Angus’ award-winning career has taken flight at Groupon. He chats about his experience biking across India, building a billy cart with his Groupon team, and how his ambition helped him land a leadership role in National Sales.
Tell us about your role. What do you do? Why do you love it?
My role is to lead the National Sales Team across ANZ. I was promoted to the gig around 2 years ago and at the time it felt as if I’d been given the keys to a Ferrari. National Sales is a fast-paced, high-performing vertical. Our mission is simple: deliver the best brands at the best commercials for our customers. The revenue and customer activations will follow. Everything about the role gets me excited; my team is best-in-class and uncompromising in their work. We manage ANZ’s biggest merchants and produce significant results. One of my team members recently signed a record-breaking deal with one of our partners. It gave me such a thrill to see him succeed in such an impressive way. The merchant also broke records! It was the single biggest customer acquisition activity they had ever undertaken through a third party. Groupon challenges me to grow as an individual and as a leader…to always be better than yesterday.
Tell us something about you that would surprise us.
I spent 3 weeks racing from the far north of India to the south on a rickshaw. We covered 2,400 km doing 40 kph on what is best described as a ride on a three-wheeled lawnmower. We met so many wonderful people, were dragged into a council meeting to meet the president of a village, broke down more times than we had cold beers, and ticked off one hell of a bucket list item!
Who inspires you?
My mum, dad, and grandparents. They’ve taught me the value of community, creating a vision, and hard work. My parents are third-generation farmers and some time ago sold their sheep and cropping land to move closer to town. After some time on the road traveling Australia, they returned with the idea of building a home and upmarket lodging for guests to stay. Last year, they completed their vision and built the most amazing place with sustainability at its core. They are super active in their community. They’ve come up with annual events that gather 1,000 people together for a rugby lunch on an oval and 800 people for a food and wine event. My grandfather (pictured below) was a man of ethics and drive. He was always involved in community projects, council meetings, and committees. I love this picture of him; it’s a rare moment after the war when farming friends got together to let their hair down.
Have you won any awards here?
Groupon ANZ Salesperson of the Year
2014 Getaways (Travel) Salesperson of the Year
2015 Make Life Less Boring Annual award
What’s your favorite spot in the office?
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
I believe we are on the way to becoming a daily habit, however, there are some huge (and exciting) challenges ahead of us. The work that the team and I are doing to sign household brands is driving much of ANZ’s gross customer adds each year. In 2018, we expect to retain our current merchants and onboard more to engage and excite our subscribers. We’re also making it easier for our customers by dramatically reducing the friction they used to feel when interacting with National Deals. We instituted a forum for internal stakeholders to be run through the national pipeline and provide feedback on things like payments, redemption, fine print, and structures. As a result, our customer contacts for refunds have dropped significantly.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
I’m really proud of the career I’ve forged at Groupon. Having not completed a university qualification, I started my career motivated and hungry to achieve what I knew I was capable of. After some time managing 5-star hotels, I wanted to get into the sales world and Groupon presented that opportunity. I started as a sales rep on the travel team, selling into brands like Accor, Langham, and Wyndham World Wide; developing marketing strategies and revenue goals across 700+ properties. I finished the year at 112% to target with 68% of revenue coming from new business (the highest % across the sales floor). I was fortunate to be awarded Groupon Sales Person Of The Year for 2014 and Travel Salesperson of the year in 2015. After a two-year run with the ANZ travel team, I convinced the company to take a chance with me to head up the National vertical. With my prior achievements and strong endorsements from leaders in our business, I was appointed to the role. Fast forward two years, no other National team has seen the growth we have within 12 months.
Our sales culture is one of the most highly measured and highly rewarding I’ve ever seen. We push our people to do their best work and most importantly grow as individuals.
What’s your favorite Groupon memory?
There are so many memories Groupon has given me, more than my four previous companies combined! The stand out is The Red Bull Billy Cart Race. In November 2015, Groupon ANZ entered into the Red Bull Billy Cart Race, held in Sydney’s Centennial Park. To qualify to enter, we had to come up with a winning cart design. The group decided that it should reflect the fact Sydney is a city by the beaches, with many lifeguards. So we went with a giant pair of speedos. We were one of 30 designs chosen from hundreds of entries to go ahead and build! With no design skills and limited resources, we met at a colleagues house to plan and construct the cart, while enjoying some beers and BBQ. The frame was fashioned from two BMX bikes and a bunch of blood, sweat, and welding. The big day finally arrived for us to race with thousands of people coming down for a look and laugh. The criteria for winning is simple: the fastest and most outlandish driving wins. Forgetting that we were racing on a super hard surface (and the instructions during the safety briefing at the start), we stripped down to our own pair of red speedos and donned helmets. The giant speedos raced to the finish line with no issues, the build team had done an amazing job! Half of the Groupon office came down to watch in the rain; it was a really excellent example of the culture and camaraderie we have in ANZ.
What’s your favorite conference room name?
What keeps you busy outside of work?
I’ve just bought a house and moved outside of Sydney by the Hawkesbury River which is amazing for exploring and spending time on the water. I love sailing and seeing my rugby team getting pumped.
If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be?
Commercial pilot. I gained my pilots license after school, however, didn’t go through with it as a career.
What’s your favorite local business?