Hot Takes

RevOps For Grown-Ups, with Lorena Morales


RevOps isn’t just for B2B SaaS anymore.

In this session with Lorena Morales, Director of Global Digital Marketing, Revenue Operations at JLL, you’ll learn where to start when you do RevOps for a global enterprise company (100k + employees).

[Transcript] RevOps for Grown-Ups

Armando Biondi

The speaker for the next session is Lorena Morales. Lorena, happy to have you. So, the trick is to know how to unlearn things.  

Lorena Morales  

Correct, yes Armando. This session which is called “Revenue Operations for Grown-ups,” is all about my journey from doing Revenue Operations as a service in a smaller company to an Enterprise company.

I think the main thing that I had to see myself was how to unlearn things, to re-learn the things that we would be applying to my job as the current Director of Global Digital Marketing, Revenue Operations for JLL. That’s my job title; very fancy, very long, and between my name and my job title, my business cards are insane, but, yeah, that’s me.

An interesting fact, I’ve never eaten a burrito. I was very soon to do it last weekend, but I didn’t, so I still haven’t even a burrito in my life, and I’m not planning to do so anytime soon.

So, yeah, the origin of everything. I am one of the few people that have actually spent money on the methodology of design thinking. As a design thinker, I’ve always questioned the fact that businesses are coming more and more to say, “Oh, we’re customer-centric, we’re customer-centric,” and the reality is very different.

Revops For Grown-Ups, With Lorena Morales

I think that the percentage of people that talk to their customers often is very low, and so you need to find the gaps in that customer journey by talking to your customers precisely.

The interesting thing is that this is not unique to Revenue Operations; this is happening all across the board and all across every single company.

The third thing is a funny one. We believe that a tool is going to solve all our gaps, all our problems because we love shiny objects, because we love tools. Who doesn’t like a new tool in your tool stack? No one. You love the new thing, you love to spend money, and you love to test it until you find out that it doesn’t connect with anything else and it doesn’t speak with anything, with any other of your systems.

The main thing here is that the tool is only as good as the human interacting with it. That’s important, this is something that might sound logical, but it’s not. As an Enterprise company, our tool stack, as you can imagine, is humongous, and the humans operating them are brilliant, but sometimes one human doesn’t communicate with the other human. So far, we have 86 CRMs that don’t communicate with each other at all. This is what could happen if you don’t do your systems correctly.

The fourth one is exactly what I was talking about at the very beginning. We try to come to new positions by implementing a playbook that someone else tried before, or you tried before in another company. Forget about it because it’s not gonna work in your new company. Unlearn things and then re-learn things in order to be successful.

So, in short, the ability to unlearn things can take you further than you think. We have to be coachable, we have to have an open mind, always. 

Regardless of the size of the company, we need to develop the muscle of meaningful conversations with our customers. Basic, basic, basic, basic stuff, but that is going to take you a long way, I promise you that. Also, gap identification is a must for every company.

In practice, this looks like the following: assessing how your organization is at all levels, especially starting with your customers. We’ve already said that with your company, your team, and at the individual level, how do you contribute as an IC? Even if you’re a manager, how do you contribute as an IC to the company, how do you contribute as a manager to the company, how do you contribute as a director to the company, and so on and so forth?

Look for weaknesses in your pipe as you go into that assessment. All of us have weaknesses; there’s not a single company that I’ve seen that has a really nice pipe, that is super healthy, or has a really nice tool stack that works fantastically. Well, I haven’t seen that in my 11 years of career as a marketer, so probably you are not the only one. The smart thing here is to assess that weakness, accept it, and work around it.

The third one is to learn from the new teams that you have in front of you. Stop trying to implement what worked for someone else. It sounds repetitive, but it is true.

The people that you hire, first of all, need to be smarter than you, but other than that, they are there to help you, so try to learn from them. Try to learn cross-functionally as well and on other sides of the business too. That would be my practical advice here.

The key takeaway that I’ve learned in my career, especially as I became a manager and then a director and then vice president, I’ve had all the titles in the world and, guess what? Titles don’t mean sh*t if you don’t have a leader that is thinking more holistically.

Revops For Grown-Ups, With Lorena Morales

It’s true; you might have a fancy title, but it might mean anything. Try to match the title with your responsibilities. If you don’t have them because your manager doesn’t give them to you, ask for them. Be an active listener of your team and be an active asker for the things that you need and for the things that will make you grow. So that’s all.

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Hot Takes Live


Catch the replay of Hot Takes Live, where 30 of the top SaaS leaders across Marketing, Sales, and RevOps revealed some of their most unpopular opinions about their niche.

These leaders shared what lessons they learned and how they disrupted their industry by going against the grain (and achieved better results in the process).

Armando Biondi

Lorena, this was great. A couple of reactions from my end. It’s funny when you talk about tools. Another one of the speakers in the sales track, Pendo actually, he said when we were having a pre-event conversation, he said people expect tools to magically do the work; it’s like buying a subscription to a gym and expecting to be all beefed-up the following day.

Lorena Morales  

Exactly. You’re not willing to put in the work and be present every single day at 5 am in the gym. You think the subscription includes the fit body, but it’s not like that; it doesn’t come in Amazon Prime; you have to put the work into it.

Same thing with the tools. You have to do the due diligence of getting your tools in order and consolidating as well. We are in times where you need to be careful of what works and what doesn’t work, so I think making an audit of your tool stack right now it’s the best thing that you can do.

Armando Biondi

And it’s super interesting; one of your key messages, I think, is this idea of discarding playbooks or giving them a relative value/importance, which I think is somehow counter-intuitive/contrarian to most.

Often you hear feedback on playbooks; they exist for a reason, you should follow them, and you’re saying kind of the opposite. So I’m curious about a couple of examples of things that you had to unlearn in navigating your experience through this new large organization. You’ve been part of smaller organizations, larger organizations, and agencies working around RevOps, so really a high variety of roles.

Lorena Morales 

Yeah, I think one of the biggest things that I had to learn was my mode of breaking silos, and people are gonna kill me about this because I know Revenue Operations is all about breaking silos, and I get it, I get it, I’ve been there, and you do have to break silos. 

But you need to identify why and what are the silos that are being toxic to your organization. What I had to unlearn was that precisely. Not every silo is damaging; there are some functional silos, so that was a re-learning kind of experience where I needed to see that there were things that were working in some regions of the world that I shouldn’t touch because if I touch them, then I would break things that actually were working pretty well.

Now I’m in this limbo where I don’t know if the approach to Revenue Operations should be a decentralized one and then a centralized one and then back to decentralized or the other way. I’m on my way to figuring it out; probably next year, I will have a better answer; I am still working on it.

Armando Biondi

Yeah, absolutely. One thing that I think about this topic specifically, and I agree with you, not every silo needs to be broken. Departments function with their own tools, KPIs, and processes for a reason, so that is not necessarily bad. 

What’s bad is that there is no connective tissue between silos. It’s not like they need to stop existing, but there has to be some overarching glue and greasing in-between, some kind of processes, tools, and people that care about the intersection between those things. 

Lorena Morales 

Communication for sure, for sure, for sure, for sure. That over communication of the teams needs to happen, yes or yes, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will be working on the same exact thing.

We should stop thinking that sales and marketing should work towards the same project. No, no, no. They should work on their own things, where they have the expertise to do it, and then communicate, over communicate between each other to go towards the same metric.

Armando Biondi

They have their own set of KPIs and OKRs, and then there is like a set of joint KPIs and OKRs. 

Lorena Morales 

Exactly, exactly, exactly. 

Armando Biondi

Lorena, thank you so much for this, and thanks everyone for watching.