What is a Fractional CRO?

One of the roles we have been naturally offering for over a decade now, we actually haven’t been promoting. What’s fashionably called the Fractional Chief Revenue Officer aka Fractional CRO. Also known as part-time sales leadership or revenue growth advisor. If you think about Sales Force Europe, Gavin (our own CRO) and I often act as fractional CROs to our clients, guiding you through your European expansion strategy and managing a highly distributed, highly experienced sales team.

But we also offer fractional CRO services – are you ready to make it part of your RevOps strategy?

What is a fractional CRO?

Well, it can mean different things at different companies. A fractional CRO is essentially access to senior sales leadership on an as-needed basis, as opposed to having to commit to a full-time role right away. And it can vary from an ongoing part-time role to a three to four month stretch as a full-timer, helping you to set up and coach your sales and lead generation team. Often that relationship is a mix of scheduled and ad-hoc meetings for when things come up.

Acting as your senior vice president of sales, to build and run your team. And to support the sales cycles by bringing in the sales professionalism with an understanding of the process and applying necessary methodology to it. And of course the necessary technology stack to enact and measure it all.

We are usually recruited to act as your fractional CRO when you’re scale-up is trying to overcome one of two things:

  • What you’re doing today just isn’t working — not hitting your forecasts or not selling at the level you expect to be.
  • Business is stable but you need help to take it to the next level, including to new verticals and countries.

A full-time revenue growth specialist is not something all scale-ups need or can afford — especially in 2024. You may have a few sales reps and SDRs, but hiring full-time sales leadership might be out of your budget, although the need remains. If you're experiencing forecast slippage, it also helps to have an external, experienced, fresh set of eyes to help you realign the course of your sales. These are some examples of where a fractional CRO can help.

Startups and scale-ups always have budget restrictions, yet often rush to hire a pricey, full-time CRO too early, before there’s a need for a full-timer. A fractional CRO can act as an important stepping stone between employing salespeople and hiring a full-time sales leader. And often is even contracted to find and train that full-timer.

Fractional CRO services also brings comfort and external validation that you and your team are headed in the right direction — hopefully toward more sales! It’s also the fastest way to show pipeline and revenue.

Each of our fractional CROs has been providing sales leadership and management for about 20 years in their target verticals and target regions.

Setting up sales forecasting

Gavin says we give a fractional CRO meaning by putting discipline into your sales forecasting so you can achieve more predictable growth.

"Entrepreneurs wear many hats and often come from varied backgrounds. Focusing on sales in the way a seasoned sales leader does can therefore be challenging,” Gavin said. “What we do [as fractional CRO services] is help to give some solidity to the forecast and make sure that there's a process in place to become repeatable and to be able to scale it.”

This is done mostly via mentoring and coaching especially around these processes — all through the local lens of your target country markets.

There are certain sales methodologies we are qualified to help you adopt:

  • MEDDIC - also called MEDDICC or MEDDPIC, it stands for metrics, economic buyer, decision criteria, decision process, identify pain, and champion, and helps you focus on more efficient resource allocation and increasing your forecast accuracy.
  • Miller Heiman Conceptual Selling - Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman created this sales process that has you conceiving what a customer will do ahead of a sales call, planning what you will sell, how much of it you will sell, by when. It relies on visualization via account maps that guides your sales team to categorize, determine and influence the process. This literally spun out of the SPIN selling method and its situation, problem, implication, and need-payoff stages.
  • Solution Selling - Not that far off from socratic selling, where you listen to your prospect’s needs and position your product as a solution to it.

In the end, each engagement is different, as is each product and unique sales proposition — and of course each of your customers will be different, but a fractional CRO can help you uncover patterns and help you apply the best strategy.

It’s all about bringing that knowledge of the professional sales cycle and saying where the gaps are and how we can help you fill them.

And as you scale, it’s important to have an eye on going global — a fractional CRO — or fractional VP of Europe or GM of Europe — can help you get there.

Are you committed to expanding to Europe? Our team is dedicated to helping to build your European strategy or global sales strategy. We have fractional CROs waiting for you, alongside part or all of your international expansion team, including sales outsourcing and lead generation, ready to take you to Europe faster, with less risk and more expertise. Contact us now to start a conversation.

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