Revenue Rehab EP 94 [My Journey with Tracy Sestili: Going from CMO to CRO]

This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Tracy Sestili, Chief Revenue Officer at Intellimize.

Tracy is the former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) turned Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Intellimize where she brings a holistic perspective and approach to the organization to drive end-to-end revenue generating strategies.  Prior to Intellimize, she has led teams at Fountain, SparkPost, CA Technologies, Cisco, and TiVo. 

Tracy has 20+ years’ experience helping GTM teams drive brand awareness along sustainable and scalable revenue streams.

She has served on the board of Women for WineSense, is an active member of CHIEF, and co-founded a non-profit for lung cancer, for which she received a Bay Area Jefferson Award.  Tracy has also been an adjunct professor in digital marketing at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University and has authored a book on digital marketing.

In the fifth installment of Revenue Rehab’s My Journey series, on the couch in this week’s episode, Brandi and Tracy tackle My Journey with Tracy Sestili: Going from CMO to CRO

Bullet Points of Key Topics + Chapter Markers:

Topic #1 Going Wide and Varied or Going Deep [07:10] Tracy describes a key conversation that guided some of her decisions on next steps for her career while she was at TiVo; “I went to lunch with the CMO there and she said, ‘What do you want to do with your career?... your resume is very deep. And you know, you can go wide and be very varied. Or you can go deep in one area and sort of make that your career path. Have you thought about what you want to do?’”

Topic #2 Finding Your Career Path: Taking Time for Reflection [15:30] “I think it's hard for people to take a break, and sit back and consider that it does take, literally taking time off,” Tracy says.  “I always recommend to people, when you kind of feel like you're burned out, maybe they'll take a staycation or something and try to decompress and really give it some thought about what you want to do.”

Topic #3 The Journey from CMO to CRO [25:05] “It is not something that I sought out, it kind of fell in my lap,” Tracy reflects.  Built off an existing solid relationship with the CEO, who offered her the position, she considered that rapport as well as the company culture when she finally decided to make that move. “I also really love working for my CEO, he's just the kindest human and he's a very good thought partner. And I think that that's important if you're going to make that transition, to have a good relationship with your CEO and have a good relationship with finance. Because that, that's all that the CRO does, right? And those are the reasons why I said yes.”  

So, What's the One Thing You Can Do Today?

Tracy’s ‘One Thing’, when it comes to evaluating making the transition from CMO to CRO, “I think you need to get in the trenches with sales,” she says, “and see if you can shadow a salesperson from like, start to finish to really determine first, if that's something that you want to do, right? And then from there…seeing if you really understand the bigger picture of what's happening across the org from a data perspective, like, do you have insight to understand that? To me, those are the two things that I think would really help you decide if you want to do it.”

Buzzword Banishment:

Tracy’s Buzzword to Banish is ‘attribution.  “I think now that I've gone from CMO to CRO it drives me even more crazy,” Tracy says, “[attribution] just really trips up marketers as a whole to try to figure out who gets credit for what, it’s exhausting you know, if it's working, it's working and there's no need to fight over credit in my opinion.”


Get in touch with Tracy Sestili on:




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About the Author

Brandi Starr

Brandi Starr is a marketing powerhouse with over 20 years of experience shaking up B2B and B2B2C companies. As COO at Tegrita, a consultancy that unlocks the power of email, she's all about transforming processes, enhancing go-to-market strategies, and ensuring smooth customer experiences. Named one of the Top 50 Women in MarTech, Brandi blends strategic vision with operational savvy. She's also the co-author of "CMO to CRO" and the host of the Revenue Rehab podcast, known for turning ideas into action and inspiring others in the marketing world.

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