In this fourth and final post in the Chief Commercial Officer series (Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) role is a growth differentiator , Role and Responsibilities of a CCO , Strategic Actions of a CCO), we address how an organization might proceed with leveraging a Chief Commercial Officer to drive transformational growth.
It probably goes without saying but driving the entire organization forward on its goal of high growth requires more than hiring one technology executive into its newly created CCO role. For example, alignment across the current leadership team is a key success factor since the act of deciding whether to create and fulfill the CCO role will have significant impact and implications to:
- Current functions, and functional leaders
- Sales Team
- Portfolio and Product/Service Strategy and Management
- Strategic Marketing, Marketing Communications
- Services Team – support, field, PS, installation/implementation, etc.
- Customer Experience and Customer Success
- Organization design, and corresponding roles, responsibilities and decision rights
- Financial and operational metrics, KPIs
- Talent sourcing, search and acquisition for a CCO
Therefore, leadership alignment is the first step to creating and supporting a CCO to success. We suggest the following three steps to obtain agreement and alignment.
It is our experience that an organization’s leadership team must be honest amongst themselves about the reality of their company’s situation to determine whether having a CCO is needed as part of the strategy to reignite growth. Hence, it is often helpful to have an objective guide to overcome the normal “forest for the trees” challenge.
For now, let’s assume the decision has been made to leverage a CCO to lead a differentiated growth strategy for the organization. The immediate first step for a new CCO to take is to conduct an initial business and operational review so an actionable operational plan can be crafted.
The Chief Commercial Officer Challenge
This brings us to the end of our blog series. To sum it up, the CCO needs to have clarity of the True Intimacy Model, the road map to get there, and, because the new business model will be significantly different than today’s operating model, they need a guide to help them on the way.
How big is the problem? This is unique to each company, but all suffer from the challenge of commoditization in some of their products or brands. Further, we have found that most B2B companies are constantly fighting to protect their margins and find growth. Many of the current ways of doing business will need to be changed to become a highly differentiated competitor by:
- Thinking through the “Where to Act”, “What to Do”, and “How to Win” decisions.
- Utilizing Advisory Services, Account Pathways, Advising not Selling, etc. and their implications throughout the organization.
Each of these in themselves can require significant change. Therefore, you need a clear model to guide the organization forward, which helps gain alignment early and provide litmus tests as you progress. Also, a clear road map of how you are going to get there and making sure you are taking the shortest and least risky route will be important. Finally, like any trip into uncharted territory, consider bringing a guide that has taken the trip before.
Thank you for taking the time to explore this interesting and key role with us. It is greatly appreciated.
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.