The Chief Commercial Officer as a Growth Differentiator Part 3

In our previous blogs in this series, we introduced that the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) role is a growth differentiator to enable businesses to harness the entire commercial power of the organization and the role and responsibilities of a CCO differ between a Chief Revenue Officer (i.e., Sales Leader) and the Chief Marketing Officer.

In this blog, we will share some of the more explicit strategic questions and aspects that a CCO is tasked with addressing to drive growth for their organization.

Defining the Transformative Growth Journey

We believe most companies not “born in the cloud” desire to become a software technology-first business and leverage it for competitive advantage. If true, then a company must redesign the way it operates and navigate its way through complexity and uncertainty.

Let’s assume that your organization has decided to create this role and bring on an individual to successfully execute it. After conducting a current state business and operational review, what are the key steps and decisions the CCO should act on?

  1. Decide the growth journey, which includes:
    • Strategy, milestones, phases/steps – road sign of success and challenges
    • Key decisions and actions of the journey
    • Change Management
    • Communication plan and management
  2. Evaluate current products, services, and talent capabilities for their fit in the growth journey
    • Define Talent needs and performance expectations for the “CCO Team”; Source and select initial internal team members
    • Complete detailed segmentation of market and account segments and affinity targeting – determine what problems must be solved and for whom you are solving them for
  3. Create/design a new operating model to enable high growth
    • Define “Where to Act” – Create an initial point of view for the commercial portfolio of solutions, products, and services focused on the markets and accounts that your organization needs/wants
    • Define “What to Do” – Design the transformative Portfolio and integrated offers to apply and populate newly defined account pathways
    • Define “How to Win” – Provide everything to the “Intimacy Targeted” accounts; This puts you in an intimate place with the key executives, provides the means to stay relevant between big deals, and makes you an advisor the Account – and its key decision makers – cannot live without.
  4. Define the investment model and funding needs to successfully implement the growth plan
    • When embarking on a growth path, there is the need to plan for new Talent, determine the impact to current products and services, invest into new integrated solutions, outline the go-to-market strategy, etc.
    • Additionally, the CCO must also define the financial and operational dashboard. KPIs include but are not limited to:
      • Growth: revenue, margin, market share
      • New Logos
      • Reduced account churn, leakage
      • ROI improvement on go-to-market, marketing, sales force
      • Improved access to customer executives
      • Account roadmap(s) and pathways that demonstrated true intimacy and indispensability
  5. The last step in the journey is to implement the new business model while maintaining/adjusting the current one.

This is best understood at the account level since there are always two simultaneous journeys going on – the customers’ experience and your account plans.

a) In the new model, you can greatly impact the customers’ journey and thereby achieve your business goals.

b)  This is accomplished by working upon those issues that matter to the executive team – above the Safety-lineSM in the customer.

c)  Working at this level facilitates both the implementation of changes in their business and pull through for your more commoditized products and services. This will allow you to both improve their business and meet your revenue and margin goals.

d)  Finally, as you continue to work above the Safety-lineSM bringing new ideas and assistance to the customer, you become part of their executive decision-making process.

“But wait a minute”, you may be wanting to say at this point. “What if my organization has not yet decided whether to create the CCO role?”. In our next blog on this topic, we will share how an organization might proceed with leveraging a Chief Commercial Officer to drive transformational growth.


Written by: Mark Slotnik

About the Author:

Mark Slotnik has spent nearly 20+ years advising clients in the areas of designing and taking to market high-value business solutions, solution portfolio management, talent development, resource management, business process re-engineering and commercial software.  

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