We caught up with Chris Lobdell, Chief Revenue Officer at GoodData, after he attended our Chief Revenue Officer Summit in Chicago. He wanted to share some of his learnings from this exciting event. 

Chris is a senior sales leader with 20+ years of experience spanning enterprise technology sales, SaaS sales, digital media sales, sales engineering, and software development. Before his current role at GoodData he served as Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Salesforce and Chief Revenue Officer at Ahalogy. 

Chris discusses his thoughts on:

The value Chris gained from the Chief Revenue Summit in Chicago

The CRO of GoodData confessed that he “gets invited to a lot of CRO type events”, so was initially on the fence about attending. But, he changed his tune quickly and admitted “I'm really glad I did attend”. 

Overall, he found the Chief Revenue Officer Summit in Chicago “incredibly valuable and really helpful”, explaining further that there was a lot of tactical information shared, right from the first presentation.

The first presenter, Warren Zenna, Founder of The CRO Collective, “shared a diagram of all the various responsibilities that go into the CRO function. And it was really helpful to map out all the things a CRO is supposed to do.”

Chris also found the “very specific information around enablement plans” presented by Gail Behun, Director of Revenue Enablement at LivePerson “really helpful”.

“Overall, I thought the Chief Revenue Officer Summit was a really good event. I enjoyed being there, and I thought the event was very useful. Especially because I think there was a good network effect there.”

The value CROs can gain from attending a Chief Revenue Officer Summit

Chris mentions that being a CRO is a challenging role, as he puts it:

“The average tenure of a CRO is 17 months, so in some ways, events like this are almost emotional support groups for what is arguably one of the most challenging jobs in the C-suite.
“The CRO role is referred to as the ‘ejection seat’ for many reasons, but the main one is we’re the first to get fired when things go south because we're leading sales, and therefore, failure is on us.”

“So the tactical learnings were very useful.” Chris also emphasizes the value of discussing similar problems with fellow CROs.

Chris’s favorite sessions of the day

While the Chief Revenue Officer Summit in Chicago hosted a variety of presentations Chris clearly had a couple of favorites where he discovered the most value.

Chris mentioned that he took a lot away from the event, elaborating that:

“The CRO framework that Warren presented and delved into was interesting.
“And in terms of what is actionable for me? I think that session going to make me more accountable as the Chief Revenue Officer as it allowed me to better define my job description. 
“In a lot of situations as CRO it's like, ‘Okay, give me customer success, marketing, and sales, and go.’ But it isn’t always clear how you drive operational alignment across those different functions, and get them all working in such a way that they're no longer siloed. And that was a big focus for Warren's presentation.” 

Chris also emphasized that he enjoyed Gail’s session on sales enablement, and gained a lot of value from what she had to say.

“Gail’s presentation was awesome. She was really good, you can just tell she knows exactly what she's doing. 
“I actually took photos of around half of her presentation because it was incredibly valuable and relevant to what I was doing.” 

Chris’s key takeaways from the event

When summarizing his takeaways from the summit, Chris said:

“The biggest takeaway for me is that there is a concerted effort right now in the market to ensure CROs go above and beyond just being a strong sales leader who happens to run marketing customer success.
“Because if you look at the CRO role, a lot of times companies create the CRO function, and view that as the next evolution of the SVP of sales, when in reality it’s a far different role than just running sales. 
“There's a lot more orchestration that needs to occur. I think that was my big takeaway from the event.” 

What Chris would say to someone thinking about attending a Chief Revenue Officer Summit

When we asked Chris what he’d say to someone considering attending a Chief Revenue Officer Summit he said:

“Absolutely attend. Especially, if you are a CRO or CEO as there aren’t many events for CROs out there.”

While in attendance at the Chief Revenue Officer Summit in Chicago, Chris described the event as having “phenomenal content, engaging speakers, and most importantly, actionable insights we can apply immediately to our business.”

Fancy attending our next CRO summit?

If you feel like networking with like-minded CROs and revenue leaders this year, we have just the thing for you.

Our Chief Revenue Officer Summit is heading to New York, San Fransisco, Chicago, and London in 2024!

Looking for more info? We've got you. 👇