Does your B2B SaaS company need a chief revenue officer?

David (J) Vranicar
3 min readApr 27, 2021


“Organizations that can no longer do the things they once relied on to grow profitable revenue need to bring in a CRO to fix their revenue issues.

“This has been a common scenario since the pandemic hit, which is one of the reasons CROs are in such high demand right now.”


Today many SaaS companies have created the relatively new role of chief revenue officer. The practice started in Silicon Valley, and it has spread to tech companies everywhere.

If your company doesn’t have a CRO, you may wonder whether you should add one. You’re likely to have these questions:

  • What’s the role a CRO?
  • Do we need one? How might a CRO benefit our operations?
  • How much is a CRO likely to cost?
  • Where would we find a suitable CRO?

If your company already has a CRO, you may face growing pains as you define what your CRO should do.

Ideas to consider

  • The role of CRO is most appropriate for bigger growth companies and mature businesses. Organizations that need a CRO may already have a chief marketing officer (CMO) and a chief sales officer (CSO).
  • For companies that need a CRO but aren’t ready to hire one full time, it may be a good idea to hire a fractional CRO.
  • Organizations that aren’t ready for a CRO might create an internal working group. The purpose of the group is to address revenue challenges across business functions. Such a group might consist of people in marketing, sales, and finance. Some companies create such groups under the name of Revenue Operations (or RevOps).


Elizabeth Harris has written a lot about the role of chief revenue officers and how to hire them. Her content it consistently solid. It’s substantial and informative, with no fluff.

“How to Hire a Chief Revenue Officer.” Elizabeth Harris. Undated. Resultist Consulting blog.


The Role of a Chief Revenue Officer: An extended look into the role and responsibilities of a CRO. Elizabeth Harris. Resultist. [Downloadable PDF ebook, 78 pages. No charge.]

This is as complete a guide as I’ve found on how to be successful in the role of CRO. It’s likely to be useful for 3 groups:

  • Executives who want to rise to the rank of CRO
  • Companies that are creating a new position of CRO
  • Companies that want to get more value from the current position of CRO

“Recruiting — How and Where to Find Your Next CRO.” Elizabeth Harris. Undated. Resultist Consulting blog.

“Average CRO Salary Expectations (Chief Revenue Officer).” Elizabeth Harris. Undated. Resultist Consulting blog.

“How CROs Gain Support from a Private Equity-Backed Board.” Ellen Wade. March 16, 2021. Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) blog.

Many CROs must work with board members from private equity or venture capital firms. This is a worthwhile read for CROs in 2 situations:

  • They’re new to a company that has private equity or venture capital investors.
  • The company they work for has taken on new outside investors.



David (J) Vranicar

Writer, visual artist, environmental advocate