexus, you’ve got the sales leader who’s listening to this right now, some head of sales who has a lot of experience, 15 years or so running sales teams, and in their mind, they’re thinking, “Well, the next job for me is a chief revenue officer.”

Tim Geisert (07:21):
Right, right.

Warren Zenna (07:21):
So the sort of wake up call for them is … what they think is, “I can keep doing what I’m doing, but I’ll just get a better title and more money.” And the problem is that they probably will find those jobs, but they won’t last. They’ll probably last around, I don’t know, 12 to 17 months [inaudible 00:07:36].

Tim Geisert (07:35):
Yeah. I think the talk around the room that day was it was about 18 months.

Warren Zenna (07:39):
Yep. And the reason is because … what I’m trying to address here is that based on the things I said previously, if I bring in a CRO to run sales, it’s only going to exacerbate those silo problems. And eventually what’s going to happen is everyone’s going to be disappointed in the outcome. The CRO’s not going to be happy with the job they got, the CEO’s going to be disappointed. And all the great plans they had when they were interviewing get thrown out the window within two months, and then he has to do something else. So I mean, I have so many clients have the same exact story.

So the other issue though is because not only was the CRO who came in not clear about what the job was, and I’m trying to fix that through development, professional development, coursework, but also the hiring organization doesn’t know what a CRO is. So it’s like a bad marriage made in hell because both partners don’t know what they want. So I got to also then not only recalibrate for the CEO what a chief revenue officer is, but I also have to explain to the CEO that it’s not enough just to know what one is and find a good one. Your company actually has to be ready for one.

And the reason is that if I’m going to hire someone in the capacity in which I’m professing, which is a revenue leader, someone who oversees customer success, sales, marketing, that person’s job out of the gate should not be, “Go get me some more money, get me more customers.” That’s sales’ job. The CRO’s job is to make sense of my organization, organize my company in a way that all the functions are working together seamlessly to create more outcomes and remove friction and leaks that are happening in the organization. And to bring a CRO in to do that, that’ll take them six months to a year to get that figured out before that person makes any revenue-based impact on the company. And usually they get fired at that point because that’s what the investors want, right?

Tim Geisert (09:33):

Warren Zenna (09:33):
So, I’m trying to have them recalibrate the way that they look at the cadence of the role. And if they work with me, then it’ll probably be exponentially greater success outcomes than the risk they’re taking on hiring someone in the way that they currently think about it.

Tim Geisert (09:47):
Well, one of the things that you talked about, I’m going to drill down here a little bit on this, and let’s just focus on the CRO … You put up a slide, and we’ll put it up here on the video, but we’ll have to describe it for our listeners only, but it had the four quadrants: it was strategy, management, operations and culture. Dissect that a little bit.

Warren Zenna (10:09):

Tim Geisert (10:10):
That’s a great framework. I think our listeners need to understand, what is that framework for that CRO?

Warren Zenna (10:16):
Thanks, yeah. So the four quadrants of the CRO what I call framework is essentially a roadmap for how a CRO needs to view the world, right? So I’m being a little self-serving, to a degree, but if I were to, how do you say, create a program for a CRO, I’d say, “Take this slide, blow it up into a big poster and put it up on your wall. And when you walk in your office every morning, you look at that and you think, ‘How am I doing in all these four quadrants of my business?'” And those are, they’re strategy, they are culture, they are management, and they are … I’m sorry.

Tim Geisert (10:55):
Operations, yeah.

Warren Zenna (10:56):
Operations. So, the way it works basically is this: the strategy part really is the go-to-market stuff, right? We have to understand what our business is. We have to understand who we’re trying to sell to. We have to understand the customer and how the value proposition that we have is going to affect them and what types of benefits they’re going to get, how fast they’re going to get those benefits, how much we can charge for it, right? How are we going to go to market with that? How are we going to identify those people? All the messaging and all the stuff that goes into a really good playbook and go-to-market strategy.

Tim Geisert (11:22):
Mm-hmm. Right. [inaudible 00:11:23]-

Warren Zenna (11:23):
And then also things like, what’s the size of the business? What do we see our opportunity, right?

Tim Geisert (11:28):
Mm-hmm. General manager stuff, too.

Warren Zenna (11:30):
And that’s a key part of it. Yeah. They have to manage that. But what I’m saying is a CRO needs to be the owner of that, because if they’re going to be running all three of these revenue operations, they have to be the ones that have the clearest idea of what that strategy is for the company, right?

Tim Geisert (11:41):

Warren Zenna (11:41):
And then on the management side, that’s the people really of the managing of the resources, right? That’s all the training and the development and the hiring and the onboarding and the professional development, the coaching and the training, and setting the compensation plans and the incentives and all the stuff that go with managing people.

And then on the operational side, that’s where all of the metrics and the measurements and the data and the tech stack live, right? That’s really critical. That’s the intelligence or the brain part of the operation that a CRO needs to really have really good handle on. That’s where they need a revenue operations leader to run the operational part of the revenue business that has a really clear understanding of how they measure things, and that they’re grounded in facts and data before they make these decisions.

And then on the culture side is the leadership part of the business, which is where the CRO needs to be running an aligned organization, customer centricity, alignment, fluidity, communication, cadence, process, right?

Tim Geisert (12:34):

Warren Zenna (12:34):
And so, if a CRO’s looking at all four of those and has a process in place for how all four of those quadrants are working, then that gives the CRO a really clear understanding of what their job is on a day-to-day basis.

Tim Geisert (12:45):
And that’s the first thing, right? Sometimes they don’t even know what the job is. I was talking to one of our clients who is a CRO, and he’s built his career up and through it. It was funny, as he was sharing with me what his role is, he ticked off all four of these things. But it was interesting, in the conversation I asked him, “Did you know those were the four things that you needed to do before you got into this job?”

He goes, “No, no. I just” [inaudible 00:13:13]-

Warren Zenna (13:12):
Yeah. He figured it out the hard way, right?

Tim Geisert (13:13):
Exactly, just like out of survival, figured out how to do these [inaudible 00:13:17]-

Warren Zenna (13:17):
Yep. But I agree, and I do think that someone who’s forced into the job will eventually come to that conclusion on their own, but why should they, right?

Tim Geisert (13:22):
Right. Shrink time to productivity.

Warren Zenna (13:22):
I mean, it should be better for them to have that menu before they walk into the job, and have a plan for how each one of those four quadrants not only independently are going to work, but how interoperationally they’re going to work, right? I need to know that how management and development and onboarding and incentives affect strategy, et cetera, et cetera, right? So, that’s the whole part of it. And the model that you’re professing, which people will see in a visual, at the center of those four quadrants is the customer.

And I really want to emphasize the importance of the way that I design this, because it’s very intentional. So the customer is at the center. Normally what happens in a revenue operation is sales or revenue is at the center. Now, to some, it would be counterintuitive, because, “Well, of course that’s supposed to be the case. We’re running a goddamn business here, Warren. We have to make money.” I get that. But no one would argue that the customer’s satisfaction, the customer’s experience, is really at the end of the game, the thing that we want most.

I think Bezos probably did the best job in history of this, is he was so customer-obsessed, and he still is … And everyone should read the book about Bezos and Amazon. It’s great. It really gets into his philosophy, which is he’s so resolute about it that every single thing he thinks about is, “I don’t care about anything else. All I care about is the customer.” And so he is always listening to the customer, what they want. And every decision he makes is based on customer feedback or customer insights, because ultimately … And he’s right. I mean, I don’t think anyone can argue this: “If I just keep on doing things that I know my customers … either they want, or removing the things that they don’t want, then I’m just going to continually get more and more people to use me on a regular basis.” And that’s of course what happened, right?

Tim Geisert (15:02):
Yeah. And I guess I’d throw at you is in B2B, when you focus in on B2B, you got the customer, somebody who signs their name on the contract, but in between that, you’ve got all these influencers, right? So you really have to give some due diligence to understanding all of that. It’s just not one person who’s buying a widget. It’s usually a group effort.

Warren Zenna (15:23):
Exactly. It’s a series of people. It’s a group of people that make decisions-

Tim Geisert (15:24):
It’s a group of people, yeah.

Warren Zenna (15:24):
… and each one of them have their own needs and fears, right?

Tim Geisert (15:27):

Warren Zenna (15:27):
And so, I think the customer-centric proportion of this is critical because I profess, really promote a customer-centric CRO model, which focuses … And here’s a couple of reasons, aside from what I just said, just a general philosophy, is it’s also a design. The way that I’m designing this is it’s designed to counterbalance the already hyperfocus on sales. So if a CRO comes in and they favor a bias towards the selling organization, they’re going to do that at the expense of the customer organization. It happens all the time. And we know this because every one of us is getting spammed and is getting messed up and is being in a situation where they can’t … You know what I’m saying? Is they …

Tim Geisert (16:13):
Well, yeah, they [inaudible 00:16:14]-

Warren Zenna (16:14):
The sales organization will eat their young, right? I mean, that’s what ends up happening, right, because it’s a very-

Tim Geisert (16:19):
Uh-huh. Well, they get [inaudible 00:16:20].

Warren Zenna (16:19):
They get all the budget, they get all the focus, they get all the training, because that’s where the “money comes from.” And these things all make sense, but it comes at the expense of other key parts of the company, right?

Tim Geisert (16:30):

Warren Zenna (16:30):
And so what I’m trying to do with this customer-centric model is bring in a CRO who isn’t sales-biased, but really thinks more about customer service, not at the expense of the sales and marketing organization, but as a context for how they lead the organization. That’s the point.

Tim Geisert (16:47):
What you’re really talking about, I mean, if we boil it all down, is that this CRO is not head of sales, head of marketing, head of customer service, they’re a business executive. They’re a business executive with business and executive kinds of thinking, right? It’s not siloed in how … they bring it all together, and they have to have that viewpoint, right?

Warren Zenna (17:06):

Tim Geisert (17:07):
So, just because in the essence of time, we’ve spent a lot of time on the CRO, let’s talk about the CEO. You spend a lot of time with the CEO.

Warren Zenna (17:15):

Tim Geisert (17:16):
Talk to me about how you coach CEOs to make that decision whether they bring it in a CRO or not, or that conversation. I’d love to know that.

Warren Zenna (17:27):
Sure. So this is a key thing because listening to this podcast now, and also at the moment we’re talking, there are numerous B2B CEOs who are currently exploring hiring a chief revenue officer.

Tim Geisert (17:44):
Correct. Yep.

Warren Zenna (17:45):
And the first thing I do is I ask them, “Why? What is it that had you think that a chief revenue officer is going to be the next hire you want to make in the executive suite?” And it’s always a very revealing answer. And usually what I hear is, “Well, my sales organization isn’t working.” That’s usually what I hear. And my next question is, “Well, who’s running sales? And why don’t you just get a new sales leader, if that’s the case?” And it sort of confuses them, right, because again, I’m intentionally challenging the perception they have that a CRO will be the one to come in and save the day with my sales organization.

And so a couple factors go into this, right? One is, it the right time for you to hire a CRO, right? Once they understand that a CRO is really a revenue leader, then they need to think about whether the company has reached a level of complexity and maturity where a CRO is warranted. And I can sort of give you a bit of a scientific answer to this.

Tim Geisert (18:46):
Okay, lay it on me.

Warren Zenna (18:48):
It’s not [inaudible 00:18:48]. A company probably … and this is not science, but most companies need to be somewhere between the 10 and 20 million in revenue point or growth point. And here’s why that number seems to be the one that I see consistently makes sense. There is a appropriate level of complexity in an organization with those numbers, where most companies are starting to feel the pains associated with misalignment that I was referring to in the beginning of our conversation. And when those particular symptoms start to affect the company, they start to see the things that they understand are going to impede their ability to scale beyond the 15 to 20 million range, because the company needs to sort of change and mature and be more aligned.

And usually, it’s data leaks, it’s leaks in the way that their process is … actually, they’re losing customers. They don’t realize that they’re probably letting customers out the door. They’re probably either undercharging or overcharging, or they’re not closing the right people, or they’re missing opportunities. There’s all sorts of things that are going on. And then there’s also cultural things, which is they’re starting to see how marketing and sales don’t really work together, and they’re sort of working against each other, and they’re not cooperating, and marketing sort of feels like, “I’m not getting my credit for the contributions I’m making to things.” We don’t even really know what marketing’s contributions are to things, we’re sort of making it up. These are the sort of things that happen.

And so the knee-jerk reaction is, “It’s probably someone’s fault. It’s usually sales’ fault. I’m going to hire a CRO to come in and be the mature sales leader to run things.” And this is where the problems start. So what I do to influence the CEO is first have this conversation where they start to maybe understand a little bit more about what’s going on. And we have a process called the CRO readiness program, which is a consultancy consultative sort of program that first helps a company mature to understand where those leaks are, what’s really going on in their company, actually understand the problems that they’re experiencing without any … It’s no ambiguity. It’s like we’re black and white. And then from there, start to develop a process where those things are being addressed, and then bring in a CRO who then takes over the mantle of actually managing the development and the maturation of those things.

Tim Geisert (21:07):
Right. So really, you’re assessing the organization with the CEO at the center of that.

Warren Zenna (21:12):
That’s right.

Tim Geisert (21:13):
And then going to, “Okay, this is what your challenges are. Yes, you are ready for a CRO. And this is the kind of role that that person would have.” I would assume, correct me if I’m wrong, that then means if that work is done before they hire a CRO, they also have a roadmap for accountability.

Warren Zenna (21:29):
That’s right. So now what ends up happening is when you bring on that chief revenue officer … And I want to discuss this because you just brought up a great point, which is they will have a much clearer understanding of what the expectations are for that CRO to succeed. There’ll be very little ambiguity about what the actual mission is. See, what happens today, I got to say, it’s really amazing what’s going on right now. All of my CRO clients are in the same exact situation, which is they and their CRO just don’t really have agreement in terms of what they’re supposed to be doing. And what happens is when you don’t know, it gives room for the CEO to just make it up anytime they want, right?

Tim Geisert (22:07):

Warren Zenna (22:07):
So they can pretty much go to you and say, “Well, I want you to do this now.” And with that sort of nebulous roadmap, it’s very difficult for a CRO to succeed because you have to be on the same page. The only way you’re on the same page is you literally have to be sitting on top of the same exact map. So if we’re sitting on the same map together, then we’re looking at reality. We have the same version of reality that we’re reviewing when we make our determinations, and we can measure things consistently. But if I have my own map and the CEO has his own map, you know what’s going to happen, right?

Tim Geisert (22:42):

Warren Zenna (22:42):
The CEO’s map is going to win, and so that’s a problem.

Tim Geisert (22:45):
Yeah, if you’ve got a map, I got a map, we’re on different planets, baby.

Warren Zenna (22:48):
Yeah, exactly. And I’m telling you, this is exactly what it is, is that the CRO sees things differently because they’re looking at different things, or from a different perspective. So what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to get a CEO to understand that a CRO is a very critical job. It’s the most critical job. It’s the partner. I would say the CRO is the CEO of the revenue operation.

Tim Geisert (23:09):
Yeah. That’s a good way of looking at it.

Warren Zenna (23:11):
So if I’m hiring someone in that sort of context, then that person needs to be my partner, which means we need to have the same data that we’re looking at when we determine what their job is and how we evaluate success or not. And it almost never happens that way. So I’m trying to create that clarity and understanding and agreement on reality so that there’s a better benchmark for them both to work together in the future.

Tim Geisert (23:36):
Yeah. One of the things I love about what you’re doing and the work you’re doing at the CRO Collective is that you create a win-win. You’re helping the CEO figure out what is going to be not only our CRO, but are we ready? Is that revenue and go-to-market in place the way we need it to be, and went and aligned that strategy with the organization and the right person? And then you’re coming at it from the other side, where those that are eager to grow in their career, into being a very successful CRO … If there’s a noble cause in the area of B2B, capitalism, I think you’re in the center of it, Warren, right dead center.

Warren Zenna (24:18):
I’d like to think so. I mean, look, I’m trying to change hearts and minds here. I don’t have anybody argue with me. No one says, “You’re nuts.” I don’t hear that. What I hear is, “You’re right, but that’s really hard.” And I compare this a lot … I’ve been doing podcast interviews now for a while. And I seem to come back to the same analogy because it’s so apt. And that is it’s like when you’re going on a diet, there’s just scads of information out there about the right way to eat. We’re not at a point in society where we don’t know what to do, but yet we don’t do it, right? So it’s not that information’s not available. It’s not like we don’t know. It’s more about our context. I mean, the reason why people lose weight is because they’re ready to, and they’re ready to adhere to the facts.

And so, I’m trying to accomplish two things. I’m trying to get more data out there that people have a better understanding of what works. And then the second is I got to find people who are ready to make the uncomfortable changes needed to have this happen. And those uncomfortable changes are things like this, I’ll be specific, it’s being able to go to their board of directors and say, “No, your top down projections aren’t realistic. And we’re not going to make that much money this quickly. And if we do, it’s going to come at the expense of things that are going to destroy our business. So it’s going to take us longer, but we’re going to grow larger.” And then interrupt the already existing inertia and roadmaps that are pushed down onto a CEO from board members.

And I don’t want to demean board members like they’re bad. I mean, they have a business, they have a portfolio, and they want to get a return on investment. But they’re not in the weeds enough. I think what I’m seeing, though, I want to just make a point here because I want to make sure I’m not demonizing VC companies, because they’re doing a great thing, is I’m seeing a lot more maturation.

I’m actually speaking to a lot of VC companies who have sort of thrown their hands up and they’re saying, “This is enough already. We just can’t throw a bunch of money at a bunch of portfolio companies and they just push down these things and just hope that some of them work. And this roulette wheel thing is not working. We need to bring a little bit more managerial maturity into the way that we invest in our companies.” And so things like what I’m saying are becoming more part of the way that they actually manage their portfolio companies. And I think that’s great news. So that’ll just make what it is I’m doing easier to inject into the patient, so to speak, right? So, I’m seeing that and I’m hoping that that happens more.

Tim Geisert (26:34):
Well, I thank you very much for joining us today, but also, I really love where you’re going because you’re helping the CEO and the CRO be ready. Our job here at Auctus is to help the sales force and the sales managers and everybody around them be ready. And I think it’s a great, great mission you’re on, and it’s just fantastic. Okay, so to sign off here, if you’re to give three bits of advice, just three bits of advice on what they should do next to work with you or to become successful as a CEO or CRO, what would those be, Warren?

Warren Zenna (27:12):
Sure. Well, thanks. And I guess what I’d say first is if you’re an aspiring chief revenue officer, what you should do is think about, what’s your perception of the role? Why do you want to be a CRO? And if it’s because you want to run a sales organization, you should probably think twice about that and ask yourself whether you want to run an actual full-fledged revenue operation, because they’re different jobs. And if you do, then what you should do is become educated about what your competencies are and your skills are in relation to what that job requires, and put a program together and make sure [inaudible 00:27:46]. If you’re a-

Tim Geisert (27:45):
Yeah, right. And you can help them with that.

Warren Zenna (27:45):
I’m sorry? I’m sorry, Tim?

Tim Geisert (27:45):
And you could help them with that.

Warren Zenna (27:49):
Yeah, sure. I could. You can give me a call. And then if you’re a CRO and you find yourself in that sort of … What is it again, after you buy something? You have buyer’s remorse, right?

Tim Geisert (28:00):
Buyer’s remorse, yeah.

Warren Zenna (28:00):
Yep. I mean, you’re sitting, it’s three months in, and you’re like, “I can’t believe I took this job. What the hell’s going on? This is nuts.” Well, there is a way out. And the way out is by reframing your role, and what I call earning your right to get the job you were hired for. And again, I can help you earn that right by giving you tools and processes that gain back your favor and give you the power to be able to take control of the role.

And then for a CEO, if you’re thinking about hiring a chief revenue officer right now, you’ve probably got a job description. I’d ask you to take a look at that job description and see how many times the word sales is in that job description. What I did was, this is really cool, I took a bunch of CRO job descriptions and I put them into those word cloud programs. And the word sales comes up like 5, 6, 7, 8 times as the top word in all these things. What that means is that you’re probably thinking about the job incorrectly. If you think a CRO is going to come in and save your sales organization, you’re putting yourself into a great risk. And we should talk about how you want to actually think about your company differently and how to bring in the right leader, and what the process is going to make your company mature enough to be able to handle the CRO.

Tim Geisert (29:07):
Warren, our goal on this podcast is to help executives make better decisions. You gave them a lot to think about today. It was great to have you on today’s podcast. Look forward to working with you and seeing you in the near future.

Warren Zenna (29:21):
Tim, thank you so much. Love this conversation, and I appreciate your time and the opportunity to share with your audience.

Tim Geisert (29:27):
All right. Have a great day, everyone, and thanks for listening in.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Selling Excellence Podcast for business executives. I hope you gained some insight on how to help turn your sales organization into a company asset, versus a pain in the asset. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Sales Excellence Podcast, wherever you get your podcast. And for more information about AuctusIQ or to schedule a discovery call, visit our website at auctusiq.com. Until next time, this is Tim Geisert, your host and partner at AuctusIQ, here to help you sell more and grow your company.

Speaker 3 (30:05):
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