Drift recently teamed up with the folks at Gong and OpenView to survey leading SaaS CROs to find out what it takes to drive revenue growth while aligning sales, marketing and customer success.
We’re digging deep into what makes for a truly outstanding CRO and asked 15 to share their secrets (including our own Josh Allen). A sneak peek of what we found? Great CROs focus on people success, deal success and strategy success.
But don’t take my word for it. You can learn more from 15 outstanding CROs here. Or keep scrolling to get Josh’s take ?
The following is adapted from Revenue Success Secrets: 15 Leading SaaS CROs on How to Close Deals Faster and Exceed Quota in 2019 and Beyond. You can access the full book now here.
Being an effective leader requires solving for motivation at an individual level. As sales leaders move up and take on more responsibility, larger quotas, and bigger teams, there is a natural tendency to gravitate toward spreadsheet and dashboard management. That’s a mistake.
The truth is, every person on a team has a different motivation for being there. Truly great leaders make an effort to understand those motivations and tie them back to results. At the CRO level, my job is to equip the directors, managers, team leads, and individual contributors to create their own formulas for what success looks and feels like. Naturally, individual goals need to align with the company’s expected outputs, but those two items should be directly intertwined. Because when a personal goal is tied directly to a professional goal, that’s when an individual’s best work happens.
When I began my career in sales, I had just left college with a pile of student loan debt bigger than any amount of money I’d ever known. That’s a common situation, especially for salespeople early on in their careers. It was overwhelming and painful. Sales gave me an opportunity to earn what I wanted to earn based on how hard I was willing to work and how much I was willing to learn. I learned a valuable lesson when I realized that my personal goals (paying off my debt, buying my first house, and developing financial independence) and the company’s goals were directly aligned. I was motivated by both.
When I first took on leadership roles in sales, I followed the playbook I had learned from those before me and used universal KPI’s to measure all individuals. For example, I’d tell the salespeople on my team they needed to make 50 calls per day and complete five demos per week. Because that was their job. But I quickly realized there is no universal sales person who is going to average 50 calls and five demos per week. Each person is motivated by something a bit different. Each seller has strengths and weaknesses. If we optimize strengths and work on weaknesses, a good leader can show anyone who has the willingness to learn, a path to success. A solid sales leader teaches each member of their team how to tie personal and professional success together.