Not according to author Geoffrey James, in an article for BNET. Commenting on a story in Selling Power magazine, James says, “I’ve been around sales and marketing teams for decades and, in my observation, most SVPs and CSOs inside large companies are pretty darn useless. In big firms, the real work of sales management almost always takes place in the trenches, among the regional sales managers and channel sales managers who actually work with reps on a day to day basis, coaching them, measuring them, and helping them to be successful.”
I’m adding Chief Sales Officers to the growing list of titles with Chief in front of them. I wrote about this in a blog post earlier this week. If you don’t mind, I’m going to reprint that article here because in upgrading my WordPress blog, this post got lost in the shuffle.
Do We Need a Chief People Officer? Title Creep in the New Millenium
It used to be that titles in most companies were pretty standard, and pretty few. For example, there was the C-suite gang: Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Information Officer.
But an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Fighting Downhill Sponsorships” talked about how the need to bump up sponsorships to train future Olympians has led the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to name a new Chief Revenue officer. Add CRO to the ever-growing list of new titles. Notice how one word changes the job description: Chief Financial Officer keeps the books, but the CRO is actually responsible for bringing in the money.
As usual, I turned to the trusty Google AdWords: Key Word Tool to see who might be searching the term CRO. The result was nada. Give it time; the title and function might actually catch on. Add to that the Chief Risk Officer, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Engagement Officer – the list goes on.
But it seems to me that there is another C-suite officer desperately needed in most companies: the Chief People Officer. As expected, HR management in various iterations came up pretty high in searches. But what does human resources really mean? That’s such a vague term. It’s all about the people in the company. The CPO should be at the table with the other C-suite folks in strategy sessions about to grow the company. S/he should be leading some of those sessions.
Without good people, there goes the company.