Katrina Bryce – Business Development Manager in Sydney

Katrina Bryce – Business Development Manager in Sydney

KATRINA BRYCE

Business Development Manager
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2016

This former Rugby champion and consummate salesperson has her eyes on the prize – working hard so she can play hard.  Katrina loves working for this quirky and inspirational company.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have three:

  1. Walking into the office one morning to find a riding blender smoothie bike in the kitchen.
  2. Meeting and hearing Tristan Miller at this year’s conference. This man ran 52 marathons in 47 countries in one year. It was such an amazing story to hear.
  3. I also loved Friday afternoon trivia we had for a short time, which always brought the LOLs.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it? What does a typical day look like?

I am a Business Development Manager, or as I call it, a hunter. I work within the beauty health and wellness, leisure, food and beverage and services space. I love that it’s so versatile and never gets boring.

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

A particular merchant I was chasing (hunting) for over a year finally signed. I would hear from him for a few days and then wouldn’t hear from him for a few months, then he would come back to me again…this went on for 15 months. I normally walk away but he kept popping back up. Persistence pays!

Who or what inspires you?

Richard Branson. A leader needs to be able to take risks and Richard Branson is an explorer and a ground-breaking entrepreneur on so many levels. He has created an organization that can run effectively without his presence. That is the sign of a great leader. He sets goals that exceed expectations and achieves them.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

That is had a very relaxed atmosphere and was a place for long-term growth.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

By signing high-quality merchants and making sure they provide our customers with great choices so that they continue coming back to our site to purchase.

Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.

Signing Cuckoo German Restaurant in Melbourne over the phone. This merchant had been pursued by a few Groupies over the years, and I was the one who finally got them on board! The merchant was reluctant to sign as they had been around for over 60 years and were already successful. I managed to convince them to run an afternoon tea and dinner campaign and it managed to sell out (it made me over $17k) and generated the merchant $75k in just four days. I finished up on 243% to target last month (April 2018) with some of my other deals doing well, too!

Have you won any awards?

I won the Commonwealth Games gold medal!  And my team won the Sales World Cup in 2017.

What is your favorite conference room?

Fair Dinkum!

What do your parents think you do?

My mum asks me daily who has bought my deals and what I have been up to at “Scoopon.” I’ve tried correcting her many times but she still gets it wrong…whoops! She thinks the customers are buying the actual deals directly from me.

Where were you before you joined Groupon? How did you get here?

I’ve worked in sales for eight years now. I was a sales manager at one of my last gigs and have worked in both the insurance and IT sales industries as well. I had bought Groupons for years before I started working here so wanted to work for a company that I believed in…which lead me to apply.   🙂

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? 

I love to travel a lot…I’ve been all over the world. I enjoy tanning at the beach and going to the gym. I find enjoyment having cocktails with my friends and listening to music. I play netball and I wakeboard.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I would want to work as a Wall Street investment banker. That intense environment would be hectic, but only for one day… I wouldn’t want to live at my desk.   😉

What’s your favorite local business?

Illuminate Cosmetic Medicine in Newtown!

Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique? 

I believe in what I am selling. I love Groupon and I love that a merchant doesn’t have to physically pay to work with us until a voucher is sold.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I was an exchange student in Canada at the age of 15 and was selected and played for the Provence Ontario (state) in women’s rugby.

Helen Ly – Senior Business Development Consultant in Australia

Helen Ly – Senior Business Development Consultant in Australia

HELEN LY

Senior Business Development Consultant
Australia
Joined: 2013

For Helen, a Senior Business Development Consultant, the success of having generated over 3MM in revenue is only second to the relationships she carefully cultivates. Her customers are her extended family, as are the children who benefit from Helen’s charity work.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Receiving my Million Dollar Club plaque for the very first time.  🙂

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it?

I engage with local businesses on a daily basis about how Groupon can be a part of their existing business marketing plan. I work remotely in Melbourne, Victoria, and am on the road 80% of the time. If I’m not working out of my car, I’ll be working out of a cafe or from home! It’s almost my 5th anniversary with Groupon Australia, too!

What I love most about my job is the merchant. Meeting new merchants and learning more about how they run their business is not something you can do with any ordinary job. I build enough trust for them to respect me and let me work with them to help grow their business. I am most satisfied when my merchants refer me to their friends and family to look after their business’ wellbeing and growth.

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart would be the most challenging account I’ve recently worked on. I take full responsibility to ensure that all stakeholders are 100% happy with their deal. It was a multilocation deal with multiple franchises. Rather than risk information getting lost because it was coming from so many different locations, I dedicated my time to go out on site and walk through the whole process with management (both head office as well as store management) and with the staff just to be sure they fully understand how everything works. It was more challenging on the front end, but I think it was worth it.

Who or what inspires you?

I seek inspiration from everyone. Where I see weakness in myself, I find the strength in my friends and colleagues and learn from them. I draw inspiration from my customers, too. I love walking down the busy streets of Melbourne and knowing every single business owner by name…and they know mine as well! This reminds me that I am doing my job well and know my market.

“I seek inspiration from everyone. Where I see weakness in myself, I find the strength in my friends and colleagues and learn from them.”

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I got married last year and instead of gifting my guests with bonbonnieres, I donated the funds to Build-A-Bear as a partnership to give sick children in the hospital their very own teddy bears. In March of 2018, my husband and I visited the Royal Children’s Hospital and, together with Build-a-Bear and their charity Challenge Australia, we held a workshop to build bears with the kids in the cancer ward and also dropped into the rooms of the sick kids who were in isolation. It was an experience that I am truly grateful to have been a part of.

There are a lot of amazing Groupon stories. What’s your biggest accomplishment?

I am most proud of my accomplishments in my role of Business Development in achieving 1MM in my first year at Groupon, and my 2MM in the year after. Consistency is crucial to success and I thrive to maintain that and to exceed every time. When Sales transitioned to a hunter/farmer model, it was difficult at first, but I got through it and made my 3MM last year! That’s a win for me 🙂

What’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?

I worked in events planning and sales in Sydney and London. I moved to Melbourne with my now husband (we met in London) and saw an opportunity with Groupon, so I applied.  

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? What are your hobbies?

I have two furbabies that occupy my time, and I’ve recently bought a house.  Also, shopping at Bunnings has taken up a lot of my time. Perhaps that could be a new hobby?

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I would be a Forensic Scientist because the data never lies.

Harmony Day in Sydney

Harmony Day in Sydney

Everyone Belongs at Groupon Sydney’s Harmony Day

Harmony Day has grown to become a significant annual day for Australians to come together and celebrate our nation’s cultural diversity. At Groupon, we’re a diverse bunch and inclusiveness and diversity is at the core of what we do. Harmony Day is about inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging for everyone and this year, the message of Harmony Day is Everyone Belongs.  

Inclusion and Diversity at Groupon matters. It makes us smarter, leads us to better decisions, and helps us understand the needs of our merchants and customers. We want Groupon to be a great place to work for every employee—a place where people from different backgrounds and experiences feel that they belong and can do their best work to support our mission of becoming the daily habit.  

To celebrate, everyone brought a food dish from their cultural heritage. To pay it forward, donations were required to eat and all money was donated to NASCA (National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy) which is a charity supporting Australia’s Indigenous youth community. NASCA designs programs and workshops aimed at responding to various challenges the Aboriginal community faces by empowering them through educational, sporting, and health programs, and instilling a sense of cultural pride to counteract racism. We also had a special Groupon guest speaker: Cesar Comissi from our National Sales Team spoke about his childhood as a migrant coming to Australia from Peru. He also talked about what his culture means to him and how it has shaped him into the man he is today.

Harmony Day links to our value of Respect, Integrity and Inclusion and solving problems the right way together. It’s because of our backgrounds and life experiences that we have different skills and different views on how to solve problems. It’s always amazing when we get to collaborate with people from different walks of life to solve problems together, as we learn new things which we may not have previously known.  

It also links to our Community value, as we have merchants that partner with us from different diverse, cultural backgrounds. We offer culturally diverse deals on our platform including Thai Food, Indian food, Italian food, Lebanese food, Sushi, Thai massages etc. By featuring diverse deals on our platform, we are driving the Community value.

Bianca Alchi – Partner Development Consultant in Sydney

Bianca Alchi – Partner Development Consultant in Sydney

BIANCA ALCHI

Partner Development Consultant Sydney, Australia Joined: 2015

Bianca and her brother, Mark

So many clubs, so little time. Bianca’s Groupon journey is filled with major wins and she cites her late brother as a source of inspiration for her professional success.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it?

My job involves…

  1. Looking after a portfolio of clients ranging from beauty merchants to top retail storefronts such as Build-a-Bear
  2. Refeaturing well-performing deals
  3. Keeping merchants selling on the site as long as possible

More deals = more sales! I love that I get to talk to a range of clients who are all partnering with Groupon for different reasons. Our value proposition is what I love most.

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

Probably more recently a presentation I had to do for my top client Build-A-Bear so we could secure the partnership and plan their deals for 2018 and beyond! These things aren’t possible without the help of other internal stakeholders either.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favourite memory would definitely be signing my first-ever deal in sales and ringing the gong as well as breaking an ANZ contract record during my first week of sales!

Who inspires you?

Definitely my late brother Mark. He worked as a door-to-door salesman when he was first starting out his career and decided that owning his own business was crucial to his success. He built up a successful telecommunications business from scratch, eventually employing enough staff and a CEO for him to sit back and enjoy time with his kids. He gave me so much advice during my career and I owe all my successes at Groupon to him!

Your role probably exists at other companies…so what makes your role at Groupon unique? 

I think the flexibility. You’re not just selling the same thing every day…you are literally learning about so many different businesses and how they run their companies. I get to consult and give advice and business owners really appreciate a different perspective. Groupon has given me so many opportunities in terms of career progression and I have learned so much in my almost three years here.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I hate moving desks and have had to move at least six times in my three years here. Everyone calls me a ‘hoarder’ because I have so many things on my desk (partly the reason I hate moving).

So what’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?

I worked for my brother Mark’s telecommunication company, I got to do mainly an all-rounder role as well as travel to the Philippines and train a call centre to work for us. When my bro moved his company to Melbourne, I decided to look for a new job and came across Groupon from a friend!

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

The vibe on the floor was nothing like I had ever seen: very noisy, fun, and friendly. The cool breakout room, massages, and cereal were awesome little additions, too.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I believe by working with different industries, you are able to bring variety to our customers, even though some deal structures are the same, every business will bring you a different experience and for the right price point, customers will keep coming back on a daily basis to purchase from us.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

I am lucky to have had many accomplishments at Groupon but three of my most memorable are:

  1. Emerald Club 2017. Emerald Club is a reward for the top 8 salespeople in the company that finished 100%+ to target for the year. I got to travel on an all-expenses-paid trip with some awesome sales reps to Boracay, Philippines. Although I lost my luggage the entire trip, it was an amazing experience.
  2. The annual sales conference receiving the ‘Sales Rising Star’ award after only being in sales for 6 months.
  3. Joining the ‘Million Dollar Club’ by achieving $1M in revenue since I started in sales July of 2016. It is a huge accomplishment at Groupon and I am proud to have done this.

What do your parents think you do?

I asked my mum yesterday and she said ‘you do marketing for all different types of businesses.’ So I guess that’s not wrong!

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I love playing soccer, I have always played at a high level and continue to this day. Aside from this, I keep busy with my nieces and nephews and dining out!

What’s your favorite local business?

Catch 22 who also feature once a year on Groupon…can’t pass up their lunches!

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?
I would love to be in the police force as a crime investigator! I think it would be really cool and interesting to be in on the cases.

 

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Sydney Celebrates IWD with Panel & Special Guest Speaker Pepa Randall

Sydney Celebrates IWD with Panel & Special Guest Speaker Pepa Randall

WOMEN@GROUPON

8 March 2018

Sydney celebrates IWD with a tea party, leadership panel, and special guest speaker

Written by Olivia Deskoski, PR & Communications Manager for ANZ

For International Women’s Day this year, the Sydney office focused on the theme #PressForProgress and making Groupon an awesome place for women to work by holding a morning tea event featuring a panel of three three senior team members who are parents. Wayne Nagle, Cara Amores, and Mel Cook discussed how to achieve work/life balance when you have children (it’s more a blend than a balance), men stepping up in the co-parenting role, and our HR lead Cara shared some great insights into her vision for the business and actions taken around making Groupon an attractive place for women to work.

We were also excited to have a special guest speaker from our corporate partner, GWS Giants AFL women’s team defender Pepa Randall, who was candid, humble, and brilliant in sharing her amazing journey into a new sport – women’s AFL (Australian Football League AKA aerial ping pong) that’s been traditionally male dominated for over a century. Women’s AFL has only been around for a couple of years, so the #PressForProgress message was very strong and she had a lot of inspirational takeaways for everyone – including her training and nutrition regime which includes eating 8 meals a day! Pepa emphasised it’s actually hard to eat so much, but somehow we didn’t believe her.

One of Pepa’s gold-star messages during her talk was: “Sport has the ability to teach you about aspects of life. And one lesson is you can’t be fearful to give your best. It is scary doing that because if you give it everything you’ve got and it gets shut down and goes the other way, it can be crushing. But I’ve developed confidence through moments in the game to not hold back because you can reap the rewards when it does all go right.”

Awesome words from a pioneer of Australian female sport!

 

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Australia story without some boomerangs. 

Steve Traplin – CEO of APAC

Steve Traplin – CEO of APAC

STEVE TRAPLIN

CEO of APAC
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2016

“Steve’s a natural people leader. Since his first day at Groupon—where he sang Purple Rain by Prince (all new hires sing in front of the group)—he’s made it his mission to build a rapport with the team. He gets the most out of his people by getting to know them, their role, and what drives them. He’s the kind of guy that gives handwritten Christmas cards to all of APAC!” Gus Muffet, National Sales Director for ANZ

What was the last influential book you read?

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. An awesome read. It has helped me both in my personal and professional life.

Describe your leadership style.

I am open and personable and some would say enthusiastic, I try and keep things simple. You help create and foster an environment through your actions and behaviors. I do love knowing the detail and I know I am resilient (some may say stubborn), but every day I try and learn how to be a better leader, person, colleague, and team player. I believe in the power of the team.

We have so many talented individuals and teams in the world of Groupon APAC, consisting of Japan, ANZ, and India. There are many days where I just try not to get in the way of them. I am amazed and proud of how solution-focused the teams are.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

With my family—Beck, my wife, and my two daughters, Carla and Bianca—I receive lots of advice! But seriously the best pieces of advice are: always be authentic,  listen, have no regrets, and remember that every day you earn the right to come back tomorrow. Be the best you can be today and repeat as often as you can. It doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, just try and learn from them. 

“Steve is the kind of leader who doesn’t need to diarise time to ‘walk the floor’. He knows his people, enjoys spending time with them, driving them to achieve great results and celebrate their wins. Steve is strong but empathetic and intuitive. He sees the big picture but will delve into the detail as needed. Under Steve’s leadership, we have created a high-performance culture where there is still time for fun and a sense of humour to #makelifelessboring,” Cara Amores, Head of HR for ANZ & Japan

How has Groupon impacted you?

It has made me feel younger! It also helps me live my passion for helping small business with our awesome team and value proposition.

What have you done when you’ve encountered setbacks in your career?

Normally I just assess why it happened and try to gain clarity if I can then move forward with the lesson learned for next time…which is easier said than done sometimes.

What’s the last Groupon you used?

Yesterday for lunch at Croutons. I think I was the first redemption of the deal!

What are the most important qualities in a teammate for your organization?

Listening to understand and empathy are two great qualities in any teammate.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have many good memories. One that occurred early in my career here was when I had my first leadership dinner on my 8th day at Groupon. It involved dinner, crab racing, umbrellas, and water spraying, among other incidents.

Describe your job in 10 words or less.

Provide an environment for my teams’ growth and deliver amazing results (technically 11 words, but with a 10% OD it becomes 10).

What’s your favorite local business?

A little Italian restaurant called Beppis. Awesome food, great service, and my family and I have been going there for 25 years.

Describe an unusual job you had in the past.

I was a photogrammetrist way, way back. I used to create maps from aerial photography through a calibration. I hope those maps have been updated more accurately since I created them!

Who are your biggest influences?

My kids, family, my work colleagues, and two good mates who keep it real for me.

What do your kids think you do?

My kids think all I do is talk and think about Groupon, make dad jokes, and be their taxi and mobile ATM…..

Groupon Australia & New Zealand’s Annual Conference

Groupon Australia & New Zealand’s Annual Conference

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

2018 in ANZ: “The Year of Courage”

Groupon Australia and New Zealand celebrated their annual conference on Friday 2nd February, held at the magnificent Powerhouse Museum in Sydney with 120 guests from both countries in attendance. On arrival, all staff was treated to an awesome Groupon goodies pack which included a Groupon branded gym bag, pen, journal, and lanyard – Spoilt!

The day started off with Groupon APAC CEO Steve Traplin’s welcome speech, then kicked straight into the 2017 year in review and our 2018 goals, which brought to life to the underlying theme throughout the event: “courage”. For staff to have the courage to break their own belief barriers, break that glass ceiling, and to do and be a better version of ourselves than we ever thought possible.

There were group activities and paired goal-setting sessions with peak performance coach Mark Carter, plenty of motivational videos and even an inspirational speaker, Tristan Miller, who spoke about his journey of entering the record books when he became the first person ever to complete 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Tristan’s inspiring, “courageous” or insane journey (depending how you look at it) had everyone on the edge of their seats and really inspired all staff to push through their limits, have the courage to speak up, try something different, get out of the comfort zone, and be and try their best every single day.
The day wrapped up with a huge amount of awards and we continued the celebration at our next venue, Sweethearts, where we partied on a rooftop under the stars. There were even more gifts (Groupon branded beer coolers) an awesome DJ, photo booth, drinks and plenty of food. We sure continued the work hard and party hard reputation Groupon ANZ is known for.
It was an epic day and night for all, with staff leaving inspired and motivated to kick off 2018 with a bang!

Tom Howard – National Partnership Manager in Sydney

Tom Howard – National Partnership Manager in Sydney

TOM HOWARD

National Partnerships Manager – Australia & New Zealand
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2013

Tom’s busy giving the people of ANZ what they want—brands and services our customers use every day—as a manager for our National Partnerships team, which explains his membership in Groupon’s “Million Dollar Club.”

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

When I got my first $1MM of revenue for the ANZ business, I was presented with a badge after running through a human tunnel with everyone clapping and cheering as I stuck my badge on the Million Dollar Club board! It’s pretty cool that the business celebrates all these wins and has a culture that encourages everyone to be part of your success.

Tell us about your job! What do you love about what you do?

I have the pleasure of working with some of the country’s most recognized brands from Woolworths to Lindt to Hoyts. Being able to strategize innovative deal ideas that haven’t been executed at Groupon before is what gets me up in the morning. These deals help my clients exceed their revenue targets and growth goals and open up a new marketing channel if they haven’t engaged with Groupon before. And that’s probably the second thing I love most: acquiring new brands for our ANZ business.

I’m currently responsible for both National and Ticketing partnerships. Ticketing at Groupon Australia is almost a startup segment within itself and I was brought over from the UK in 2016 to grow it. In the last year and a half, I’ve worked closely with ticketing agencies, governing bodies, clubs, promoters, venues—the list goes on—to build a ticketing ecosystem and kick-start the business.

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on so far?

Probably building the ANZ ticketing business. As with all roads that haven’t yet been traveled, there have been constant hurdles that I’ve faced and continue to smash down. I think it’s taken a certain level of perseverance, patience, and innovative thinking to get to where we are today.

The ANZ ticketing landscape is different than anywhere else in the world and has meant that I’ve had to completely change the way we operate in order to get the vertical up and running. Even with those challenges, in the past 12 months, we’ve seen tremendous success signing some incredible events, like Cirque du Soleil, The Book of Mormon, SIA, The Wallabies, and The Formula One.

“I genuinely believe that people have to buy into you before they buy into the service you’re selling, and at Groupon, I’m encouraged to be creative and think outside the box.”

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Give the people what they want! As Groupon transitions into a true marketplace, our platform needs to have the brands and services that people buy day to day—from retail to restaurants and entertainment to events—in order to become more relevant in every aspect of their lives. The brands I work with drive this behavior…the likes of Woolworths, Uber, Chemist Warehouse, and Ticketek!

Have you won any awards during your time here?

Salesperson of The Year 2015 (UK), Highest % to Target 2017 (ANZ)

So where were you before Groupon? How did you get here?

After leaving university I joined a start-up talent and entertainment agency called 84World, as employee numero uno! Being involved in so many different projects and having a lot of responsibility from the get-go was hard work but super rewarding. My first project was to look after a newly-formed girl band as they supported The Wanted on their UK tour—I thought I’d hit the jackpot! As I progressed, I spent two years working on the commercial side of the business, collaborating with Sony Music, Universal Music, Hilton Worldwide, and SYCO.

In 2013, I joined Groupon UK on the ticketing team and won Salesman of the Year in 2015. This was when I convinced the ANZ business to take a punt and hire me to start up the ticketing business. Three months later I was on a plane to start my new life down under!

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I live in Manly, so anything beach related I’m there: attempting to surf, weekend SUP Ball, snorkelling, volleyball…the only thing I’m probably not doing is growing long hair and buying a skateboard. Other than that, I’m now your stereotypical barefoot Manly type!

What’s your favorite local business?

Ryan’s Bar – Sydney CBD

Sales roles exist at a lot of companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you excited to sell Groupon every day?

I’m given the freedom to be me! I’m trusted that my sales ability and pitching style will get results and I’m not told that things need to be a certain way. I genuinely believe that people have to buy into you before they buy into the service you’re selling, and at Groupon, I’m encouraged to be creative and think outside the box.

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

I only sweat from the left side of my head.

Sue Snabb – Sales Efficiency Manager in Sydney

Sue Snabb – Sales Efficiency Manager in Sydney

SUE SNABB

Sales Efficiency Manager
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2010

Favorite conference room?

Favorite office view?

(OK, it’s not a real “view” but still! Can’t beat a fake Bondi Beach!)

An American Groupie in Sydney: Sue’s story of taking her legacy sales knowledge from one continent to the other in order to build the sales teams in ANZ.

Tell us about what your job entails and what you love about it!

I currently run sales training in the ANZ market. I’ve had many roles in my Groupon lifetime and when I moved to Sydney in March of 2016, I started out in a project management role and eventually moved to my current training role which focuses on new hires and continuing education for current employees. I love working with people and sharing best practices and knowledge. Seeing that light bulb go off when coaching someone or getting that G-chat saying they tried something new and it worked is so fulfilling.

But can you write a Groupon haiku? 

Build communities —

New customers for merchants —

A dream comes alive

There are so many awesome Groupon stories. What are you most proud of?

My career at Groupon. I started from the bottom now I’m here. Ha! But really, I started in Sales way back in 2010 and now I get to have the autonomy to build a sales training program for the ANZ business. My knowledge of sales, account management, sales training, and travel have all helped me build the best training for the sales teams!

Sales roles exist everywhere. So why Groupon? What’s unique about it?

I truly believe in what we stand for. Helping local businesses get the new customers they need to grow and continue to tick. I like walking down the street and seeing small businesses; it’s what makes our communities diverse and fun.

Who or what inspires you?

People who are super passionate about Groupon inspire me. They get me to push and try harder when things aren’t working right. Knowing that we have a product that works that is backed up by employees who believe in it so both keep me going. Also, hearing positive feedback on how we’ve helped our merchants helps to reinforce all of the hard work we do!

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on in your time here?

The most challenging thing I’ve worked on would be project managing the structural change in our Local and Travel departments. The US had gone through the transition a few years prior but actually owning the to-do list and keeping people on track was a new challenge for me. I also think building programs from scratch has been challenging as well. Digging into coaching for our sales teams, improving continuing education classes, and ultimately making a well-rounded sales program (still not complete!) has been super rewarding and tough.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I thought they were quirky and fun. I wanted something different and got it. When I came to the Sydney office I thought the culture was awesome: open and friendly with a work hard-play hard vibe.

And how did you end up moving from Chicago to Sydney anyway?

I got the opportunity to work on the Hunter/Farmer structural change for ANZ. Having gone through it with my Getaways department and seeing it happen in Local set me up for good insight into the project. Having a ton of training experience also helped as I would also be spending time helping out the team in that capacity as well. My partner and I moved over to Australia and voila, here we are!

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I get to work with all sales reps to help them close the businesses that will bring the customers to build the daily habit.

Have you won any awards during your time here?

EVP MVP Award 2015. This award goes to a Groupon employee who has demonstrated outstanding leadership of their Employee Volunteer Program chapter. I’m also a two-time WOW Award recipient for 2016 and 2017. This award is nominated and endorsed by management and recognises an outstanding performer from the Operations side of the business.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

At the first Halloween Party I attended we had a huge mosh pit of people dancing and we were learning other cultures’ dances. We are very diverse at this office which makes it easy (and cool!) to learn about people’s backgrounds. It was just so much fun! I also loved Bring Your Dog to Work Day. I don’t have a dog but it reinforced why I do and don’t want one!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I used to do magic in the hospital for sick kids. It was great to bring a smile to their faces during a time of such pain.

What do your parents think you do?

They think I teach all the Groupies.

What’s your favorite local business?

I have a few! For food, I love Banana Blossom (I’m obsessed and get it every time I’m in Bondi or Manly). For sport, I like Bondifit for my triathlon training and Eastside Riding Academy in Centennial Park.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I’m currently training for a triathlon. Learning how to cycle with cleats is tough, I’m bruised everywhere! I also enjoy horseback riding, golf, and attempting to surf. I love playing games: cards, Settlers of Catan, and spikeball. I am also an old woman at heart and enjoy crocheting; I’ve made baby booties for my friends’ kids in our school colors and pair that with a nice wine bottle with a Michigan-colored wine koozie. I also love hanging with friends and traveling; I miss my family like crazy but I love exploring this side of the world.

Sandy Bassal – Partner Development Consultant in Sydney

Sandy Bassal – Partner Development Consultant in Sydney

SANDY BASSAL

Partner Development Consultant
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2015

We’re glad we were able to get Sandy on the People Blog. Between 11 workouts a week, traveling to 40 countries, and creating all of Groupon’s deals (according to Sydney’s Egyptian community…thanks to her dad) she seems pretty hard to book!

Tell us about your job! What do you love about what you do?

Basically, I get to chat with different business owners around Australia and New Zealand about what they do and what their business specialises in on a daily basis. I explain the potential impacts of partnering with us and how we equip them to enjoy the Groupon experience from the getgo! After gathering all the details I need, I recommend a structured deal to attract the right people and build foot traffic or brand awareness for their business.

I love that I have the flexibility to build a deal structure from scratch; from the price points to recommending imagery to crafting the bullet points used in the highlights…all of these things will help achieve the goals of the campaign. The most exciting part is seeing each of my deals live on the Groupon app for all customers to purchase. Knowing I created them all by myself and that they’re selling well is a great feeling!

Who are what inspires you?

My mum Mary. She came to Australia at the age of 15 with her parents and three siblings from Egypt with very limited English, and instead of continuing her schooling she had to start working and earning a wage to help out the family. Due to circumstances at the time, she has worked since the age of 15 and never had the opportunity to finish school. But a few years ago she enrolled in a TAFE course, and last year I was so proud to see my mum graduate with a Bachelor’s in Beauty Therapy at the age of 65! All of her peers called her ‘Mumma Mary’ because she was much older than all of them. Her courage and dedication to return to school and learn to study again inspired me to never say ‘I can’t do it’ no matter how much I doubt myself.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

After hearing about all the perks, learning about the role, getting a tour, seeing the foosball table, the gong on the sales floor, and the Travel team’s Chocolate Wheel (not to mention all the young and friendly people!) made me realise I loved the vibe. It felt like it would be a cool office to work in.

How did you go from the UK to Sydney?

After working in the Groupon UK office as an Account Manager for over 19 months, I left the role to come back home to Sydney as my sister was having a baby. I began interviewing for a role in the Groupon Sydney office before I even left the UK! I realised I have never enjoyed a job in the past as much as I did when working for Groupon. But first and foremost the people made my experience one I will never forget! Groupon really knows how to recruit amazing people to create the best office vibes. They make me enjoy my job more and help me laugh at work every day. Plus I loved learning new info about all different businesses which I normally would have no idea about, like what services a car deal should include or the hundreds of different facials and their worth.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I manage a diverse portfolio of businesses which allows me to build a variety of experiences for customers to enjoy.

What’s your proudest accomplishment while working here?

Within my first month of working at Groupon, I created a packaged deal for Glastonbury Festival accommodations for a company called ‘Snoozebox.’ Basically, the accommodations were a ten-minute walk from the festival site with a double bed, free parking, and Wi-Fi. It got some huge mentions in internal newsletters and around the office. Also, every time one of my deals would be featured in the ‘UK Deals Knowledge Newsletter’ in the UK I would send it to all of my family (all 50 of them!).

Have you won any awards here?

Nothing too serious, just “Best Dressed” at our Halloween party and the “Keepin’ It Real” award.

What do your parents think you do?

My dad tells his fellow Egyptian friends to download the Groupon app on their phone: “Yallah, come on, do it! My daughter Sandy created all the deals on The Groupon site!” So basically he tells everyone that all the deals on the Groupon site are mine. I am what keeps this company afloat according to my dad and the rest of the Egyptian community in Australia.

What were you up to before joining Groupon? How did you end up here?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Policing from UWS. I had intended to work as a Federal Police Officer specialising in Computer Crime, but my friends were travelling abroad shortly after I graduated and I didn’t want to miss out. I convinced myself that Policing was a job that I could do when I’m older and that a Sales role would help me save more money to travel.

I quickly got sucked into the Sales world and eventually moved into a manager role in Finance, followed by a Finance Underwriting role. I went to the UK on a working holiday visa and needed a stable job at somewhere fun that would encourage my travels on weekends and allow me to earn good cash to maintain a good lifestyle in London. That’s how I ended up at Groupon UK in 2015. I was super nervous when I interviewed, but the people I met with were so laid back; it made me want to work for the company even more.

You probably have a life outside of work…what are your hobbies?

Everyone that knows me knows I am (maybe too) obsessed with staying fit and training at F45. I attend 11 classes a week (twice a day Monday – Friday and once on Saturday). I also love to travel anywhere and everywhere and aim to visit a minimum of two new countries each year. I enjoyed backpacking solo through Eastern Europe in 2016 but also travelling with friends around South America and Asia. I love immersing myself in different cultures, meeting new people, and trying different food. I also love cooking and hosting.

If you could have any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would be a travel blogger, doing what I do best: traveling to random places and taking selfies 😛

What’s your favorite local business?

Haven Tailoring Coffee Joyously. It’s the best breaky and coffee.

Sales roles exist at other companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come to work every day?

There is always something going on at Groupon that is fun and exciting from dress-ups, to pop-up games in the breakout room, to surprise breakfast or desk treats, themed parties, and weekly Friday presentations where newbies have to sing and of course the sales incentives such as Emerald Club: a free trip around the world with the top sales reps. The office is full of great people with awesome personalities that make it hard to not want to work here.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Groupon offers change –

Experiences and more-

Go and buy my deals

Tell us something about you that would surprise us.

I have visited 40 countries (that’s at least the ones I can remember and have counted!)

Lauren Thomas – Market Executive, Travel in Sydney

Lauren Thomas – Market Executive, Travel in Sydney

LAUREN THOMAS

Market Executive – Travel
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2017

Things that inspire Travel Executive Lauren in Sydney: her teammates, puppies, travel, puppies, cooking, puppies…did we mention puppies?

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have so many great memories of my time at Groupon, each day is never the same as the last! The environment is a fun, innovative space and painted BRIGHT green! Being on the Sales floor and in the thick of all the action, I do witness some pretty random situations on a day to day basis, like colourful calls to merchants, as well as sirens, bells, and bean bags being thrown at peoples’ heads! My favourite Groupon memory was definitely our Christmas Party last year: the staff breakout room was decked out with slushie machines, a photo booth, and pizza. It was so much fun!

Where were you before joining Groupon and how did you get here?

My entire career before Groupon had been in hotels, as I have always had a passion and interest in hospitality. I naturally progressed from operations into hotel sales for events and absolutely loved it! Having spent over a decade in the same industry, I was itching for a change of pace and craved something new and exciting which would completely challenge me. I feel the role I have within Groupon suits me perfectly as I have taken my hotel skills to another platform and learned a lot along the way.

So what was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

Being from the hotel world for my entire career, I knew stepping over to the digital e-commerce space was going to an entirely new challenge and something way out of my comfort zone. The first time I stepped into the Sydney office I was amazed by the decorations on the walls and the energy and passion that came out of everyone I met. The floor has a certain ‘buzz’ or ‘pulse’ to it, I knew this was where I wanted to be!

What are you most proud of in your time here?

To be honest, I am most proud of my journey with the company and what I have accomplished so far since walking into this world. Going through my sales results for 2017 and seeing what I had achieved was a huge moment for me. I feel so lucky to work for a company that is all about rewarding and recognizing their employees, which makes us want to achieve great things!

Tell us about what you do! How do you spend your day?

I have a hybrid Sales role within the Travel Sales Team which means my world is split between signing new hotel accounts and holding onto 20 existing hotel accounts at any time. I am measured by how much business I bring in a month, the satisfaction of my current hotel accounts, and how well I craft deal structures for each campaign. I love how versatile my role is; I spend my time building on the existing strong relationships I have with long-standing hotel partners as well as building up new hotel partners and selling the Groupon story. I can be speaking to a small family owned motel one day and a large hotel chain such as Accor the next. I find it very rewarding helping these businesses achieve their revenue goals.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I volunteer at my local theatre as a side hobby and have taken acting lessons in the past. Have also been an extra in two movies!

What’s your favorite conference room?

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on in your time here?

I’ve worked on a number of properties that have certain brand standards and requests that need to be outlined within a campaign. This takes a lot of attention to detail and a lot of communication with our fabulous Editorial Team to ensure we have everything correct before we go live. It’s always a bit challenging but we always get there in the end!

What do your parents think you do?

My parents see photos on social media and assume I’m always out and about having fun at events. They tell their friends, “How can anyone possibly have THAT much fun at work?!”

Who or what inspires you?

My Dad. Growing up as kids we were surrounded by his values of hard work, discipline, and dedication as he built up the family business which is extremely successful today. He demonstrated to us from a young age that if you really want something, work hard and you can get it. I live these values every day. Also, cooking inspires me! I love the process and creativity involved in putting together a hearty dish. There is nothing better than seeing people come together and share laughter and conversation over a home-cooked meal. Cooking has become a joyful passion of mine.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

My role is all about connecting with our hotel partners on a day to day basis which impacts the entire Travel platform. I strive to ensure that we have the best brands to deliver the best service on our platform in high-demand locations for our customers to have great experiences. I feel we are close to building the daily habit but we have a lot of work ahead of us!

What differentiates selling at Groupon from other companies?

I love the authenticity of the company and the fact that everyone is able to be themselves in a relaxed environment. We do have pressures—like every sales role out there—but everyone respects each other and their level of learning. No one is afraid to step in and help when needed. The people I work with are genuinely my friends, not just colleagues. You spend most of your life at work so it’s nice to be able to be yourself.

You probably have a life outside of Groupon: what are your hobbies outside of work?

I recently got a puppy whose name is Alfie and he certainly keeps me on my toes. He can be very cheeky. When I’m not spending time with Alfie and my family, I enjoy hiking, keeping fit, and going to the theatre when I can. I’m also learning Italian at the moment for a big trip to Europe I’m taking later in the year.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

Dog walker, playing with puppies all day: yes, please!

What’s your favorite local business?

Room 10, Potts Point. I go there daily for coffee and their croissants cannot be beaten! I love local businesses that make you feel like family.

Jason Ball – Producer in Sydney

Jason Ball – Producer in Sydney

JASON BALL

Producer
Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2012

If you need a surfing buddy, want to learn some Swedish in a pinch, or if your deal needs extra TLC, Jason is your go-to person in Sydney. Just don’t ask him to fly anywhere with you. (Unless it’s to Sweden!)

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

After 5 years with the company, I’ve banked up a lot of great memories. I’d say some standouts would be the end of the year after-conference parties, as every year they never fail to disappoint. As for random things, ‘bring your dog to work day’ was a great one. I absolutely love dogs so having them around the office was not only random but a win for me.

Tell us about your job! What do you do?

So being in Production my role is extremely diverse in a way that I have contact on a daily basis with almost all teams throughout the company floor. Some of my day-to-day tasks involve looking after redemption processes, unique deal and voucher barcode setups, deal factory troubleshooting, day-to-day process flow, image design, deal collateral, and so on. So it’s never a dull moment with the number of deals we have going live each week. I honestly do my best to be the go-to guy for as many different aspects as possible on the operational side of the business to help get the desired outcome necessary. Making sure there is always a way to make things happen for the merchant, customer, and also us. If there’s a will, there’s a way to get it done!

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

Making sure the merchant has provided the correct codes and making sure there is no room for error or fraud can be a little nervewracking at times. Besides that, any deal which involves a unique setup or redemption method is always challenging. They are also the ones you hold in high regard when it all works seamlessly. There have been more than a few deals which have definitely got the blood pumping on the go-live date, especially when you know they will be potentially reaching thousands of people and selling like crazy before I even reach the office in the morning.

Who or what inspires you?

Cliche answer, but travel inspires me, which is funny cause I’m the most freaked out flyer I’ve ever known. What makes that even funnier is my wife is from Sweden, so I couldn’t have picked a further distance to meet my partner from. Also, the beach is always a great inspiration for me. I try and get out and surf as much as I can, kind of my meditation and exercise all in one.

Have you won any awards here?

2014 Merchant Operations Award

2016 Deal Factory Contributor of the Year

2016 Certificate of Nomination ‘Pedro Olivera Award’

Where can we find you outside of work?

Surfing and spending time with my wife takes up most my time outside of work. We are fortunate to live close to the beach so i’m always out and about doing something around the coast.

If you could have any other job for a day, what would it be?

Pilot or co-pilot; it would be a hell of a way to beat my fear of flying…or maybe not.

What’s your favorite local business?

The Lindt deal never disappoints! Also, Otto was a great experience which I would highly recommend.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I speak reasonably good Swedish or well enough for Swedes to understand me but still look at me funny.

What were you up to before joining Groupon?

So I had been living in Stockholm, Sweden for 3 years prior to moving back to Sydney. I had been working doing anything from graphic design to removalist work in order pay the bills. On arriving back to Sydney I wasn’t too sure what career direction I wanted to take but I knew anything would be better than doing removalist work in -20-degree snow (a reminder to never take having a morning coffee at your desk in a heated office for granted). I had always been interested in the e-commerce space and ended up joining a small start-up similar to Groupon with less than 10 employees. It was cool to part of a new concept and I worked my arse off there trying to keep the company afloat but unfortunately, the company went under within the year, leaving me without work. I had always looked up to Groupon as that was the company we were chasing at the time. After some direction from my previous manager, I applied for a role at Groupon thinking I’ve got nothing to lose. Upon arrival for my interview I was amazed at the size of the operation, coming from such a small company. Directly after the interview, they offered me a 3-month contract. Today, I’m 5 years deep still looking towards the future.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

‘Great people make great companies’ really holds true in Groupon’s case. I’ve worked with the majority of my team for 3 to 5 years now and It’s the strongest amount of operational knowledge I’ve ever experienced. Everyone is such a professional in their field that you can really depend on each person to do their part to get the job done. Besides that, the communication throughout the company is super easy between teams, helping get things done the right way but also super efficiently which can be a rare occurrence in other companies I’ve been involved in.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

We’re always striving to better in our processes and learn from our past mistakes. Making sure our merchants’ needs are taken care of by going that extra mile to help make sure they not only choose Groupon but that it’s the best experience throughout the entire process, from receiving the preview link all the way to testing vouchers on their point of sale systems. Keeping the customer journey in mind, eliminating touch points so there is no need for customers to be jumping through hoops in the process.

What’s your biggest Groupon accomplishment?

From my position, I’d say any deal I can help get across the line from an operational standpoint is always a big accomplishment. Whether it’s a major National account or a local ‘mum and pop’ store. If they are thrilled with the deal then it’s good enough for me.

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