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Matt's Response to a Chief Revenue Officer Role



In March of 2023, I had the opportunity to participate in a selection process for a Chief Revenue Officer role at a niche Private Lender with a 15 year operating history.


Working through an executive recruiting firm, I made it to the finalist group and sharing my response to the job description.


I believe this post and the response showcases my proven track record of accomplishments within our financial industry and the depth of experience in operations, technology, revenue growth and C-level leadership.


The CRO description and my responses are below:


Job Description

Position: Chief Revenue Officer


Our client is excited to identify the next key hire for the Executive Team who will enhance the success of continued and expansive growth! This role is first ever Chief Revenue Officer who will assist the CEO, to grow and lead 4 Distinct Divisions of the Company and report to a Board of Directors with long and short-term planning related to the advanced expansion and revenue growth of the company.


The CRO will work closely with the Investments Division, Consumer Lending Division, Builder Services Division and the Real Estate Team to lead the pathway to revenue-generating strategies and processes to continue to bolster significant revenue streams and geographical growth. The Chief Revenue Officer will provide leadership and direction to staff with the divisions assigned and ensure that staff are well trained, aligned, affective, and optimally utilized.


The CRO will lead the way in creating high achieving sales teams, monitor individual performance and effectiveness and conduct performance reviews annually as well as implement corrective actions as needed. Perform strategic planning related to product offerings, marketing, fundraising, sales, private lending, geographical expansion, investment funds, strategic partnerships, as well as areas requested by CEO and/or Board of Directors. The Chief Revenue Officer will serve as a member of the executive team and will report directly to the CEO.


About the Client

As a Premier private lending company, we build healthy returns through real estate investing and lending opportunities.


Our team enjoys solving complex investment, real estate, lending, building/development challenges, with creativity and passion, always ready to learn something new or find a new solution.


We partner with builders, real estate investors, and homeowners to help them achieve their goals in real estate acquisition through a premier lending platform like no other. We offer flexible terms combined with speed to allow our clients to achieve all their real estate goals.

We have two real estate funds available to investors that we have managed over the past 13 years. We have had zero investor losses and have produced 10% to 17% annual returns consistently over the last decade.


Key Objectives of this role:

Leadership – The CRO will take a leadership role within the group developing and managing high performing teams alongside four divisions of the company. They will design and implement revenue generation (sales) strategies, marketing plans, and procedures, holding the teams accountable, tracking deliverables, and reporting back to executive leadership.


They will identify, direct, lead, build and foster teams that are committed to our culture of innovation while encouraging maximum performance and dedication to established revenue generating activities resulting in achieving company’s expansion and revenue targets, while continuing to promote company culture and vision.


Matt’s response: a) I have over ten years of experience in running teams/divisions and companies in the mortgage and real estate fields that included operations, sales, marketing and reporting back into the CEO. Companies include:


  • Bear Stearns/EMC Mortgage and EMC Real Estate Services as President/Managing Director 2006-2009

  • REDC/Auction.com (as COO over the real estate owned asset management group and the real estate brokerage operations in three states) 2009-2010

  • Carrington Mortgage & Investment Holding Co. - as SVP Institutional Business) from 2011-2014

  • Solution star (part of a Nationstar and now known as Mr. Cooper – as SVP/Head of Business Development

  • EVP/CRO (had Sales & Marketing) at Chronos Solutions from 2015 to beginning of 2018

  • WFG National Title (SVP & Head of Enterprise Sales) 2018-2019

  • M. Allen LLC (Founder and CEO) of a consulting practice since 2020

Across all these roles, primary focus was building out operational infrastructure, hiring and placing talent, management of P&L and achieving growth targets. Some of the examples include:


At Bear Stearns/EMC for example: I entered the company initially as head of business intelligence and analytics team aligned with the Fixed Income Structured Transaction team (FAST) with Bear Stearns.


While in that role, I was responsible for the development of the business intelligence and analytics platform for the Fixed Income and Mortgage group. In late 2007, led the Default Strategy office. In January 08, became President of EMC Mortgage Real Estate Services and led the pilot development of the field loss mitigation unit. During the first four months of the pilot, the team of ten team members saved over 1,500 customers. In May of 08, assumed the SVP role over the REO/Real Estate Division and led many improvements over the portfolio including the following: 1) increased total monthly liquidation ratio on the portfolio from 18% to 25% per month, reduced the nonperforming asset portfolio from 13,000 assets to less than 9,000 assets within the first five months on the job. Finally, value recoveries improved over two hundred basis points.


Another relevant example of a similar firm as this client organization was my time as the COO at REDC (now known as Auction.com). Placed in the role of Chief Operating Officer to develop three distinct businesses or operations from scratch. In this capacity, I led the strategic planning, operational design and development of the processes associated with our brokerage operations, our REO Asset Management operations and our Short Sale/Deed-in-Lieu operation. This included the portfolio management of $1B in residential real estate, hiring of over 14 managers, 60+ staff level and over a 150 realtors during this time. Over the first 16 months, developed a business that went from one customer to three major anchor clients, a brokerage platform that now is managing over $500 million in active listings with fifteen active institutional clients and short sale platform that is working with a Mega Servicer.


Job Requirement Sales – Create sales teams across new geographies, set sales goals with CEO and Board of Directors and guide subsequent goal-setting processes. Ensure performance, strategy, and alignment of the company’s revenue-generating departments. Manage, recruit, hire, maintain and ensure ongoing training/development to grow sales team to drive business growth across all business/customer segments, as well as within new geographies. Translate market and business strategies into specific actions to generate sales and revenue. Direct sales activities and processes that generate new business and deepen existing relationships. Help maximize reach and efficiency by adding new, scalable partners in a strategic way. Monitor revenue pipeline and leads, adjusting a necessary for sustainable growth.



Matt's response: As mentioned above from the time-frame perspective and list of companies, I drove the increase in sales, ensuring performance objectives were met, and expanding into new regions, products and customer segments. Relevant example here of success includes:


In my role as CRO/EVP of Business Development & Marketing at Chronos Solutions, I was responsible for completing or overseeing a total of 207-plus deals boarded during my employ with the company. These won opportunities or deals generated over a third of our annual revenue. For our clients, we generated up to $100million in annual economic benefits through staffing efficiencies, sales and liquidation recoveries and timeline savings for some of the nation's largest banks.


Job Requirement Operations – The CRO will work closely with the CEO, and collaborate with Finance, Executive Leadership, Marketing, Investments, Consumer Lending and Division Management on messaging, pricing strategies, business/sales models, evaluate the company systems (sales platforms) to achieve revenue goals. Obtain, allocate and adjust operations resources to achieve sales and services/product goals.


Matt's Response: In all the roles outlined above, I had to collaborate with executive leadership, CFO, CIO, and other COO/operational executives. Diving deeper into this and providing another example of my time at Carrington as SVP Institutional Business Development, I have provided some context here of the key success factors:


  • Responsible for leading client relationship and business development teams focused on providing real estate and technology solutions for the financial service industry. Includes technology software, asset management services and product solutions offered by the following Carrington companies: Carrington Technology Services, Carrington Real Estate Services (Brokerage), Carrington Home Solutions (Property Preservation & Management), Carrington Property Services (Asset Management), and Carrington Title Services (Title & Settlement Services).


  • While with Carrington, our team was able to provide some of the following tangible benefits to our clients: - Provided several banks and institutions with solutions to exit or liquidate their non-performing assets.


  • As an example, Carrington Property Services demonstrated liquidation ratios that were over 400 bps better than the other providers used by the client (2013). - Demonstrated significant advantages in providing our banking clients higher value recoveries. Our range of lift in this area measured at 200 bps to 900 bps depending on the portfolio.


  • Created financial benefits for several institutional clients by creating tailored pricing structures, revenue fees or referral fee income streams and operational efficiencies. Larger bank clients had seen benefits in the range of several million dollars annually.


  • Demonstrated leadership and one of our true niche services, national property management. Through Carrington Property Services and our internally developed Rent Pointe technology platform, we provided measurable benefits for clients who had single family/multi-family rental assets. We managed over 35,000 properties over seven years. May 2014 CPS earned highest operational vendor ranking from Morningstar Credit Ratings.



Job Requirement Marketing– This role will identify opportunities to expand the success and impact of current marketing strategies. They will work to resolve any barriers to successful marketing, while working closely with the CEO and marketing lead to ensure the CRO may provide competitive strategies and tactics to enhance current methods. Oversee advertising/marketing sales activities; accountable for achieving/exceeding targeted sales revenues for the market and for controlling sales expenses.


Matt's Response: Relevant example here is the time at Chronos and fueling the 2x top-line growth with innovative marketing strategies that included direct marketing, social media, channel partnerships and affiliations, and effective use of product marketing materials.


Job Requirement Fundraising - The CRO will be highly engaged in leveraging relationships while creating new relationships to meet the company’s monthly/annual fundraising goals.


Matt's Response: Relevant example of helping in institutional fundraising was mostly at Carrington and Chronos. Helped formulate the strategies, assembling key materials for the data/deal room, and utilizing my network of capital market and IB contacts to assist in raising debt capital and some equity. It’s key to note that I have recently worked with investment bank DelMorgan & Co. as well on sourcing potential clients that were seeking equity and/or M&A.


Job Requirement Reporting – Monitor, analyze and report on pipeline and leads to ensure teams are achieving sustainable growth. Work in partnership with Executive Leadership, and departments to define, design and deliver monthly, quarterly, annual KPI’s and strategies to achieve agreed upon goals. Review metrics with teams to hold accountable against the business/sales metrics. Ensure there is a proper tracking system for optimal reporting.


Matt's Response: I am very skilled here and personally use tools like Tableau to analyze key sales and operational trends to fuel improvement strategies in operations and sales. Additionally, use in growing the business by demonstrating through data how we can help our clients. Finally, my time (approximately 10 years) of leading analytical and reporting teams has provided me with an experience and set of skills that most of my peers appreciate and leverage.


As another example of this skill area, providing details of my time at Option Mortgage: Jan 2003 - Sep 2005 (2 years 9 months) Initially hired as Director to develop the Business Information Group within Servicing Division. Included the leadership over 25+ staff, $2.5 million operational budget, and processes including the development of the strategic and tactical operational plans related to providing analytics and key performance reporting to the executive team. In late 2004, promoted to Vice President of Default Administration. In this role, reported directly into the Chief Servicing Officer and oversaw the Loss Mitigation, Servicing Analytics, and Contact Management and Strategy departments. Included the leadership over 160+ staff, three global site locations and a non-prime servicing portfolio over $80 billion and 400,000 loans.


Job Requirement Finances - Prepare budgets and revenue forecasts.


Matt's Response: In all these roles and experiences as a senior executive, I have had the responsibility of developing and managing to operating budgets for my divisions.


Requirements:

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications and background:

Requirement: 10+ years of proven experience leading to Chief Revenue Officer or high-level Sales/Revenue leadership role


Matt’s response: I meet this requirement and outlined above the decade plus of experience as the primary revenue/sales leader. Companies and roles listed again here include: Bear Stearns/EMC Mortgage and EMC Real Estate Services as President/Managing Director, REDC/Auction.com as COO over the real estate owned asset management group and Red Crown Realty Brokerage operations, Carrington Mortgage & Investment Holding Co. as SVP Institutional Business, Solutionstar as SVP/Head of Business Development, Chronos Solutions as EVP/CRO, WFG National Title as SVP/Head of Enterprise Sales, and most recently as Founder/CEO of M. Allen LLC.


My success factors have included leading two times revenue growth within 3 years at Chronos while additionally decreasing the cost of acquiring new customers. As example of this, my time as Head of Enterprise Sales at WFG. I was able to lead the increase in divisional revenue by 48% within six months on the job, representing a total revenue gain of $814K and a 77% increase in year-over-year earnings for the same period. Additionally, I developed and implemented cost reduction plan which reduced sales expense by over $1MM by re-engineering sales budgets and pushing to boost average duration of customer loyalty to generate maximum value and minimize new customer acquisition costs.


Requirement: Strong technical experience with Salesforce or other business productivity tools.


Matt’s response: I meet this requirement and have firsthand working knowledge of Salesforce.com as my primary CRM system. Companies where Salesforce was the CRM have included Carrington, SBI, Chronos Solutions, Solutionstar, Sourcepoint and most recently my CRM at M. Allen. Success factor here is designing the system to include key opportunity management and pipeline management controls to effectively measure our revenue growth, sales coverage, and account management plans.


Requirement: BSc/BA in Business Administration or relevant field; MSc/MBA is a plus or equivalent business/education experience.


Matt’s response: I do not have a BS/BA at this time. However, I have two years’ worth of college credits for a Bachelor’s in Finance/Business at Ventura College (CA) and University of Phoenix. More importantly, I believe my time in the U.S. Military as a Petty Officer Third Class and my rate (job) as a Cryptologic Tech Communications Operator demonstrates a key milestone achievement at a young age. In this rate/job, I had to attend almost a year’s worth of education classes to learn the trade. Plus, I had to pass the most extreme background processes at that time to obtain a Top Secret SBI security clearance. Finally, I have been able to apply my passion for learning and education to become successful in executive roles within operations, technology and sales/marketing within some of the largest global companies.


Requirement: Diverse leadership roles, with proven experience in developing, driving and implementing revenue & geographic growth in banking, mortgage, real estate, private lending and/or investment firms.


Matt’s response: Over ten years’ experience here. As highlighted in the beginning of this description and the roles listed above, I can say I meet this requirement. I have worked within mortgage banking (Countrywide, Option One, Chase as examples), real estate (EMC Real Estate Services, REDC, Chronos Solutions), automotive finance (Household Automotive Finance), and private investment companies (Carrington Investment & Holding Co) Examples of the success factors have included turnaround situations, achieving two times growth, and starting up operations across the spectrum of these companies. Details provided in the above responses as well.


Requirement: Proven track record of growing revenue through leadership, relationship development, sales, fundraising, and marketing.


Matt’s Response: Over 10 years of experience here and across the companies I have outlined in the last decade. Demonstrating success including the ability to personally go out and get larger B2B clients. As another example, I was personally able to obtain the largest new client while at Chronos Solutions. Client was US Bank and the annual revenue won was over $30 million/ARR. Success was driven by C-suite relationships at US Bank. Starting with the EVP of the Consumer Servicing Division. I personally spent weekends at his home in Owensboro, Kentucky investing the time to understand his needs, concerns, and building the trust we could make him a hero at the bank.


Requirement: Significant experience in general operations management and P&L supervision.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement and bring over 20 years’ experience with the most recent experiences outlined at the start of this document. Budgets have included running global contact centers and P&L for Countrywide Home Loans as First Vice President in Loss Mitigation, Option One Mortgage as VP Default Administration with operating sites in CA, FL, TX and offshore in India. Largest personnel budget related to sales managed was at Chronos Solutions with an annual operating budget over $5M.


Requirement: Ability to craft and execute a business strategy effectively.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (10+ years) and in all the companies outlined going back to 2008 at Bear Stearns, had to develop, communicate, and manage or execute against a business plan. Most recently, I have had to develop a strategy of growing my consulting practice at M. Allen. When I started the LLC in early 2020, I have been able to execute growth strategies for middle market and global BPM companies (like Firstsource). Utilizing my analytical approach and hands-on leadership style to drive account segmentation and go-to-market solutions. Couple this with my vast C-suite network in the financial services sector, I have been able to fuel organic growth opportunity pipeline creation of over $100M since 2020.


Requirement: Inspirational leadership with an appropriate ability to set and uphold expectations.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (10+ years) and in all the companies outlined within this document. One of my key success factors to drive this is my ability to tell stories that inspire the team to reach for more. Example here is the story I placed in my recent blog post about my door knocking experience at EMC Real Estate Services. I personally knocked on over thirty homes in SoCal before I hired my first staff member. I wanted to personally see what works and did not work with the new loss mitigation concept. I was then able to share the lessons learned from my firsthand experience and use the stories of helping grandmothers, parents, young people, etc. in their quest of saving their home. Finally, go all the way back to my time in the Navy. I was blessed with great leadership examples, and they instilled in me the importance of leading by example. Words are cheap Actions are better!


Requirement: Deep understanding of local markets and ideal customers, to target needs and drive sales.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience) and have learned over the years that defining your Ideal Client Profile is key. Whether it was my time at GMAC/RFC HomeComings Financial Network as a Real Estate Asset Manager and selling hundreds of REO across the US. We would have to create an individual marketing plan for each asset and know (through our local agent) what or who the ideal buyer would be for the asset (real estate is local). From attacking multi-industry segments within financial services and developing account segmentation plans for a capital markets client to an independent mortgage banker. Creating strategies and developing the persona/ICP materials is key to grow. You need to ensure the sales team understand the economic and motivational desires of the decision makers they sell into. Firsthand experience in using analytics (through Tableau) have helped me in formulating national sales strategies and breaking down the buyer/account segmentation.


Requirement: Understanding of business functions such as credit, HR, finance, marketing etc.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience) and having run loss mitigation divisions at companies like Countrywide, Option One Mortgage, and Bear Stearns, very familiar with using data to drive into credit decisioning/profiles/analytics to help improve profitability and minimize losses. My collaborative leadership style is to approach other functional leaders like HR as partners. Mutually approach the relationship of how I can help them and vice versa. Having managed now well over thousands of talented people in this financial service industry, I have had to recruit, hire, onboard, performance coach and terminate personnel. Familiar with lessons to effectively do all of these in fast paced environments and again my hands-on style helps in this area.


Requirement: Demonstrable competency in strategic planning and business development.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience across the companies outlined) As additional detail, sharing my experience as EVP/CRO at National Bankruptcy Services. I developed the growth strategy and supported strengthening of the business development culture to promote national growth of business services.


  • Headed formation of strategic vision and followed through to market penetration and execution. Mobilized a team of three sales professionals to organically develop existing business while strengthening lead prospecting processes to secure steady flow of new opportunities and meet aggressive growth targets integral to overall business strategy.

  • Streamlined prospect targeting approach to enhance sales coverage by 300% for key accounts.

  • Reduced cost of sales by 25% within seven months by restructuring customer journey map to improve efficiency of sales funnel and implementation of best practices training for sales team.

  • Bolstered ROI and revenue per customer by 5% through use of sales tools and enhanced focus on prospect research.


Requirement: Highly self-motivated and motivate others to achieve and excel in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience across the companies outlined) and most recently must do stay self-motivated in developing business for my consulting practice. Additionally, as I have shared in the examples above, motivating others has been a key strength. I believe my hands-on style, lead by example and ability to inspire people to achieve their highest level of performance have driven the results. Little story here…while at REDC as COO, I would make daily morning calls to a few sales agents across three states CA, AZ, & FL. I would have Metallica Master of the Puppets playing in the background and once they answered their phone, I would yell: “Are you going to make a deal today?” “How many customers and prospects will you help today?” staff would love it. Got to the point that members would be upset if they did not get a call from me. Just a story or example to show it is not always about being serious business executive. Have fun along the way and share in the wins.


Requirement: Ability to analyze data and utilize to create revenue forecasts with achievable results.


Matt’s response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience across the companies covered). As mentioned previously, very analytical and strong experience in utilizing excel, Tableau, BI software and more to formulate revenue plans and forecasts. Finally, experience in mining Salesforce CRM data to construct the key metrics like pipeline coverage, TAM, Avg Deal Size, Wallet Share and more.



Requirement: Outstanding organizational and leadership abilities.


Matt’s response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience across the companies covered). Do not take just my word from the details within this document and my resume. Look at the testaments from bosses, peers, and staff via my LinkedIn. My passion is referenced across the board as a key strength and my ability to drive firm but fair objectives for all my staff is another key here. Again, leverage my testaments and references for their perspectives here.


Requirement: Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal.


Matt’s response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience across the companies covered). As an example of writing skills, my daily blog and social media posts are one example to leverage in seeing how I convey key points and insights. Verbally, I use stories to inspire and ensure that I tailor my communication style to each of my direct reports, leaders, etc. It’s key strength and takes work to tailor to each individual but my experience is that it drives getting the most from each team member.


Requirement: Aptitude in decision-making and problem-solving


Matt’s response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience across the companies covered). Being analytical and using data is a key strength here to help with this. Example can be my time at Bear Stearns during the financial crisis. Early Pay Defaults were rising steeply, and I was heavily involved in analyzing the problem, the current situation, the root causes, and then formulating a solution around what lending products the origination groups were going to cease or adjust risk-based pricing strategies around.


Requirement: Industry experience in Banking, Mortgage, Real Estate, Private Lending and/or Investment firms, with the ideal candidate having a blend of two or more of these within the career history.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience). As highlighted in the beginning of this description and the roles listed above, I can say I meet this requirement. I have worked within mortgage banking (Countrywide, Option One, Chase as examples), real estate (EMC Real Estate Services, REDC, Chronos Solutions), automotive finance (Household Automotive Finance), and private investment companies (Carrington Investment & Holding Co) Examples of the success factors have included turnaround situations, achieving two times growth, and starting up operations across the spectrum of these companies. Details provided in the above responses as well.


Requirement: High integrity, effective leadership; comfortable with building and developing sales teams, assessing improvement opportunities, and driving change.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience). Example here is M. Allen. Optimize consumer journey for clients ranging in scale from start-up and middle market to multinational. Delivering high-impact sales, marketing, and customer relationship management consulting informed by data-driven best practices focused on improving predictability of revenue streams. Integrates proven B2B pipeline generation strategies with a clear focus on digital techniques to expand reach and monetize collected data to produce comprehensive revenue-growth plans.

  • Since launching M. Allen in 2020, procured over fourteen innovative global clients with services focused on growth.

  • Established robust sales pipeline for new clients representing $100MM in deal opportunities and economic value for our stakeholders.


Requirement: Ability to work collaboratively with others and demonstrate flexibility and poise in dealing with a diverse range of individuals and organizations.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience). One example to use here is my time leading the BI/Analytics team at Bear Stearns. I had over ten different cultures/countries represented within my team and had to ensure to respect their individual/collective life experiences and cultures in leading the team. Additionally, I have been known for promoting and hiring talented female executives in my teams. Most recently at WFG, all four of my hires into the company were dynamic female executives with three different cultures represented. I take pride in my experience of hiring many talented individuals from all over the globe and support a diverse/exclusive workforce.


Requirement: Demonstrated success in building and managing individual and organizational relationships with proven growth.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience). Have touched on many within this document and again would recommend using the testaments from others to prove the point here. Materials submitted to you have the testaments. Additionally, the CVI and behavioral assessments can affirm strengths here.


Requirement: Ability and willingness to travel.


Matt’s Response: Meet this requirement (over 10+ years’ experience). From living in a corporate apartment in SoCal while starting up the EMC Real Estate Services division while my wife/daughter were residing in Dallas. To my time at Chronos being in four cities in five days at least once a month. I have demonstrated the ability to travel and frankly, believe it is necessary to build relationships and trust with your team and clients. No issue here with travel requirements.


As part of this process, I had to complete the Core Value Index testing/assessment and please find the link for my results here: https://www.mattallendevelopment.com/post/m-allen-s-core-value-index-summary



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