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The Modern Selling Podcast

100 EpisodesProduced by Mario Martinez JrWebsite

The Modern Selling podcast, hosted by Mario Martinez, Jr., is the go-to podcast for sales leaders, sales professionals, business owners, sales enablement leaders, and anyone responsible for generating revenue. Mario's guests are practitioners in the trenches, experts in their profession and influenc… read more

49:53

The Real Role of a CRO in B2B Sales with Ed Porter, #210

The emerging role of the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) has become one of the most talked-about topics in B2B sales this year. But, when it comes to truly knowing how to position and leverage a CRO to help a sales organization scale, this is where many modern sales companies are struggling.

The key to the success of a CRO comes from not just the path they took in their career but from their ability to align teams across all departments and tap into technology to enable progress and productivity at all levels.

What CROs should be doing and how companies can strategically use this role to scale is the topic of discussion in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast. My guest, arguably one of the best CRO experts and consultants in the industry, shares his incredible insights to prove that when done ‘right’ a CRO can be the winning advantage to take your sales organization to the next level.

Ed Porter is the Chief Revenue Officer of Blue Chip CRO. His stellar 20+ year career has led him to manage teams of varying sizes from 5 to 1,000+ people with responsibilities for sales, customer experience, revenue operations, and marketing functions. Ed has worked for service, software, and distribution companies learning the foundations of delivering a powerful customer experience while driving value and effectiveness in the sales and development channels. He has participated in, facilitated, and chaired several executive groups centered on sales management, contact center management, and technology innovation. As a keynote speaker and guest speaker focused on several key sales strategies and customer management programs, Ed has been recognized as a two-time Top 25 Most Influential Sales Leader, Executive of the Year, Excellence in Execution, Top 100 Sales Coaches to Watch, and a two-time Chapter of the Year award winner for AA-ISP.

Currently, Ed is a fractional chief revenue officer providing coaching and strategic planning services for executives and startups, helping them rethink and refocus revenue strategies to accelerate growth. He helps clients align their revenue teams — marketing, sales, enablement, and customer success — to build accountability at every step of their organization, leading to accelerated and sustainable growth.

Download the full conversation to get clear on what and how a CRO should be contributing to the growth of your sales organization.

What is the Real Role of a Chief Revenue Officer?

We often hear CRO thrown around, but few have truly defined what the role is and, more importantly, what they should be responsible for.

I wanted to get Ed’s perspective on what he believes makes a CRO role work and if every B2B sales company needs one, in order to thrive in this post-pandemic environment.

His insights are spot on, “The CRO must own everything revenue. Not just one part, but all parts. Because in order to really be the one that owns all parts of revenue, you need to own the full buyer lifecycle. Which means owning marketing, owning sales, and owning everything post-sales too like customer success.”

There has always been a growing divide (I’ve seen) between sales, marketing, and customer success. So, it was interesting to hear that Ed believes they must all live under the same C-Suite role in order to drive the customer forward.

In my 20+ year career in B2B and B2C sales, I’ve found that even for CROs that may not have robust marketing or sales or customer success background, they’re still able to build amazing synergy within their organizations as long as they know how to leverage the right training, technology, and systems to bring their teams together.

And, technology and training are a large part of what Ed shares in the first half of our conversation.

Listen in to hear what he suggests every CRO do to ensure that their teams are successful.

How Do You Actually Align Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success Teams Together?

At Vengreso, we intentionally build in alignment between the teams. We have regular huddles and syncs for the departments to share what’s working respectively, so we can establish a cohesive collaborative approach.

Based on Ed’s experience working as a fractional CRO, I wanted to hear his insights on what works to align teams for a CRO to be successful and what skills he believes a CRO must have that they can’t necessarily be taught.

Ed explains, “Traditionally, CROs have sales experience and come from that world. But, that often means they’re light on understanding marketing and customer success. And, that’s ok. I would argue that the path someone takes to become a CRO is irrelevant. It has less to do with their area(s) of expertise and everything to do with the person. You don't have to have run sales, marketing, or customer success departments to be a highly effective CRO. But, you DO have to be a great leader.”

I found this point to be quite interesting. Here at Vengreso, we often cross-train our sales teams to be involved in not just one department, but in several. We’ve found that this enables our sales reps to approach the sales process very differently. They’re able to think about the impact that marketing has on sales, or that sales have on customer success.

This is such a powerful alignment (when done right), that would enable any sales organization to work as a seamless machine, rather than a bunch of separated silos.

Join the conversation and get even more insight on how Ed recommends sales, marketing, and customer success teams work together.

How Does Technology Empower the CRO? 

This is always an area of interest, especially for sales leaders. As I always say, “a fool with a tool, is still a fool.”

I’ve found that all too often, B2B sales organizations implement a host of different pieces of technology across each functional area. So, what the sales and marketing teams may be using may not be integrated. And, the customer success teams could be using something entirely different.

It’s this disconnect between teams (further exacerbated by the technology stack they’re using), which makes it hard for anyone to truly talk to one another and gain key insights.

That’s why with our FlyMSG text expander plugin, we’ve seen users achieve tremendous growth and synergy. Now, they’re able to have a way to send consistent messaging across departments and be in better alignment to attract prospects and convert them into customers.

FlyMSG is just one tool Ed and I discuss in this conversation that can catapult sales teams to a new level. Listen in to the entire episode to see what other technology and tools we see working to bring teams together.

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