Sales Training Manager, Onboarding
Having recently celebrated her 3-year Grouponiversary, Alicia reflects on her whirlwind journey at Groupon, provides super sound career advice, and shares some love for Beyoncé.
Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it?
I manage half the Sales Training & Development team: the Sales Trainers you’ll meet as a new hire to Business Development, Merchant Development, Merchant Support, Groupon+, BeautyNow, and Inbound sales. My team is also single-handedly responsible for coaching for those in Groupon Sales University: your first year or two in tenure as a salesperson here at Groupon. The people in the Sales Training & Development family are caring, creative, considerate, and an absolute gift to us all. I couldn’t be luckier.
What’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?
I came straight from a B.S. in Psychology and minor in Leadership Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I had volunteered for a crisis hotline for two years there by the time I graduated early and wasn’t unconvinced yet that my next step wouldn’t be medical school for psychiatry. Feeling burnt out, I wanted to do something fun, and came to Groupon as a Business Development Representative, then Sales Trainer, Senior Sales Trainer, to the role I have now just past my 3-year anniversary. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Tell us about the evolution of Sales training at Groupon.
In January 2017, Groupon Sales University didn’t exist. We took a once-a-week 3-month program designed to ramp up current salespeople and expanded it to a 12-month curriculum designed to teach soft and hard sales skills from day 1 at our company, no matter how much or what kind of professional experience you bring to the table coming here. In January 2018, we launched our first full cycle as it stands today with our Business Development class: the best sales onboarding program in the country.
You’re a member of Women@Groupon. What do you get out of it?
‘Ladies helping ladies‘ is something I would wear on a t-shirt every single day and I already shout at almost everyone I know. Women’s issues abroad, domestically, and specifically empowering women to rise in the workplace are all very representative of who and why I am. I signed up for Women@Groupon during my first week and became a mentor through their program two years later, where I met one of my closest friends at Groupon now. She and I still meet and talk about skills, resumes, movies, tea, and travel, and this is one small testament to the community these groups cultivate and the incredible experiences being part of them that can really sneak up on you.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
Sales Training & Development’s insanely talented taskforce of sales slayers is the first impression salespeople have at the company and we hold the privilege and responsibility of instilling strong, strategic, and moral sales skills to our salesforce here: how to get in touch with merchants, how to have effective conversations, how to get the right deals on the site for all parties involved and how to cultivate the right relationships so that the merchants are compelled to work with us and us with them, the right way, forever.
What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?
The scope of your role does not define you. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Operations Project Analyst Israel Pederson when I told my boss I wanted to learn SQL as a general, professional interest. I had no coding skill. Nearly 100 1:1s, one online course, and one year later, our team can track in real-time the effects of the training we do for the first time ever, allowing us to begin to make directional decisions about how we train and to whom, thanks to SQL and teradata. My new goal is to start and get intermediate with Python by the end of this year.
“In January 2018, we launched our first full cycle as it stands today with our Business Development class: the best sales onboarding program in the country.”
Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique?
The chance to rise at Groupon is unparalleled. Work harder and longer, ask more questions, be humbler, admit defeat more, follow the rules more, defer to those who came before more, and do more than you were asked to and more than every single person around you, every single day. That recipe wins every single time inside these walls. And if you think you do them all, ask a candid teammate if that’s true. Then do them more.
You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work?
I volunteer for an organization called Rape Victim Advocates as a Rape Crisis Counselor: advocates are on-call for X hours each month and get dispatched to one of our partnered hospital emergency rooms any time a survivor of sexual assault is admitted, to accompany them during their entire intake and defend their legal and medical rights and fair treatment, and generally provide support face-to-face. I also love, love, love PS4, running, singing, dancing, drawing, and my MoviePass.
Who or what inspires you?
My desk is littered with quotes, lyrics, and photos from and of Beyoncé. I’m convinced my first full year with this team, my profound love for that woman is the singular thing anyone knew about my interests, which isn’t even wrong. May all of us women be strong, powerful, graceful, fearless, and supportive of other women in the professional sphere and otherwise, always.