Today’s CEO has to work harder than ever. With a tightening economy, fears of a recession, and a post-COVID marketplace that remains hard to read, the CEO truly is in the hot seat. With an average tenure of fewer than seven years, according to some estimates, the CEO has little runway with which to work in creating market and revenue success.
It’s an unfamiliar place for many CEOs – particularly those in the SMB and mid-market space. They’ve built their business on a foundation of great industry knowledge, hard work, dedication, and a healthy dose of sweat equity. But in changing times, and with little understanding of market forces outside their particular industry, it can be difficult to get an infusion of the right market insights needed to build next-generation strategies for success.
Chief Outsiders has been an ally to these CEOs since 2009, offering fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) services and deploying hundreds of battle-tested marketing consultants into thousands of mid-market enterprises – offering go-to-market savvy and the type of experienced, intimate business counsel that can be hard to find from within the existing C-suite.
The fractional or part time CMO model has been a boon for companies looking for an immediate boost in go-to-market insights without the price tag (and headaches) that comes with a protracted search for a full-time CMO. Today, in a tight labor market, and an even tighter budget environment, finding the type of revenue rainmaker to deploy the CMO’s newly-minted strategy can be an even steeper uphill climb.
This has given rise to a new offering here at Chief Outsiders – the fractional Chief Sales Officer. Like a teammate in a relay race, they are able to take the strategic baton from the fractional CMO and execute with the same type of acumen and tenacity, while building upon the natural synergy that we believe has always existed between marketing and sales.
A fractional Chief Sales Officer is freed from the limits of a single-industry view and armed with experiences honed from decades in the sales trenches – an assertion that I can back up, as I am proud to launch the CSO practice at Chief Outsiders.
Like my colleagues who have crisscrossed the country to fabricate and elevate marketing strategies for a broad cross-section of companies, I, too, bring a broad background and a fresh set of eyes to this role. In my experiences, I’ve worked in both B2B and B2C, and helped energize sales efforts for financial services, software, technology, and SaaS companies.
What I’ve learned is that the fundamentals of sales are fairly, well, “fundamental” – regardless of industry segment. In this time, I’ve also observed the importance of sales-marketing alignment as an absolute necessity. Though the skill sets individually are different, the inputs are not: Both CMOs and CSOs benefit from the same go-to-market blueprint, the same targeting strategies, the back office, operational support, and so forth. Given these reasons – and the chance to impact real, substantive change for CEOs – I am ecstatic to help Chief Outsiders expand its footprint and launch its new fractional Chief Sales Officer practice.
In fact, in the not-too-recent past, while I served as the Chief Operating Officer for an environmental consulting firm, I had a front-row seat to this type of close coordination. I hired a Chief Outsiders interim CMO to help us overcome some struggles we were experiencing with a new service launch. As my CMO developed the market messaging and targeting strategies, I observed that the process needed sales leadership buy-in to ensure leads would be accelerated through our funnel. Since the formulation of the underlying sales and marketing strategies follow a similar logic model, it made sense that a fractional CSO role could thrive.
By launching this role within the successful Chief Outsiders framework, it elevates it head-and-shoulders above any “single-shingle” CSO practice. First, of course, is the rich and ever-growing pool of resources at Chief Outsiders that an independent contract sales executive simply cannot replicate. Along with the support, the contacts, the referral network, and the technology stack that a collective such as Chief Outsiders can bring to bear, a Chief Outsiders CSO is able to fully focus on a CEO’s mission-critical objectives while a support team handles accounting, tech support, and administrative needs. And of course, behind it all are 120+ CMOs who are willing to consult and collaborate with each CSO to help sharpen the strategies -- if needed -- in order to execute and produce the best results for our clients.
For more than 15 years, Chief Outsiders has earned a reputation as the industry leader in fractional marketing and business strategy development. It’s only logical to expand to include the execution as well. I am excited to join the Tribe and their CSO practice.
If you are a CEO reading this and find the concept of a fractional CSO as compelling as I do, please reach out for an initial consultation. We’d love to bring a one-two punch to your go-to-market aspirations!
If you are a sales executive with a strong track record of success and are interested in joining me as a member of the CSO tribe, visit our Career Page for more information and to apply.