Sergio Tang is the chief growth officer at Space AG Global, a growth expert, speaker and lecturer. Helping ships and scale products in Latam.
The business world is evolving faster than ever. With all the layoffs and the always-changing landscape, startups and big companies are focusing on revenue-based growth roles. However, the days of growing a business at all costs, just looking for that hockey stick figure, are in the past. As a result, the position of a hybrid or at least fractional chief growth officer (CGO) has become increasingly important in recent years for tech companies. Having a CGO will be essential to the success of your company.
What qualifications and experience are required for a chief growth officer?
A chief growth officer typically requires a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or a related field. Some prefer a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a related field. However, experience is more valuable these days than any given degree. They should have 10-15 years of leadership experience with a minimum of five years of experience in marketing, sales and product development or technical delivery. They should have strong leadership and talent development skills, experience managing budgets and the ability to identify and grow new markets, products and services. Excellent communication and presentation skills are also essential.
What types of organizations or industries are best suited for a CGO?
The role of a CGO is becoming increasingly popular across various industries. However, industries that are highly competitive and experience rapid changes in technology and consumer behavior are particularly well-suited for a CGO. For example, startups and tech companies are the best suited for a CGO. The problem with most startups is that they lack a budget, and that’s why a hybrid CGO/CPO/CTO or a fractional model works for them.
Here are a few reasons why a CGO is essential.
• Single north – Sometimes you have a brand/marketing team and a sales team. And you think this is the right way. However, this siloed way of working could bring counterproductive results; everything moves smoothly if you have a CGO on top of the brand and sales lead.
• Focus on growth – Paul Graham defines a startup as a “company designed to grow fast,” so the main focus for a startup should be developing and executing strategies that drive growth (increasing revenue, expanding customer base, participating in business developing opportunities, partnerships or even joint ventures). -ventures or acquisitions). A leader dedicated to the top metric of the company is crucial in 2023 and beyond.
• Cross-functional collaboration – A CGO has to work closely with their team and other departments, they have to be technically knowledgeable and have to talk to an engineer, and they have to be a “product” person as well, besides being a marketer and sales leader. A CGO works closely with other departments—including marketing, sales and product development—to ensure everyone is aligned around growth goals. They bring together teams with different skill sets and perspectives to create a cohesive strategy that drives growth across the organization.
• Data-driven decision making – A CGO uses data to make informed decisions about company strategies. They analyze the market, competitors and company trends, customer behavior and sales data to identify growth opportunities and strategies. They must also be great data storytellers to get executive buy-in for their initiatives.
• Innovation – A CGO is responsible for identifying new opportunities for growth and innovation. For example, I constantly look for ways to improve processes, SOPs, teams, products, services and everything I see or interact with at a company to stay ahead of the competition or gain traction. Sometimes I feel that the CGO role is to become a product manager or product marketer first and then focus on growth because you need to build the framework and engine for growth development. However, if you combine all these aspects, you will have a hard time finding a great CGO, but when you do, they consider all the dots before trying to start selling, making digital campaigns or even creating a product.
• Executive leadership – A CGO is a crucial executive team member and plays a critical role in shaping the company’s overall strategy for success. They bring a unique perspective to the table and help ensure that growth is the top priority across the business. In 2023, having a CGO as part of your executive team will be essential to driving growth and staying competitive.
In conclusion, the evolving business landscape calls for a growth mindset, and the role of a chief growth officer has become increasingly important in recent years, especially for tech companies.
However, startups sometimes need more money for a full-time CGO, and that’s when a fractional or hybrid CGO plays its part. A CGO brings a strategic approach to driving growth and possesses qualifications such as experience in marketing, sales and product development. In addition, they are technically savvy, know how to execute at all levels and have solid leadership and communication skills. CGOs are crucial for industries facing intense competition and rapid technological changes. They foster cross-functional collaboration, make data-driven decisions and drive innovation to stay ahead of the competition.
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