Rethinking the CMO Role in Mid-Market B2B

June 7, 2024

Filling the CMO role in B2B poses a significant challenge for operating partners at private equity firms and CEOs of portfolio companies. It’s a recurring and often complex issue. However, traditional approaches may not always serve your best interests. In many cases, you might not need the CMO role at all.

The Traditional CMO Conundrum

Historically, the CMO has been viewed as an integral part of the executive team, responsible for driving brand awareness, lead generation, and customer engagement. However, this role has evolved significantly, and the expectations placed on the CMO role today encompass a much broader scope, including data analytics, digital strategy, and revenue operations (RevOps).

While the title suggests a broad skill set, many CMOs are still heavily focused on traditional marketing activities that may not directly contribute to revenue growth. This misalignment can create friction and inefficiencies, particularly in fast-paced, high-growth environments typical of private equity-backed companies.

Why a Head of Sales with RevOps expertise might be a better option for now

Instead of defaulting to the conventional wisdom of filling a CMO role, consider investing heavily in a Head of Sales who understands RevOps. This approach aligns the marketing efforts more closely with sales activities, creating a unified strategy that directly contributes to revenue growth.

Understanding RevOps

Revenue Operations, or RevOps, is a holistic approach that integrates sales, marketing, and customer success operations into a single, streamlined process. By breaking down silos and ensuring that all departments work towards common revenue goals, RevOps provides a clearer path to growth.

Benefits of a Head of Sales with RevOps expertise

  • Unified Strategy: A head of sales with RevOps expertise can bridge the gap between sales and marketing, ensuring that both teams are working towards the same objectives.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: RevOps focuses on using data to drive decisions, optimizing every part of the sales and marketing funnel.
  • Scalability: This approach is inherently scalable, making it easier to adapt as the company grows.

The Pitfalls of Fractional CMOs

Fractional CMOs, or part-time CMOs, have become a popular alternative for companies looking to tap into executive-level marketing expertise without the full-time commitment. However, this approach often falls short in practice.

Limited Engagement

Fractional CMOs, by their very nature, divide their time and attention among multiple clients. This fragmented focus can result in a lack of deep engagement and understanding of your specific business needs, leading to suboptimal strategies and execution.

Short-Term Focus

Fractional CMOs are typically engaged on a short-term basis, which can encourage a focus on quick wins rather than long-term, sustainable growth strategies. This short-sighted approach can be detrimental to building a lasting competitive advantage.

Partnering with Strategic Vendors

Rather than relying on a fractional CMO, consider partnering with vendors who bring a more strategic, revenue-driven approach to marketing. Firms like Mavenray specialize in integrating marketing efforts with overall business objectives, ensuring a cohesive and effective strategy. We are also are able to bring CMO-level expertise to each level of execution, meaning work is getting done with a strategic lens vs. getting delegated.

Advantages of Strategic Vendors

  • Specialized Expertise: These vendors bring a wealth of specialized knowledge and experience, often surpassing what a single CMO can offer.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Vendors can scale their efforts up or down based on your needs, providing a level of flexibility that is difficult to achieve with internal hires.
  • Focus on Revenue Growth: By aligning their efforts with your revenue goals, these vendors ensure that every marketing activity directly contributes to the bottom line.


Traditional roles and approaches may no longer be the best fit. Instead of automatically seeking a CMO, consider investing in a head of sales with RevOps expertise or partnering with strategic vendors. By doing so, you can create a more cohesive, data-driven, and revenue-focused strategy that drives sustainable growth.

If you’re ready to rethink your approach to marketing leadership, schedule a consultation with Mavenray today and explore how we can help you achieve your business goals.

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