Joana Santos, Head of Sales Strategy and Operations for LATAM at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
Early years and where you came from?
My background is in Strategy Consulting, where I worked with a number of clients across the UK, the US, Portugal and a number of emerging markets spanning Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?
I made the jump into the industry by joining the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions management team based in London, looking for an opportunity that married my love for and experience in strategy with a challenging role in tech
Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.
I am currently responsible for covering sales strategy and operations for LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions business in South America; this involves acting as the Chief of Staff for LATAM Sales leadership on informing key strategic decisions as well as core operations such as annual planning and forecasting.
What part of what you do, you love the most?
I love how broad my role is within tech — one day I’ll be drafting the market entry strategy into a new market for LinkedIn, the other I’ll be defining our customer targeting strategy with sales teams, the other I’ll be running special projects to increase the impact of our footprint with regional leadership. I also love the geographical spread of my responsibilities, being responsible for sales strategy in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and other South American markets.
How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?
Having a strategic mindset coupled with plenty of international experience working with individuals from very diverse backgrounds and industries has allowed me to bring fresh perspectives to the world of tech, which I am looking forward to building on with more technical knowledge going forward.
What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?
Take any opportunity that comes your way that aligns to one or more of the aspects of tech you feel you may be interested in. Only through ‘doing’ are you able to ascertain what you enjoy, what you do not enjoy, and what you want to build your ‘USP’ on going forward. Take risks!
Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese women in tech.
I arrive at the office at c. 8.30 am, grab some breakfast in our restaurant (porridge and chia seeds, invariably) and a flat white, and have some quiet ‘me’ time to go through emails and address anything urgent that may have cropped up overnight. Being responsible for LATAM markets this means that mornings are typically a bit quieter, so I typically use this time to work on any non-region specific projects I may be working on (e.g. customer-centricity projects, process improvements, team onboarding and recruitment, etc.). I make a concerted effort to take some time for lunch with my team and other regional sales strategy leads, and perhaps indulge in another flat white (perhaps with oat milk, to spice things up). In the afternoon when Brazil is up I link in first thing with the regional sales lead via VC so we can prioritize and work together through specific regional requirements, spanning market entry and investment decisions, books of business building, quotas and target setting, forecasting and planning. A combination of these tend to form most of my afternoon, though the specific focus will depend significantly on the time of the year and our growth priorities. I also spend a substantial amount of time traveling to Brazil as well as to Tech sales events and conferences, mostly across the United States.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do one thing every day that scares you — still something I aim to consciously live by.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Excel and PPT still form most of my day-to-date life, though more recently given the geographical spread of my work BlueJeans has been a life-saver, as has MS Teams.
👉Find Joana on LinkedIn.