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CRO Spotlight

Author: Warren Zenna

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Are you a CRO looking for insights and ideas from your peers? Are you a Revenue Leader with aspirations to become a Chief Revenue Officer? Are you a CEO looking to appoint a CRO to scale your business?

Welcome to the CRO Spotlight podcast, a weekly show featuring insights from Chief Revenue Officers, B2B Revenue Leaders and CEOs. Hosted by Warren Zenna, Founder and CEO of The CRO Collective, the show goes deep behind the scenes with the people who have been there, done that and have seen the results. The CRO Spotlight Podcast is an open, free-form conversation that digs into real issues that Revenue Leaders and CROs grapple with everyday.
49 Episodes
In this episode, Warren welcomes Dan Hurwitz, an experienced revenue leader and the mind behind the podcast "How to Unf**k Your Startup." Warren and Dan delve into the intricacies of revenue leadership, sharing insights from their own journeys and exploring the critical role of intuition alongside data in driving business growth.Dan shares his wealth of experience from over two decades in the industry, recounting his ventures in media and startup leadership. He discusses the common challenges faced by companies, particularly in early-stage and Series A/B stages, and highlights the pivotal role of the CRO in navigating these hurdles.Throughout the conversation, Warren and Dan emphasize the importance of nurturing talent, aligning leadership vision, and fostering a customer-centric approach. They explore the delicate balance between leveraging data-driven strategies and trusting gut instincts, acknowledging that true business alchemy arises when these elements harmonize seamlessly.Listeners gain valuable insights into the art and science of revenue leadership, learning practical strategies for optimizing team performance, fostering innovation, and ultimately driving sustainable business growth.
In this episode, Warren sits down with Mike Campagna, an executive recruiter specializing in sales leadership roles within enterprise SaaS and B2B markets. With over a decade of experience, Mike shares his unique perspective on the intricacies of hiring for the CRO role. He discusses the importance of understanding the specific needs of a company based on its stage of growth and the critical differences between a true CRO and a head of sales.For founders and executives looking to appoint a CRO, this episode offers practical advice on navigating the recruitment process.
In this episode of The CRO Spotlight Podcast, Warren Zenna engages in a candid conversation with a seasoned expert in the revenue space - Frank Nardi, who is the CRO at Cin7.As they navigate through topics like the "Golden Age of SaaS" and the era of "profitable efficient growth," they explore how the role of the CRO has been shaped by changing market dynamics.Together they analyze the impact of the "grow at all costs" mentality prevalent in many SaaS businesses, highlighting the need for a shift towards sustainable growth strategies. Drawing parallels between organizational silos and revenue inefficiencies, they emphasize the importance of alignment between sales, marketing, and customer success teams. By breaking down these barriers and fostering cohesion, businesses can provide a seamless customer experience and drive long-term success.
In this episode of the CRO Spotlight Podcast, we delve into the multifaceted role of a Chief Revenue Officer. The conversation explores the challenges CROs face in navigating the demands of different stakeholders while ensuring the company's long-term success. Lawrence emphasizes the need for CROs to define themselves appropriately, advocating for a strategic approach that aligns growth plans with capital strategies. He underscores the importance of CROs being empowered to contribute strategically across the organization, beyond just sales leadership.
In this episode of the CRO Spotlight podcast, host Warren Zenna dives into the critical role of Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) with special guest Dana Therrien, Head of Revenue Operations for Anaplan.Warren and Dana explore the challenges faced by CROs when organizations fail to fully understand or support their roles. They discuss the importance of strategic alignment, resource allocation, and the evolution of revenue operations (rev ops) in empowering CROs to drive organizational success.From navigating unrealistic goals to advocating for greater autonomy, Warren and Dana offer practical insights for CROs, sales and marketing leaders, and founders looking to optimize their revenue strategies.Join them as they shed light on the dynamic landscape of revenue leadership and provide actionable strategies for achieving peak performance in the CRO role.
In this episode of The CRO Spotlight Podcast, Warren Zenna welcomes Sanjay Yadav, expert negotiation and sales training consultant, to the podcast. With over 26 years of corporate experience across various industries and regions, Sanjay brings a wealth of expertise to the powerful skill of negotiation.Contrary to popular belief, negotiation is not merely about haggling over prices; it's a complex interplay of psychology and language. Sanjay's insights challenge traditional notions, emphasizing negotiation as a multifaceted trading activity rather than a simple price negotiation.As a CRO, one’s entire day can be a series of negotiations. Understanding how to excel at negotiating and how to apply this nuanced skill is invaluable.  So get comfortable and tune in.
Join Warren Zenna, founder and CEO of the CRO Collective, in another episode of the CRO Spotlight Podcast. This week, Warren engages in a thought-provoking discussion with Joe Zappa, founder of Sharp Pen Media, specializing in marketing strategy, content, and PR for ad tech and mart tech companies.In this episode, Warren and Joe delve into the intricacies of the digital advertising ecosystem, exploring pressing issues such as the evolving role of the chief revenue officer (CRO), the intersection of marketing and revenue functions, and the reevaluation of ad tech promises. From dissecting the challenges of attribution in proving ad effectiveness to addressing concerns surrounding privacy and surveillance marketing, Warren and Joe offer valuable insights garnered from their extensive experience in the industry.Discover how the proliferation of programmatic advertising has given rise to complex issues such as ad fraud, brand safety, and consumer privacy, prompting brands and advertisers to reassess their strategies and adopt more transparent and ethical practices. With a keen focus on building brands and fostering meaningful customer relationships, Warren and Joe provide actionable strategies for navigating the ever-changing digital advertising landscape.Whether you're a seasoned marketing professional, a CRO striving for success, or an entrepreneur seeking to elevate your brand's presence, this episode offers invaluable perspectives on harnessing the power of digital advertising to drive sustainable business growth in today's dynamic marketplace. Tune in now to stay ahead of the curve and unlock new opportunities in the realm of digital advertising and revenue optimization.
Join Warren Zenna, founder and CEO of the CRO Collective, as he dives into the world of revenue success in this episode of the CRO Spotlight Podcast. In this engaging discussion, Warren welcomes Sandy Robinson, Senior Vice President of Revenue Operations and Enablement at Patra, a tech-enabled insurance company. Together, they explore the intricate landscape of revenue technology (RevTech) and its profound impact on customer buying journeys.Sandy shares her wealth of experience and insights gained from years in sales operations, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities presented by RevTech adoption. From navigating the complexities of integrating disparate tools to fostering organizational alignment around customer-centric strategies, Sandy offers practical advice for CROs, sales leaders, and marketers alike.Discover how RevTech transcends mere toolsets, becoming a catalyst for enhanced customer experiences and streamlined revenue generation. Whether you're a seasoned CRO or a budding sales professional, this episode provides invaluable perspectives on leveraging technology to drive sustainable business growth.Tune in to gain actionable strategies and expert guidance on harnessing the power of RevTech to unlock your organization's full revenue potential. Don't miss out on this enlightening conversation that promises to revolutionize your approach to revenue operations.
Join Warren Zenna, founder and CEO of the CRO Collective, for another enlightening episode of the CRO Spotlight Podcast. In this installment, Warren welcomes Bob McDowell, Senior Vice President of Leadership Organizational Health at CESO, to explore the intersection of education and organizational effectiveness.Bob McDowell brings a wealth of experience as a former superintendent and education expert, offering unique insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the educational sector. With a focus on building aligned education systems, Bob shares his journey from the classroom to district administration and his transition to the private sector.In this thought-provoking conversation, Warren and Bob delve into the parallels between revenue misalignment in businesses and organizational dysfunction in education. Discover how human-centered design principles and agile methodologies are revolutionizing the way educational institutions approach leadership and organizational health.From enhancing operational efficiency to improving student outcomes, Bob offers practical strategies for fostering organizational alignment and driving meaningful change within the education system. Whether you're a seasoned educator, a school administrator, or a business leader interested in education reform, this episode provides invaluable insights into transforming education systems for the better.Tune in now to gain actionable tips and expert advice on bridging the gap between theory and practice in education leadership and organizational effectiveness. Don't miss this opportunity to be inspired and empowered to make a positive impact in the world of education.
Welcome to the CRO Spotlight Podcast, where we delve into the strategies, insights, and challenges of achieving sustainable and scalable growth in today's dynamic business landscape. In this episode, we explore the world of Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) and their critical roles in driving revenue growth for organizations. Our discussion is centered around a candid conversation with Tom Goodwin, a seasoned expert in facilitating meaningful transformations within companies.Tom shares invaluable perspectives on addressing short-termism and embracing industry changes, particularly in the context of the ever-evolving car industry. Alongside the host, Warren Zenna, Tom challenges conventional practices, advocating for simplification and profound understanding of industry shifts.We also dive into the complexities of communication, customer-centricity, and the impact of technology on sales and customer experience. Tom also discusses  the pitfalls of neglecting customer knowledge in product design and the essential need for honest conversations to navigate the intricacies of investor involvement.Join us as we explore the nuances of brand purpose in marketing and the effects of remote work on company dynamics, showcasing the real challenges and opportunities in driving sustainable growth in today's business environment.This episode is a thought-provoking exploration of the revenue space, providing valuable insights for business leaders striving for scalable growth in an ever-changing marketplace.00:00 CRO podcast featuring top revenue experts. Thanks for listening.04:49 Reassuring companies about ongoing success amid new tech.08:30 Questioning organizational decisions and promoting early innovation.12:40 Distractions in startups due to funding changes.15:10 Acquisition dynamics akin to human relationships surprise.19:53 Focus on customer needs and innovation loss.21:00 Measuring cost of customer service, advertising impact.24:57 Car app and technology didn't work well.27:41 Cost-saving compromises in design lead to dissatisfaction.31:04 Net promoter score criticized for being pointless.35:01 Brands aligning with causes may not matter.38:11 Brand purpose adds alignment and logic internally.42:29 Contemplating the impact of remote work.43:36 Early stages, long-term impacts uncertain, diverse perspectives.49:04 Seeking comfort without growth, challenges, and connections.52:51 Ideological divide creates volatile office environment.53:53 Balancing differences, complexities in work, cultural alignment.57:07 Enjoying the orchestration of mundane technological experiences.
Welcome back to the CRO Spotlight Podcast! In today's episode, we delve into the world of content marketing and thought leadership strategies with a special focus on chief revenue officers and B2B businesses. Our guest, Steve MacDonald, founder of Content Strategies, shares valuable insights on the importance of creating content based on input from prospects and sales teams, rather than solely relying on marketing-generated material. We explore the significance of thought leadership content in differentiating businesses in crowded markets and the challenges faced by companies, especially in the B2B space. Join us as we discuss the impact of podcasting as a thought leadership strategy, the role of differentiation within companies, and the complexities of aligning with external causes for marketing purposes. Stay tuned for an engaging and thought-provoking conversation on how businesses can navigate the ever-evolving landscape of content marketing.00:00 Warren introduces Steve McDonald's marketing expertise.06:34 Companies struggle with differentiation in crowded markets.09:04 Helping companies redefine problems for stronger impact.13:21 Shift focus to phone calls and demos.17:04 Trusted advisor status streamlines the sales process.20:25 Marketing and sales collaboration is crucial for success.23:08 Sales meetings, buyer insights, content from customers.26:11 Create valuable content for internal and external audiences.29:43 Podcasts create valuable conversations and relationships.31:27 Podcasts drive deals and brand enhancement.35:36 Defining unique company point of view is key.40:11 Emphasize point of view, not just cause.43:06 Some companies adopt values for strategic purposes.47:19 Team collaboration, client focus, internal culture impact.49:25 Marketing officers and revenue officers both seek thought leadership content.51:43 C-suite marketing perspectives and contact information shared.
Welcome to the CRO Spotlight Podcast! In this episode, we dive into an insightful conversation between host Warren Zenna and guest Anastasia Pavlova, a seasoned CMO and startup CRO with extensive experience in technology marketing. The discussion centers around the critical importance of aligning marketing, sales, and revenue operations within a company, notably through the role of the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). Anastasia and Warren explore the challenges and opportunities in implementing new technologies, particularly AI, in today's business landscape, and emphasize the need for authentic thought leadership and strategic go-to-market approaches. Join us as we uncover valuable insights on driving scalable growth and success in the evolving world of business.
Welcome to the CRO Spotlight Podcast! In this episode, we dive into the world of chief revenue officers and organizational growth with a focus on goal setting and OKRs. Our guests, Paul Niven and Chris Wollerman, bring a wealth of experience in strategy execution and performance measurement, offering valuable insights for managing growth and complexity. From the importance of customer-centric strategic planning to the challenges of aligning culture in mergers and acquisitions, our speakers shed light on key issues facing businesses today. Join us as we explore the crucial role of goal setting in driving engagement and performance, and learn from the experts about overcoming barriers to growth and ensuring customer satisfaction leads to financial success.00:00 Warren Zena hosts CRO Spotlight podcast episode.03:39 Engineer turned entrepreneur, built successful tech company.09:28 Misaligned focus affects organization and customer satisfaction.12:53 Focusing on few key goals enhances alignment.16:03 Balancing operational whirlwind with strategic contributions is crucial.20:11 Startups face challenges, but can still succeed.21:27 Money brings conflicting perspectives and management challenges.27:17 "Login vs. sign up: product decisions matter"28:36 Companies should prioritize customers' best interest, alignment.34:28 CRO role comes from sales due to success.36:54 Platform focuses on people and performance.41:30 OKRs need champion and dedicated team.43:21 Technology enables strategy and goal setting. Jumping in is not the way.45:34 Regular refreshers help with changing personnel positions.
Welcome to the CRO Spotlight  Podcast! In this episode, we dive into the world of revenue operations with our special guest, Tamara McMillen. Get ready to explore the dynamic roles of Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) we discussed the ideal structure for revenue operations. From insights on organisational design for future growth to the challenges of customer acquisition versus customer outcomes, this episode offers valuable perspectives on building sustainable business strategies. Join us as we uncover the complexities of C-suite titles, the evolving mindset of business leadership, and the critical role of customer-centric values in driving long-term success. It's a conversation you won't want to miss!00:00 CRO Connected helps with undefined job roles.05:27 Regular community engagement through various events and discussions.08:10 CRO's role in delivering customer-focused strategy.13:52 CRO role shifted focus from customer happiness.16:34 Importance of belief system in CRO decision-making.19:22 Nurturing customers costs less than acquiring new ones.22:11 Need for patience in challenging business environment.27:34 Wrong customers cost and churn impact sales.29:10 Refused sale, ultimately purchased at higher cost.33:27 Using data to better understand market strategy.37:13 Invest in experienced leaders, clarify CRO's role.38:57 Orient business around core values for success.43:52 Brand building, PR, and investment management essential.47:44 Career growth disrupted, need for broader rewards.49:31 Increasing women in leadership through pipeline improvements.52:17 Reach out on LinkedIn or CRO Connected.
Welcome to the CRO Spotlight Podcast! In today's episode we delve into a thought-provoking conversation between Warren Zena, CEO of the CRO Collective, and Julia Nimchinski, founder of Hype Cycle and the Hard skill Exchange. The discussion centers around the vital role of chief revenue officers (CROs) in integrating sales, marketing, and customer success functions within businesses. Together, they explore the challenges of hyperbolic growth, the impact on customer neglect, and the necessity for collaboration across various departments to foster innovation and customer-driven organizations. Get ready to explore the evolving landscape of business ecosystems, the importance of knowledge-sharing platforms, and the value of practical learning in today's competitive market. This episode promises to inspire and equip you with valuable insights for scaling your business in a rapidly changing world.00:00 Balance sales, marketing, customer success for success.06:29 TV show "Super Pumped" exposes economic manipulation.08:54 Focus on real need, niche markets grow.12:58 Inspiring Airbnb story emphasizes effective marketing communication.15:18 Emphasize customer relationship over purely product-focused approach.20:18 Understanding others' expertise for improved productivity.21:59 Community progress, innovation, monetizing expertise, industry challenges.24:45 Summary: GTM MAG simplifies go-to-market skill building.29:32 Called professor to arbitrate dinner vs supper.32:50 Fascination with the human mind and selling.34:28 Synthesize ideas, talk, adapt, embrace AI for success.37:42 Roger respected and empowered through positive leadership.40:33 Every project involves going to market.
Welcome back to another episode of the CRO Spotlight Podcast! In today's episode, we dive deep into the world of Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) and their impact on B2B businesses. Our guest, Dwayne Default, is a seasoned CRO coach and go-to-market adviser, bringing a wealth of experience and insights to the table. We discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by CROs in today's ever-changing business landscape. Throughout the episode, we explore the misconceptions surrounding product-led growth and the vital role of salespeople in building relationships and driving revenue.We also highlight the need for CEOs to understand their specific problems before hiring a CRO and the importance of balancing short-term and long-term decision-making.00:52 CEO discusses sales, relationships, and automation's impact.05:36 Movies created stigma for sales over time. Salespeople create relationships and are necessary.07:15 Reevaluating product-led growth and its implications.10:49 Rise of chief revenue officer in tech.15:37 Building without customer conversations leads to failure.17:23 Scale with caution, monitor metrics closely.22:49 Segmentation, conversion, cost, measuring, sales impact, self-on boarding.27:30 Customer retention is crucial for sustained growth.31:34 Grow by stepping out of comfort zone. Lean into strengths for personal success. Identify and bring in expertise where needed.34:39 They offer support for better odds.38:18 Navigating job uncertainty in a pandemic.39:09 Red ocean filled with products, be cautious.42:58 CEOs must understand and manage expectations.46:29 Bootstrap company grew from 2 million to 11.5 million during COVID. Coaching and consulting, partnerships, CRO coach. Stepping back into the game as CRO.50:02 Important tool for working world, combining skills.53:50 Excited to see why companies struggle to implement.
Welcome to the CRO Spotlight Podcast! In this episode, we delve into the dynamic world of revenue enablement with special guest Teri Long, VP of Sales and Revenue Enablement at Mindtickle. Throughout our conversation, we explore Teri's fascinating career journey and her passion for driving success in organizations. We also discuss the evolving role of sales and revenue enablement in the context of changing buyer behaviors and the enduring importance of human interaction in sales. Join us as we dive into the critical impact of revenue enablement, the alignment with the Chief Revenue Officer, the relationship with revenue operations, and the potential shifts in sales enablement. Be prepared for insightful discussions, personal anecdotes, and valuable perspectives on the future of sales and revenue enablement.00:51 Warren Zena CEO CRO Collective shares experiences.03:11 Content enablement evolves, changes direction, optimizes experience.08:24 Metrics don't always reflect true health.11:28 Struggle with client communication leads to misunderstandings.14:20 Disruptive questions slow down sales process.17:48 Incentives drive different behavior in sales and CS.22:02 Revenue enablement vs sales enablement as threat.22:57 Discussion about why CROs shouldn't run sales. Inquire about Terry Long's diverse background and journey to revenue enablement.28:43 Embraced failure, built success, and networked consistently.29:27 Exciting problem-solving and helping people succeed.34:35 Interacting personally builds strong character and skills.38:23 Texting sales and prospecting, digital presence key.41:19 Generation gap affects communication in sales.44:51 COVID changed human interaction and sales dynamics.48:34 Challenging physical and mental feats for self-validation.49:30 Personal achievement through discipline, impressed kids.
Welcome back to the CRO Spotlight Show! In today's episode, Jim Wexler joins the show and we dive into the realm of sales and the importance of genuine connections in the modern business world. Jim shares his insights on salesmanship, the art of building relationships, and the challenges faced by Chief Revenue Officers (CROs) in today's highly competitive market. From pioneering gamification to creating memorable experiences, Jim's journey will inspire you to rethink your approach to sales and prioritize meaningful connections over transactional deals. Get ready to explore the power of human connection in sales, right here on the CRO Spotlight Show. [00:02:17] Friend supports struggling bartender by entrusting clients.[00:04:51] Jim brought me in to sell, and together we sold Hispanic media all over the country. I learned everything from you.[00:09:07] Young people selling; being authentic sells.[00:12:16] Sales is important for organizations, despite objections.[00:13:30] Salespeople build relationships and persuade effectively. Art is gone; prospecting is delegated.[00:18:00] Competition is slim, so belief is crucial. Preparing and researching online make it easier.[00:19:54] Selling meaningless products is a valuable skill.[00:25:03] Connection, likability, purpose, autonomy - differentiators in Zoom calls.[00:29:04] Human relationships are valuable in a mechanized world.[00:32:48] Relationships are valuable, not just transactions.[00:36:36] Close bond, entrepreneurial mindset, innovative products[00:39:37] Short attention spans drive success in relationships.[00:41:56] Successful promotional business orders and delivers 3,000,000 items. Also offers gamified training simulations, effectively mimicking real-world experiences. Still a revolutionary and effective business.[00:44:19] Effective graphic novels capture imagination of audiences.
Welcome back to another episode of the CRO Spotlight Show, where we dive deep into the world of sales and revenue optimization. In today's episode, we have the pleasure of speaking with Carlos Nouche and Lisa Schnare, industry experts in value selling methodology. Join us as we unpack the power of asking compelling questions, uncovering buyer motivation, and shifting the conversation from constant pitching to understanding customer needs. We'll explore how this cross-functional approach helps organizations approach sales from a buyer's perspective and avoid the common pitfalls of traditional selling. From the importance of executive alignment workshops to navigating legal processes, we'll uncover valuable insights for sales professionals and CROs alike. So grab your notepads and get ready to level up your sales game in this enlightening conversation with Carlos Nouche and Lisa Schnare. [00:06:10] Framework to help CROs think differently, impact business.[00:10:13] Using 7 words: Value prompter collects customer information for marketing.[00:14:14] Complex sales require extensive stakeholder interactions.[00:15:39] Why did you join this conversation?[00:18:36] Engagement crucial for growth and customer retention.[00:24:18] Assumed SDR onboarding, essential for company success.[00:25:05] When do organizations make sense, or not?[00:29:30] Sophisticated organizations understand the need for SDRs.[00:31:19] Easy access to information creates inexperienced salespeople.[00:35:52] Greeting and assistance are important in stores.[00:40:05] Usually either reports to CRO or CMO.[00:41:45] CMOs promoted faster, creating issues with hiring CROs.[00:46:17] CRO ensures efficient revenue across functions, mitigating silos.[00:51:05] Unique conversationalist, highly experienced in analytics.
Welcome back to CRO Spotlight Show, the podcast where we delve into the world of sales, startups, and revenue growth. In today's episode, we explore the complexities of career progression within the sales field and the intriguing role of the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). From understanding motivations and skill gaps to the challenges of leadership and decision-making, we uncover valuable insights about finding success in these positions. Join us as we dive into the intricacies of sales strategies, the importance of customer-centricity, and the delicate balance between serving both customers and investors. During this episode we will explore the ever-evolving landscape of sales and the role of the CRO in navigating growth, funding, and the pursuit of exceptional customer experiences. Get ready to uncover valuable lessons from the world of sales and startups in this thought-provoking episode of Research & Ideas. [00:01:21] Experienced sales leader with startup expertise.[00:06:07] Problems with SaaS growth and customer satisfaction.[00:10:52] Funding rounds in companies are congratulated because they signify a third party's belief in the business. Additionally, funding is often associated with the ability to spend and fuel the economy. However, as more companies adopt growth models, the influx of inbound sales requests becomes overwhelming, leading to a saturation of similar offers. This model cannibalizes itself and leads to customer disengagement. It becomes a cyclical process where unnecessary salespeople are hired and then let go. Integrated and aligned revenue operations are needed in SaaS companies to address this issue without solely focusing on frontline growth.[00:14:05] Value prop stands out amongst bland messaging, understand customer impact, build communities, leverage network partnerships, expert salespeople.[00:17:33] Investors prefer large scale companies; smaller companies adapt through personal connections.[00:22:57] Mediator role in finding common ground. Data-driven decision making for CROs.[00:27:09] Insufficient data access hampers critical decision-making.[00:27:50] Sales career transitioned to revenue operations leadership.[00:32:33] Importance of understanding motivations and skill sets in career progression.[00:36:59] Prioritize clarity, autonomy, and support for CRO.[00:39:53] CEO interviews: be honest, avoid disasters.