RevOps, Education, Event

32 Min Read

RevOpsAF Conference Part 3

RevOps Co-op's RevOpsAF conference was recently held in San Diego, as the first RevOps Conference created by RevOps Professionals for the RevOps Community. I wrote about the first few sessions I attended in part 1 and part 2 of this series. Today's final post continues with additional Day 1 and Day 2 sessions I attended. I was teaching a bootcamp the morning of Day 2 so I didn't attend as many sessions as Day 1. There were also a lot of great sessions running at the same time throughout the conference -- it was hard to decide which ones to attend!

Sessions in this post:

Panel: Building & Supporting a Diverse Team

Jeff Ignacio, VP of GTM Ops at Regrow Ag; Camela Thompson, RevOps Veteran and Head of Marketing at RevOps Co-op; and Lorena Morales, Director of Global Digital Marketing Revenue Operations at JLL discussed why and how to build and support a diverse team.

Why hire with intentionality?

Look at these terrible diversity statistics for the tech industry. White males are overrepresented. We need to do better.



More than 50% of women leave tech within the first 5 years. We need to be better at retaining diversity as well as hiring.

Lorena talked about personally having "all the badges," crossing every diversity box on forms except veterans. "As humans, we all have different layers. The more layers you have, the harder these charts hit the soul."

Lorena also said she learned a new term at the global company she's at now at, 'diversity washing,' seen at publicly traded companies. Forbes describes this as "when businesses hire members of minority groups in roles that have no real function beyond building fake trust in communities to make more money."

Jeff talked about how the closer we can get in our companies to representing the general population, the better. The changes have to be systemic, such as how Google introduced coding classes for elementary school girls and minorities. When hiring, we should be looking for the right strengths, profiles, and diverse backgrounds beyond work.

Diversity is more than just a "good thing to do" or the right thing to do.

Diverse teams perform better:

  • 87% improved decision making
  • 2.8x more cash flow 
  • 35% better performance

Jeff said that he looks for complementary skill sets among the team, people who are approaching problems and solutions with different views.

You can't achieve excellence without diversity. Diversity helps companies with problem-solving, innovation, and human-centered design.

Lorena started her career at American male-dominated companies and was frustrated with being the lone person with an accent or her gender in most rooms, which created insecurity. She now intentionally looks to join a company with more than three accents in a room.

 JLL, her current company, is the highest-performing team in her 15-year career. It is not a coincidence, it's the diverse team.

Jeff said execution teams are greater than the sum of their parts. The first hire is often a generalist with a diverse background, and then later specialists are hired. Companies need to go where the puck is going to be on the ice.


Problems with a lack of diversity

Product problems and internal company problems caused by teams that lacked diversity:

  • Facial recognition software does not recognize all skin tones
  • Voice command/recognition software is less accurate for women's voices
  • Amazon's hiring AI tool taught itself that men's resumes were preferred

So how do you hire with intentionality?

Don't create problematic, biased job descriptions. Remove the biased words that will prevent groups of people from applying, such as words skewing towards men or inflexible schedules skewing towards people without kids. There are tools that can find and replace these biased words. Use them!


Startups often hire from their network, which is people similar to them. Or they will label people as 'not a culture fit' if they are not from the same background. Do not make these mistakes.

Lorena talked about how blind screening software exists for job candidates, so why is no one using it? It runs resumes through a program that removes the name, the age, and anything else that creates biases.

If you're using this tool, and hiring for skills, then if the candidate is still a white male, it's likely because they are a good candidate. 

Jeff said don't surround yourself with 'yes' people, no 'rock stars,' no one doing more than anyone should do.

Retaining diverse hires

Lorena discussed how we also need to maintain those diverse hires, make them feel welcome, and retain them at the company. Consider neurodivergence as well, people who digest information differently than yourself. She does that for her team now to be inclusive.

Camela talked about consistently representing the underrepresented, as a diverse person in leadership.

Your company may have microcultures, like EMEA sales which may be the Wild West. Make them still feel included in conversations.

Interviewing with intentionality

In the interview process, think about who is doing the hiring. You need diverse interviewers. Challenge the company culture to take a chance on candidates, and if they take a chance on a stretch hire, give the new hire the time and support needed for the stretch role.

Jeff talked about making sure the interview process is thoughtful since it is often an exhausting, flawed process.

Create profiles of experiences and of the role, choose a set of different people for interviewers, and create standard questions such as asking what were choices and trade-offs they've had to do. If people seem over-prepared, dig in and ask more questions to sniff out the real answers about their experience.

Other ways to give back and lift up 

  • Mentorship -- though you have to know what to work on yourself, too
  • Teaching classes -- all panelists teach classes 
  • Advocating for roles

Lorena saw a Latina C-level woman at an event where she first thought, 'Hey, I can do that, it feels possible.'

Jeff said your life and career are a fingerprint, and no one else has it. Role models are valuable.

Create a personal board of advisors, He and Darrell Alfonso talk every week, balancing and learning from Darrell's marketing ops background to Jeff's sales ops background.

These are all shortcuts so you don't have to go through 20 years of pain like them. 

Thriving as a Team of One -- Rebecca Silverstein

Rebecca Silverstein, Director of RevOps at BrightFlag, provided tips and tactics for resourcing your most valuable asset - time - as your task list keeps growing, your inbox is filling up by the minute, and you've just been tagged into three new projects across the business... 

I like that she mentioned a dog slide incentive to keep people interested until the final slide! I included the dog slide at the end of this summary 😀!

She's been at her company since 2020 and her first road map said she would have a team of 4+ by 2024. She is still a RevOps team of one among a go-to-market organization of 50 people, BUT they just hired a RevOps manager who starts soon!


What is good about being a team of one?

  • You know how things work because you set it up
  • You have an awareness of all the changes that happened
  • You have visibility into all requests, so you develop pattern recognition of the types of requests
  • You get a sense of accomplishment from doing it all yourself

What can be not-so-good about being a team of one?

  • You could be seen as a request and task fulfiller, not a strategic partner
  • You may be working too autonomously. You may solve the wrong problem when you are not involving stakeholders
  • It is easy to do things yourself instead of teaching people to fish, instead of reinforcing documentation use and training
  • You are pulled into many directions with competing priorities

How to survive

Separate yourself from the function by referring to yourself as the "RevOps team," even if you are just one person. For example, instead of using your name, say, "RevOps delivers this."

To help reinforce this concept, create an email alias like to centralize requests. That also sets your team up in the future to receive requests in one central location instead of individual name emails, and gets people in other departments thinking about you having a team.

Document answers to common questions and direct people there. Don't answer the same question more than twice. Help people develop muscle memory to help themselves.

Set the tone and respect your time so others will, too. Remind people of strategic projects and the time you're spending on them.

Join communities and network with peers to learn outside of your company.

And remember: there is no such thing as a RevOps emergency. Don't panic!


Staying organized, prioritizing, and managing your time well

  • Save your to-do list in one place. Not 12 different places and also in your head. Reduce your mental load of remembering things!
  • Ask a manager and the go-to-market teams for their top three priorities, in order to help with your prioritization
  • Quantify how you spend time, to plan weeks more efficiently.
    • Use your Google calendar, with color blocks and reporting, so you can see the time spent on different activities.
    • Think about how to categorize the main areas of time, the percentage of time to support each functional area (marketing, sales, customer success...), the percentage of time for reactive/tactical vs. proactive/strategic work, and other useful categories

Time management

  • Block off time on your calendar for recurring activities (daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly) 
  • Critically assessed meetings. Do you really need to be there? Can you read the notes instead? (Bonus - this also enforces meeting agendas and notes to actually occur!)
  • Block off learning time and deep work time so you actually do it. You need to get outside of that tactical day-to-day work in order to progress in your role.

How to thrive

1. Establish Rules of Engagement

  • Create an intake request process and determine how to prioritize the requests
  • Set expectations for turnaround times for these requests.
  • Communicate status updates often.
  • Create a road map for how you'll spend your time.
    •  Identify a place to update and store it to provide visibility to stakeholders
    • Understand how many projects of each size can be done at once, so you can set expectations. For example, two quarterly big projects
    • Use it, update it, and communicate about it often as a recurring meeting agenda item with stakeholders


2. Become a strategic partner

  •  Demonstrate an understanding of the business and goals by talking about the big picture, not just about daily tasks
  • Ask leaders questions about their priorities, challenges, what you're hearing from their team, and how RevOps can help (not 'how can I help!')
  •  Avoid speaking of HOW to deliver, and speak about WHY to deliver a project
  •  Provide answers and advice confidently using your experience and expertise

3. Keep track of your wins

  •  Make a praise folder or document to keep track of the good things people say about you and your work
  •  Have a list of completed projects and their outcomes (my note -- your roadmap, or a quarterly/yearly report on the roadmap, is a good place to store outcomes and also serves as a list of big strategic projects completed)
  •  Keep your resume updated and LinkedIn updated regularly, while accomplishments are fresh in your mind


I can't resist a puppy photo!

Closing Keynote: AI & Revenue Cadences -- Kevin Knieriem

Kevin Knieriem, President of Strategic GTM at Clari, has been with the company for five years and shared with the audience how he developed the process for running revenue. At Clari, he's worked with many growing companies (such as customers) and learned from them, through the past 12-24 tough months especially.

RevOps is America's number one fastest-growing job, according to CNBC. It is now going outside of tech into other industries and business models.

What is causing this expansion?

The expectations of investors and boards.

The motto used to be 'growth at all costs,' and now it's about efficiency, which needs the customer journey to be tied together. Which means RevOps is needed more than ever!


Revenue leak

Ultimately, the question is about whether we will meet, beat, or miss on the revenue number.

The biggest problem in plain sight is revenue leak.

All areas of earned revenue are leaking out of the funnel across the customer journey.

Employees rely on outdated, disconnected tools, which leads to revenue leaks.

The impact of the leak is $2 trillion in economic value destroyed and 15% of average top-line revenue lost.

How to solve revenue leak

Do a revenue leak assessment.

  1. Align on your objectives, business issues, current processes & tech
  2. Diagnose your areas of revenue leak across your funnel
  3. Capture the leak by fixing/adjusting your revenue cadence 

Revenue Cadences: the operating system across your company that drives consistent execution of your revenue strategy.



Revenue cadence is where he has spent a lot of time, running revenue as a process instead of as an art.

He started documenting meetings and found there was no consistent cadence to the forecast calls, pipeline calls, etc. They were all different between each manager and different times and different amounts of time between calls.

So first look at all your meetings by segment or industry, and then look at all revenue activities.

Think in quarters.

What you do in week one of the quarter is going to be different than other weeks.

You're operating next quarter and the current quarter, with different KPIs at different weeks.

So write down all your meetings, then assess if you are running them consistently. If they are run differently, you get different results all the time. If you can run them consistently, you can get consistent, predictable results.




Kevin has a revenue cadence playbook here.

How do you know if the process and cadence are being followed?

He has a different dashboard for each week, which reports to know if the process is being followed, and he uses AI meeting recordings to tell if the process is being followed.

 AI for Revenue

 Revenue leaders have two jobs:

  •  Predictably achieve revenue goals
  •  Maximize the productivity of revenue teams

AI can impact both of these, but AI is only as good as the data you're putting into it or pointing it at. Using a generic algorithm still leads to revenue leaks. You need to use AI that is built for revenue, including types of predictive AI, descriptive AI, and generative AI.

Create an AI Council in your revenue organization to decide when and how to use AI.

He does not see a lot of revenue teams doing this; mostly, he sees business transformation teams owning it, and he wants it to be in the revenue teams.


  •  Revenue leak assessment
  •  Revenue blueprint cadence
  •  AI Council for running revenue

Q&A highlights

  • Kevin sees a disconnect in what CROs or CMOs signed up for, and what the RevOps team is working on because the company is moving or changing so fast. RevOps needs to stay aligned with the leaders
  • Acquisitions always break things so be prepared to pivot, communicate, and fix them
  • He created a revenue academy to upskill his team to teach them how to go to market so they could be experts in the field, experts for the customers they serve
  • He opened up the product (Clari) so customers can do more with it
  • He opened up partnerships so other people could help people use the product, such as agencies helping other companies use Clari



Read more about the sessions I attended at RevOpsAF: part one and part two!

Topics:   RevOps, Education, Event