Senior Business Development Manager
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Joined: 2010
It’s always exciting to hear stories from Grouponers who have been around since the earliest days of the ‘pon. Today, Tom talks about what it was like to join during the “cowboy days” of Groupon in 2010 and how his career has evolved over the last 8 years.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory? 

I remember the early days of Groupon in 2010-2011. We had just launched the platform in the Netherlands and had strong targets to close at least 20 deals per month. The Samwer brothers from the Rocket Internet group in Germany came to the Groupon Amsterdam office to organize a 121 with every sales rep. Luckily, I had signed enough deals per month to get my contract extended. Of course, I always enjoy the famous Groupon Amsterdam parties and the subsequent long drives home “back to the south” the morning after each one.

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

I’ve been working for Groupon Benelux’s travel department now for six years. Before I joined the Travel team, I worked on Local sales and led a team of four account managers. Currently, my main responsibilities are reaching out to new business hotels and farming relationships with existing ones. What I love the most about my job is being able to ”own your own business” within Groupon Getaways. You’re entirely responsible for your own revenue, campaign forecasts, and running your own business. And since 2010, I’ve worked remotely, which means I have a professional home-based office and travel 1-2 times per month to our headquarters in AMS / Brussels.

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

Every day is challenging, but the most challenging project was a transition in our teams 1,5 years ago here in EMEA. We were split up into hunters (business development) and farmers (account management) sales roles. Later this year we will go back again to hybrid sales roles which means we will get our ”own shop” back. The hunter role was a really nice learning period and I think we will grow furthermore with our current knowledge and experience in the field for the future.

Who inspires you?

Betty Bajwelcwajg, my interim manager from France during my hunter period. She is really a motivational person who got me back on track regarding reaching targets. Number 1 is Gerhard Jansen, our director in EMEA, he is really doing everything to make sure everybody is happy. Chapeau for these two!

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I was hired in 2010. At the time, Groupon was only active in the USA and here in Europe we had MyCityDeal. Groupon bought MyCityDeal just a few years later. I started when the company was a startup. It was fun working with energetic people with crazy sales targets and a highly driven culture. Looking back, it was really a stunning time. My first impression was like: “Ok, let’s do things and make sure things will happen.” It was a cowboy culture. I never expected I would still be here after eight years, but it’s true, I’m still a “Grouponer.” Great people and managers helped me decide many times to keep going and be green, maybe forever.

Groupon has changed a lot since 2010…what’s it like now?

Groupon has evolved upwards and become a more mature, professional company with more structure. Even in 2018, though, things still change a lot, but the most important rule is that change is good.

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

I approach hotels and convince them to work with us on an extranet campaign in EMEA instead of using the old vouchers system. It’s a much better experience for customers, Groupon, and myself in personal development. Also, because it’s a mobile-friendly extranet system means we’re on the right track. The more hotels we can provide to our customers, the more we can impact growth in Getaways.

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

Before Groupon, I was working in sales in the gym equipment industry. I was called by Tom Dalic a CEO in 2010. After one meeting I signed my first 3-month contract for MyCityDeal, which later became Groupon.

Sales roles obviously exist at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your job at Groupon unique? 

Of course, the product: Groupon delivers a unique product in the marketplace. As a salesman, the bonus is of course really good compared to other companies, I think. If you overperform in sales you can earn a lot at Groupon. Also, Groupon is really stunning; I never thought I could work for such an amazing brand worldwide. The culture and the people make life less boring.

Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.

When I succeeded in reaching and surpassing my targets YoY and MoM in my hybrid role. This was reflected on my five-year Grouponiversary with a lot of presents from my team and of course my black Groupon track jacket.

Have you won any awards in your time at Groupon?

Yes, the Green Award; I won an iPad and Groupon Credits.

What advice do you have for someone who is just joining Groupon Sales?

Believe in yourself and act like it’s your business.

What do your parents think you do?

Um good question, ha! They know for sure I’m dealing with hotels. Maybe I need to give them an update on what we do in 2018 within Groupon Getaways.  😉

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

Visiting friends, going out with my children, and spending quality time with my wife. Going on trips to Belgium and Germany and working in my garden so I can really relax and come back to earth.   😉

What’s your favorite local business? 

Restaurant de Leuf—a local Michelin 1* resto which is always live on Groupon. And of course, I signed it first!    😉

Tell us something that might surprise us about you. 

On Sundays, I love hanging out with our family Labrador dog in the forest and letting her swim and play for hours.