I always have a good chuckle when I meet another Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In principle, I'm a fan of the concept, and start-ups need to be mindful of costs, but there's a reason why, at the first opportunity, sales and marketing are divided into two distinct functions and, essentially, two separate fields. This may not be a very mature attitude on my part, but what can I say, sales and marketing are not driven by the same motivations or rewarded by the same results. Attempts to fix this issue are futile.
Although all the company's department heads (sales, marketing, finance, legal and R&D) take into account the interests of their organization and they all want the company to grow, reach rounds A, B, C, OPV, etc. with plenty of customers on board so that staff don't have to worry about their next paycheck, this is where their common goals end. Marketing will always view sales as lazy fanatics driven by the bonuses they would sell to their grandmother to achieve their sales goal this quarter. Sales, on the other hand, will always consider marketing as idealists who burn money, who like to make the company's logo look nice and generate leads in bad shape. When can such a position have little chance of functioning? — When the Vice President of Revenue Operations reports to the Chief Revenue Officer.
The Chief Revenue Officer also oversees the marketing, sales and customer satisfaction leadership teams. The Vice President of Revenue Operations must be on an equal footing with the marketing, sales and customer satisfaction leadership teams. The Vice President of Sales usually reports to the CRO. However, in smaller organizations, the Vice President of Sales will act effectively as CRO by taking on a larger set of responsibilities.
The Vice President of Sales usually informs the CFO or CEO if there is no CRO. The CMO is a member of top management and generally reports to the executive director. Multiple Senior Vice-Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Directors and other Senior Marketing managers responsible for various parts of the marketing strategy can report directly to the CMO. Your job is to align these four departments, ensuring that they all work together to achieve the organization's sales objectives. For example, the customer's advertising methods may promise certain benefits to potential customers but the sales department doesn't know the advertising strategy and is looking for something completely different. If you come across a position that combines sales and marketing operations with all-encompassing job responsibilities depending on a functional executive - run away! The organizational structure of companies with CRO generally requires that the CRO be accountable to the CFO or CEO.
Without sales leadership that oversees all four departments from a revenue perspective these departments will often lean towards a silo structure. The new Vice President of Sales will analyze current sales processes and determine new strategies for expanding the business. In smaller organizations, the Vice President of Sales will assume the responsibilities that a CRO would normally assume. Companies that notice a misalignment between customer-facing departments including sales, product, customer service and marketing often need help from a strong CRO. Knowing the essential differences between each position and the needs of the company can help executives decide when they need a CRO or when a Vice President of Sales is more suitable.
When determining if an organization requires a CRO or a Vice President of Sales look at its unique needs to make an informed decision. Therefore once a company grows beyond its basic startup mentality and needs to increase its revenues it must hire either a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) or a Vice President of Sales to ensure smooth sales processes and greater customer retention. The Vice President of Sales uses various methodologies and strategies to target people and entities and convert them into customers. In conclusion, it is important for companies to understand when they need either a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) or a Vice President of Sales in order to maximize their revenue potential. Knowing which position is best suited for your organization's needs can help you make an informed decision that will benefit your business in both short-term and long-term goals.