FlipMyFunnel Post

Why CMOs Make Great CROs (And How to Get There)

Only sales leaders become CROs, right? 


With a little preparation, CMOs can — and do — make great CROs. 

In this Takeover episode, host Casey Cheshire speaks with Kyle Lacy, Chief Marketing Officer at Lessonly, about why he expects to see more CMOs rising to the CRO position in the coming years. 

They discuss:

  • Why CMOs can become great CROs
  • Why owning a revenue number is key to the CRO role
  • How ABM fits into the equation

From marketer to CMO

The biggest myth Kyle wants to crush is that only sales leaders make good CROs. 


Because business is changing. 

“Feature set is not a differentiator anymore.

Where once product features defined B2B differentiation, this is no longer the case. At Lessonly, he can name 50 competitors off of the top of his head. 

Marketers have a unique advantage in creating different differentiators for your business. 

And it all boils down to understanding

Marketers are better equipped than sales leaders to:

  1. Understand what makes customers tick.
  2. Understand what makes your brand effective in the current market.
  3. Understand how to work your company culture into the marketing and sales messaging.

That’s the future of outbound sales. 

But it comes with a pretty big caveat… 

Owning a revenue number

So, if marketers are so well positioned to become world-class CROs… 

Why don’t we see more marketers rise to the CRO title?

Well, frankly, it’s because marketers are often focused on the wrong things. 

And above all else, most marketers don’t own a revenue number. 

“Marketing should own a revenue number. I will always preach that, but I don’t think a lot of marketing leaders do.”

If you are the kind of marketer who doesn’t and, instead, only talks about MQLs and pipelines, you’re probably not the kind that can transfer into the CRO role. 

Sales taps into the revenue component by default, which is why companies looking for a CRO so often turn to sales. 

So, if you want to make it — and this can’t be stressed enough — you need to own a revenue number.

Then you can merge an understanding of brand and demand in a way that will drive success to your SDRs while still knowing how to own a messaging story. 

But even if you aren’t pining for the CRO title, this advice still applies. 

Great marketers are ones that work well with sales — a department that will never trust you until you have skin in the revenue game. 

The ABM component

We obviously love ABM here — ABM is B2B after all — and Kyle agrees…though he may phrase it in a slightly different way. 

Kyle thinks any good marketer should have an in-depth knowledge of ABM strategies. 

But he believes that even before the term became popular, ABM was something he would just call marketing.  

“ABM to me is just good marketing.”

Still, he’s glad that the term was coined because ABM is vital to B2B and the recent interest has taught marketers something he thinks they should have done decades ago. 

And it’s something that his marketing department lives and breathes — and he thinks yours should, too. 

Having a targeting list of accounts, building differentiated channels, messaging, and strategies around each account — these are all things he thinks any smart marketer should be doing. 

Especially if they want to reach that coveted CRO title.  

This is a #FlipMyFunnel podcast. Check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here.