Fractional CRO

Unlocking Revenue Growth: What is a Fractional Chief Revenue Officer and What Can You Expect?

As a business leader, ​you know that growing revenue is essential for scaling your company’s success. However, actually making that ​happen can be incredibly challenging, ​especially if your sales and marketing teams seem stuck despite best efforts.

That’s why many ​fast-growing tech companies ​are turning to fractional Chief ​Revenue Officers (CROs) to spur smarter ​ revenue generation. But what exactly is a ​fractional CRO, and how can this model benefit your business?

Hiring a fractional Chief ​Revenue Officer (CRO) can provide tremendous ​value for companies looking to ​ improve their sales ​and revenue growth. As ​an experienced outsider ​with an objective ​perspective, a fractional ​CRO brings strategic ​insights tailored to your ​unique business needs and ​goals.

If your company ​struggles with stagnant ​revenue, lackluster sales ​results, misaligned teams, or any host of other growth ​ challenges, a fractional CRO could provide ​the specialized expertise and fresh perspective needed to turn things around.

What Is a Fractional CRO and What Do They Do?

A fractional or interim ​Chief Revenue Officer is an ​experienced sales and marketing leader who comes into your business on a part-time, contract basis to oversee and optimize your entire revenue engine.

Unlike a full-time CRO ​who handles day-to-day revenue ​operations, a fractional CRO provides strategic guidance and leadership for a limited time to accomplish specific goals.

For example, you may hire a ​fractional CRO for 3 to 6 months to:

  • Develop and execute a comprehensive go-to-market strategy
  • Build high-performance sales and marketing teams
  • Implement effective sales processes and infrastructure
  • Align teams around growth objectives
  • Provide specialized expertise in your industry
  • And more

Once the mission is complete, the fractional CRO finishes their engagement with a roadmap for sustaining growth.

In essence, fractional ​CROs function like on-demand turnaround ​ specialists to quickly boost sales and revenue performance.

Key Responsibilities of a Fractional CRO

A fractional CRO’s specific ​responsibilities can vary substantially depending ​on a company’s unique goals and needs.

However, some typical ​responsibilities include:

Sales Tasks:

  • Develop sales strategy aligned to business goals
  • Design and implement sales processes
  • Establish sales KPIs and metrics
  • Recruit and build high-performing sales team
  • Provide sales coaching to improve rep performance

Marketing Tasks:

  • Craft effective positioning and messaging
  • Identify and target ideal customer profiles
  • Develop marketing campaigns and assets to support sales
  • Create standards for sales and marketing alignment

Management Tasks:

  • Create realistic revenue forecasts
  • Design sales compensation structure
  • Provide executive-level reporting and insights
  • Identify roadblocks and opportunities in funnel
  • Course-correct strategies based on market response and data

The right fractional ​CRO helps establish a strong ​growth foundation so companies ​can scale sustainably after the engagement.

Hiring a CRO: In-House vs. Outsourced

Should you hire an insider or an ​outsider to take on the ​CRO role?

When it comes to hiring a ​Chief Revenue Officer, companies ​essentially have two options:

  1. Hire an in-house, ​full-time CRO
  2. Work with a fractional, outsourced CRO

There are upsides and downsides to each approach:

Full-Time, In-House CRO


  • Deep, long-term integration into company culture, products and strategy
  • Oversees day-to-day revenue operations
  • Built-in domain expertise from operating within company


  • Expensive salary and benefits
  • Lengthy hiring process
  • Learning curve to grasp company intricacies
  • Potential lack of outside perspective

Fractional, Outsourced CRO


  • Specialized expertise tailored to company’s needs
  • Objective, outside perspective
  • Fast hiring timeline and setup
  • Cost-effective pay structure
  • Laser focus and sense of urgency


  • Temporary engagement length
  • Ramps up on company over time
  • Less integration into company fabric

Generally, full-time CROs make more sense for large corporations, while fractional CROs best serve small to mid-sized businesses.

Certain growth scenarios also lend themselves better to one over the other:

Choose a Fractional CRO When…

  • Cash flow is limited/run lean
  • Specialized experience is needed
  • An interim solution is required
  • An objective outside perspective is valuable

Choose a Full-Time CRO When…

  • Revenue supports a permanent role
  • Deep integration into culture is needed
  • Industry knowledge is highly complex
  • Long-term strategy leadership is required

9 Traits of an Effective Fractional CRO

All fractional CROs bring unique capabilities and experiences to the table. However, the best fractional CROs exhibit these essential traits:

  1. Strong Understanding of Company Goals: An effective fractional CRO makes an effort to grasp your company’s sales and revenue goals, business model, metrics, and existing strategies. This foundational knowledge helps them provide relevant recommendations tailored to your objectives versus generic advice.
  2. Revenue Growth Strategy Development: Your fractional CRO should know how to examine your current market positioning, competitive landscape, and pipeline health to develop a strategic growth plan aligned to your KPIs.
  3. Sales Team Building: Beyond strategy, an effective fractional CRO can assemble a high-performing sales team, whether by training existing staff or recruiting new reps. This includes mapping ideal customer profiles, hiring for key aptitudes, and leveraging compensation to incentivize growth behaviors.
  4. Sales and Marketing Alignment: By bridging siloes between sales and marketing, an exceptional fractional CRO amplifies their strategies. This means facilitating collaboration, joint goal setting, shared metrics, and coordinated messaging so both teams work cohesively to fuel growth.
  5. Performance Benchmarking: A results-oriented fractional CRO continuously monitors KPI dashboards to benchmark progress against goals. By tracking leading and lagging indicators, they can course correct tactics in real-time to improve conversion rates.
  6. Industry Trend Knowledge: Leading fractional CROs stay on top of the latest revenue operations best practices, tools, and trends within your specific market. This enables them to identify new opportunities or solutions you may have overlooked internally.
  7. Customer-Centric Culture: Beyond top-line revenue, an excellent fractional CRO focuses on customer satisfaction throughout the buying journey to drive repeat sales and referrals. They may assess touchpoints via surveys, interviews, or analysis to ensure optimal end-user experiences.
  8. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Using analytics, forecasts, and pipeline health diagnostics, first-rate fractional CROs ground recommendations in real market feedback versus guesswork. This evidence-based approach surfaces the highest potential growth levers for activation.
  9. Strong Communication Skills: Finally, an exceptional fractional CRO can clearly convey complex strategies or data insights to both executive and frontline teams. By aligning groups around a common revenue vision, they elicit greater buy-in and consistent execution.

Reasons to Hire a Fractional CRO

If your organization struggles to meet its revenue potential, hiring a fractional Chief Revenue Officer offers many benefits:

  1. Significant Cost Savings: Unlike salaried, full-time CROs requiring $300K+ in annual compensation, fractional CRO fees typically range from $5K-$15K per month. The part-time structure grants clients scalable growth leadership far more affordably than permanent roles.
  2. Customized Engagements: Fractional CROs allow companies to scope contracts around specific trouble areas or opportunities rather than broad oversight. For example, you may engage a fractional CRO solely to build an enterprise sales team, refine lead gen strategy, or align sales and marketing. These targeted solutions maximize relevance.
  3. Specialized Expertise: Veteran fractional CROs possess domain experience within your target industry to provide fine-tuned strategies that generic advisors may overlook. This nuanced perspective helps clients activate growth opportunities hiding in plain sight internally.
  4. Improved Efficiency: Fractional CROs enable rapid deployment of revenue growth initiatives versus a lengthy hiring process for full-time execs. Their past success executing similar turnarounds accelerates outcomes. The defined engagement period also incents urgency and focus.
  5. Objective Perspectives: As outsiders, fractional CROs assess sales, marketing, and pipeline health with impartiality many internal teams lack. This cold, hard diagnosis reveals breakdowns business leaders may rationalize away or remain blind towards.
  6. Less Financial Risk: Compared to full-time CRO salaries, fractional CRO fees limit clients’ financial risk while accessing executive-level expertise. The defined contract parameters allow for easy extension of successful engagements or conclusion of ineffective partnerships.
  7. Interim Leadership Solution: For businesses not ready to fund a permanent chief revenue officer role, fractional CROs provide interim leadership until growth scales sufficiently to hire full-time. They essentially bridge strategic and operational gaps on the journey towards sustainable revenues.

What Are Signs You Need a Fractional CRO?

Many scenarios indicate an outsourced fractional CRO could catalyze improved sales and revenue performance:

  • Declining Revenue: If revenues trend down for multiple quarters, an impartial fractional CRO helps uncover root causes within the funnel. Their data-driven diagnostics spot conversion blockers missed internally.
  • Lack of Growth: When client acquisition and revenue expansion stall, fractional CROs jumpstart momentum with refined messaging, market positioning, or sales process optimization.
  • Underperforming Sales Team: Persistent missed quotas or sparse pipeline activity signal greater issues fractional CROs can address through compensation alignment, skills coaching, or improved lead generation.
  • Inefficient Processes: Lengthy sales cycles, excessive touchpoints, and lead leakage point to operational bottlenecks a fractional CRO can streamline for conversion rate lift.
  • Lack of Market Knowledge: Without clear customer avatars, unique value propositions, or competitive differentiators, fractional CROs help crystallize messaging and positioning to capture share.
  • Poor Sales and Marketing Alignment: When sales and marketing teams rarely collaborate and seem misaligned, fractional CROs facilitate mutually reinforcing strategies and consistent messaging.

The above scenarios merely scratch the surface of fractional CRO use cases. Ultimately, if suboptimal sales productivity or revenue generation concern you, engaging an outsourced fractional CRO could jumpstart the high-performance growth engine your business deserves.

Wondering if a Fractional CRO Fits Your Business Needs?

A fractional CRO judiciously applied at the right phase of your company’s growth can pay massive dividends improving sales strategy, execution, forecasting and alignment across the organization. This leads directly to expanded markets and accelerated revenue.

If hitting your next revenue milestone seems out of reach, an experienced fractional Chief Revenue Officer may be the force multiplier you need. At Mprove Sales, we have a proven track record of turning businesses of all sizes into high performance sales organizations. Contact our team today and let us help you explore if this model is the missing link that will propel your sales, marketing and revenue teams to the next level.

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