Kalli – Business Development Manager- Things To Do

Kalli – Business Development Manager- Things To Do

KALLI

Business Development Manager – Things To Do
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2016

Forming authentic connections with local business owners is what keeps Kalli feeling warm and fuzzy inside. But you’ve been warned: one of the biggest hit songs from 1999 will be in your head all day after reading her story.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have way too many favorite memories but our team is kind of random and I love it! Whenever someone closes a contract we may do star jumps one day or break a dance move the next.

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

I work with learning and helping local businesses with their goals. What I love about is

a) I believe in the product and

b) I have developed a passion for working with certain industries because I have gained knowledge by working closely with them and learning about them through Groupon.

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

Work for the Chicago Blackhawks for one home game, literally even sitting on the bench. I would create one-time-only water girl for hockey so I could meet each player and Coach Q! GO HAWKS!

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

Stress. I stress a lot and it has been challenging to cope with it but it is so rewarding when you accomplish your goals…and not only the big ones, but the small victories, too. Sometimes it can be stressful getting a hold of someone but I will always find a new way to get creative!

Who or what inspires you?

Both of my parents. They are both such hard workers and I am grateful to grow up witnessing the work that they have done and continue to do for our family. I think it pushes me each day to continuously work as hard as I can to hopefully be more like them. Of course, there is also money that drives me ūüôā

You’re a member of Groupon Volunteers. What do you enjoy about participating?

I joined Groupon Volunteers because I wanted a way to give back. The great thing is our head of volunteering has many different volunteering resources that we can choose from. My favorites to date were Habitat for Humanity because I never thought I was “handy” but when we worked as a team we did a¬†fantastic job! We helped out a young family, which was super rewarding.

So where were you before joining Groupon and how did you get here?

I was a purchasing manager for an engineering company in Michigan. My husband and I decided to escape the snow and move to Phoenix. I found Groupon on LinkedIn. I applied online in 2010 and am SO glad I did!

What were your thoughts when you first walked into Groupon?

Is this real life?! I had never seen a culture like this before. From day one the training, management, colleagues, and Scrums were so informative and encouraging! Sales can be intimidating at any company, but the culture and the tools that Groupon provided made it the best company I have worked for.

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

I work for the Things To Do sales vertical. I love it because even before I started working here I always checked Groupon for new things to do when I was traveling. It gives me ideas on what is trending or popular and what I should go after from a business perspective. I love doing research and learning about these opportunities in order to give customers great experiences.

What’s your biggest accomplishment?

Since I have been at Groupon my goal has been to continue raising my GP each Quarter. So far, I have succeeded in accomplishing this goal! *Knock on wood*

What do your parents think you do?

Me: Dad, what do you think I do at work?

Dad: You work hard. Make calls. Why? Are you ok?

Me: Yes, thank you

Dad: I was sleeping

What’s your favorite local business?

Phoenix has a local business called Flip N Fit. It is kind of like Class Pass but just for the local Phoenix area. I love it because I do not have to stick with just one workout and I can do spin, yoga, barre, HIIT, or boxing. It’s amazing!

Why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come to work?

I strongly believe in our product, which makes it so much easier to talk with merchants. Also, I love the fact that the merchant takes zero out-of-pocket risks. I feel like I can build a stronger working relationship with my merchants, which makes me feel grateful. The leaders and colleagues in Phoenix also make me love coming into work each day: we’re truly is like a giant family!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Playfulness Groupon–

Making Fun Smiling Dials–

Creating Campaigns

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

I am super obsessed with Lou Bega’s Mambo # 5 and I will stomp across the dance floor to it.

Christina Tolman – Business Development Representative

Christina Tolman – Business Development Representative

CHRISTINA TOLMAN

Business Development Representative
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2017

Switching careers can be daunting, especially when you’re trying Sales for the first time. But Christina, a Phoenix Business Development Rep in Phoenix, handled her career 180 with ease thanks to an energetic outlook and Groupon’s robust Sales training program.

How does the Phoenix office have fun during the work day?

Catch Phrase! On Wednesdays we have Breakfast Club (where two people bring breakfast to share) and then we play Catch Phrase. It’s friendly but also very competitive and a great way to prepare people for the phones!

What do you love about your job?

What I love most is getting to build lasting partnerships between Groupon and businesses. Checking in on businesses that I’ve worked with and hearing about their success brings me a lot of joy. I love that each day is different and that it is challenging. There is a new puzzle to be solved for every business and it keeps me on my toes!

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

The most challenging thing to me is refining on my own approach at work. In my last career, almost every interaction that I had was in person. It was tricky at first to build relationships over the phone and to be able to connect with someone when I couldn’t see their face but now I actually enjoy this more because I can communicate with so many more people each day!

What inspires you?

What inspires me is the ability to learn and grow each day. It’s pretty amazing that I can be a better person each day, learn something new, and try to bring more joy and good to the world. Simply said by Don Draper, “Make it simple, but significant.”

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I walked in the door for my interview and knew I wanted to work at Groupon. The environment was positive, fun, and welcoming. In fact, during my interview I said, “If you offered my the job right now, I would say yes!” I was offered the position two days later.

“I love that each day is different and that it is challenging. There is a new puzzle to be solved for every business and it keeps me on my toes!”

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

One of the things that I do is ask my friends about new businesses or businesses that they would want to see on Groupon throughout the country. I focus primarily on new breweries or smaller breweries because one of the things that I hear from many that I work with is how they want to bring the community together. It is pretty amazing for me to partner with a brewery before they even open their doors and hear about how they started, to watch all the equipment be installed, and ultimately to see them open their doors for the first time.

What’s your proudest accomplishment in your time here so far?

Working with a shooting range this year. It was a newer range that really wanted to be on Groupon for the exposure. It took a lot of work on the back end to get them on the site but ultimately we got them on just in the nick of time before Thanksgiving. I was in Austin when I received a text that said, “Congratulations – you have one of the top deals of the week!” That was my first time being recognized as one of the top deals. After that, I received Rep of the Week. It was great to see that after all of work of the merchant and my team, that they were able to get on the site and gain the exposure they were looking for!

Have you won any awards?

Culture Club: Unity Award

What do your parents think you do?

“Lets see; I think you work with companies large and small to help them sell themselves better by providing deals that encourage others to use their product and because of that use they want to continue using the product even without the discount coupon. How does that sound?” Written by mom and approved by dad.

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

I worked with early childhood programs throughout the country. I was a trainer and coach for childcare centers and helped them improve their quality of care. I’ve always wanted to try sales but was scared. In February 2017, I started thinking that I was going to make the transition and by March I decided to put my two weeks at my job without another job lined up! Amazingly enough, I ended up having an interview at Groupon the next week and was offered a position. I guess it was meant to be!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I’ve recently taken up hiking: Arizona has some amazing views! Mud runs and races are also something I like to do. The Hot Chocolate 15K and Terrain Mud Run are my favorites.

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

I would want to own a brewery or a coffee shop. It would be great to get to know the people in the community I work in by providing a great environment! (Maybe one day I’ll start a business and I’ll have to call Groupon to help me build the brand!)

What’s your favorite local business?

La Santisima. They have the best horchata I’ve ever had: horchata with strawberry creme, pecans, cantaloupe, strawberries, and cinnamon! They also have a salsa bar where you can choose about 15-20 different types of salsa. Chips and salsa is my favorite food so it is a huge win for me!

Sales roles exist at other companies…so why Groupon? What gets you excited to come here every day?

My brother in law is in sales and has been for 20+ years. He said to find a company that has a training program that will invest in you. Coming from a non-sales background, I saw Groupon as a company that would invest in me to make me the better every day. If a company invests in me, it makes me want to in turn invest in them even more! The people I work with also make my life great each day! (Grace Litteken, my manager makes a tough job easier and I couldn’t do it without her!)

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Ping Pong Tournaments –

We take them seriously –

Better start training!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I’m in sales, but money does not motivate me! Also…I have 7 older sisters. I’m the youngest of 8 girls!

Vrnda – Business Development Representative

Vrnda – Business Development Representative

VRNDA

Business Development Representative
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2017

We pride ourselves on helping local business owners achieve their goals, and Vrnda is proof of that…on both sides of the coin. After having partnered with Groupon to boost her small business, she’s now behind the scenes helping other business owners do the same!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?¬†

My favorite memory was during my initial training when I started at Groupon. I was shadowing a Business Development Manager and I got to observe her relationship with a merchant. It highlighted for me that I could share and not sell and that genuine interest and concern for the business owner had a place on the sales floor at Groupon.

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

I talk to my former self! I owned a small business and ran a Groupon. I talk to the people responsible for maintaining main street businesses. The people that keep communities strong and innovation alive. On really great days, I get to contribute to an individual’s dream of living out their passion and supporting that little shingle they were brave enough to hang!

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

Anything with math….so everything. It is always a challenge to translate the heart and soul of a business into numbers!

Who or what inspires you?

The right of every person to live the “American Dream” or have the fullest expression of their passion….too corny? Ok, the opportunity to get to be exactly who I am and know that every day I have the opportunity to share with one person that their skill, dream, service matters!

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

The fact that I owned a small business and ran a Groupon. I was a pretty new business owner and had literally worked every day that first year and was exhausted. The Groupon call came at a time when things could have gone either way. As a single mom (at the time) of two teenagers, the boost in income literally put clothes on their backs and food on our table. To have the opportunity to pay that forward is the accomplishment I am most grateful and proud of.

What do your parents think you do?

“You make those dooda thingies that are on my computer sight thingy right? Isn’t that just a lovely thing.”

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us!

Vrnda, my name, is a Hindu goddess. I used to hate my name because I could never just walk into a store and get a name keychain…and the list goes on. Now, I have a huge piece of artwork on my back that is a representation of the Hindu goddess Vrnda and I like my name!

You’re a member of quite a few of our employee resource groups. Why do you participate?

I’m a member of Veterans at Groupon to give back and support the 30 years my husband served in the Army before retiring. I’m also a member of Blacks in Groupon to support initiatives that are inclusive and support diversity. Lastly, I joined Pride at Groupon to encourage equality and safe free expression within the workplace.

So what were you up to before joining Groupon?

I am a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Certified Dog Trainer. I was also a Mentor for Animal Behavior College and CATCH Trainer’s Academy. I owned a Kennel and Behavior Center that specialized in canine behavior issues that included aggression, separation anxiety, and destructive behavior within the home. I am also a 200 CYT with 100 additional hours toward my 500 RYT.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

CATS! CATS! CATS! My husband and I have modern Siamese and Sphynx cats (we were married on April Fool’s Day). I also enjoy yoga and puzzles.

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

Professional cotton candy taster…because cotton candy.

What’s your favorite local business?

Growing up on Virginia Blue Crabs, my favorite place is Lee Lee’s International Market because I can pick up 30 or so just for me any day of the week!

Sales roles exist at other companies, so what makes selling at Groupon unique?

I believe in the product! I’m not a salesperson but I’m a heck of a share person AND I get to play my music and dance around all day long while making the world a better place!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Merchants are talking–

Small businesses are growing–

Hometowns are thriving

Emily McLaughlin – Business Development Representative

Emily McLaughlin – Business Development Representative

EMILY MCLAUGHLIN

Business Development Representative
Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 2017

Ever enjoyed an Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl Groupon? You have Emily, Business Development Rep in Phoenix and pug aficionado, to thank.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite Groupon memory was watching Dave the manager throw 12 hard boiled eggs in the air and basically gulp them whole (he did some chewing).

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

I have the cool job of talking to merchants and chatting with them about how great Groupon is. I love being able to create rapport with business owners and help make their businesses even more successful than they already are.

Who or what inspires you?

My dad is my inspiration, seems cliche, but he is the most determined and hardworking man I have ever met. He did sales for over 25 years and has been a great asset in teaching me how to succeed even more at Groupon.

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

One of the cool things about Groupon is that it is an ever-changing company who makes work fun but also puts emphasis on working hard and doing the best that you possibly can. Groupon is a one of a kind product and it’s really funny when I tell people that I work here and they freak out and immediately ask me if I get an even better deal off the already great sell price.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I want a black pug and I want to name him Steve.

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

I think being able to work with local businesses and be able to highlight them in the way that they want to be perceived by subscribers is an awesome way to build local commerce and become a daily habit for all.

What’s your biggest accomplishment?

I was able to work with Ugly Sweater Bar Crawls and close locations all over the country. It was cool because it was an account that had been touched a couple times but nothing ever went through with the Decision Maker. I was able to chat with him and get there name and bar crawl more exposure. I also absolutely love Christmas and wearing ugly sweaters. One of the other cool things about this deal was that there was a location taking place by the Phoenix office, so some of my co-workers and I went and had a great time!

What do your parents think you do?

“You sell Groupons, which I love.” – Mom.

What’s your favorite view from the office?

You’re involved with both the Employee Volunteer Program and Groupon for Veterans. Why do you participate?¬†

I have always loved volunteering. I think its so important to give back to the community that you grew up in or the one you are surrounded by. Its a great perspective about helping others that I think we forget about sometimes and need to be reminded of.

What’d you do before Groupon and how did you get here?

I just graduated from college! Woohoo! I grew up in the Scottsdale area, decided to leave for school in Iowa, and then realized that it’s way too cold up there and that I should move back. I was a referral from an employee at Groupon and decided to make this my work home!

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I love to spend time with friends and family, explore, travel, eat, and take naps. Naps are my favorite.

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

I think if I could have any job I would want to be the Queen of England just to see what it’s like to be royalty.

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Mike Erickson – Corporate Recruiter

Mike Erickson – Corporate Recruiter

MIKE ERICKSON

Corporate Recruiter
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2013

You won’t believe what this recruiter wants you to do on a phone screen.

What teams do you recruit for?

Sales in Chicago and Phoenix

What’s your advice for someone interested in applying at Groupon?

Be yourself and only apply to roles that you are most interested in.

Anything a candidate should know about how to work with you during the recruiting process?

Be prepared to tell me why you’re excited about the role: I love chatting with folks who have that enthusiasm for the position that they are applying for!

What qualities do the most successful sales reps have?

First and foremost, ya gotta WANT to be in sales. Sales is tough: you have to know why you want to be in a sales role in order to succeed. Whether you are money motivated or passionate about helping small businesses, that “why” has to be a clear motivator for you to keep pushing through those tough sales days. Once you have that, I find that the people who know how to nail that balance being coachable and being self-sufficient are our strongest sales reps. We have a great team of mentors and leaders here who know how to be successful, but at the same time, they won’t make your calls for you. Striking that balance is key for finding that success.

What’s the #1 thing you wish all candidates did?

Beatbox during phone screens.

What’s your proudest Groupon accomplishment?

Being a Sales Recruiter is usually a lot of crazy ups and downs in terms of volume. One of our craziest times was the opening of our sales office in Phoenix; everyone was all-hands-on-deck to get quality people in the office and making sales and it was all during the holiday season. We filled the office then and I continue to fill it today, now being the primary recruiter for the Phoenix office. I love that office a ton and I’m happy I get to interact with them on a daily basis!

Tell us more about the Phoenix office! What’s it like there?

The Phoenix office has such an infectious and positive energy to it. I’ve visited a handful of times recently, and as soon as you walk in the door it’s hard not to have a smile on your face. I will describe it as best as I can:

As you enter the office, you see the gleaming smile of our Sales Trainer, Jabril Baker, giving some solid sales advice while boppin’ to whatever jam is being played by Marlon Evans, one of the sales managers. I turn to my left and say “WAZZUP” to Kelly Light, the Site Director, and give Sam, the Phoenix HR Business Partner, a high five. I keep walkin’ past all the sales folks, giving as many finger guns as humanly possible, then make my way to the crown jewel of the office; the Coke Freestyle machine. I pour myself a refreshing beverage then head back to my makeshift desk space. As I’m about to start doing some work, my senses are absolutely overloaded with the fresh scent of the peanut-butter stuffed pretzels, the snack of snacks. I grab a handful and try to hold back happy tears. “This is paradise,” I say to no one in particular.

“The only Keane album I enjoyed was Strangeland.”

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

I get to hire people who help small businesses find success in an increasingly big-business world. I’m super into that. I love small businesses and we get to help them succeed.

Talk about your involvement with Blacks in Groupon (BiG) – what does your partnership with them look like?

I’m the talent partner for Blacks In Groupon (BiG). My goal is to provide resources to the group as to how to utilize their networks to bring in top talent, as well as being a resource for current members in terms of internal options if they want to search for a new role at the company.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I do a lot of comedy stuff here in Chicago, and in April of 2014 I had my first live show. I was so nervous to actually perform in front of people for the first time, and a few minutes before showtime, I look out into the audience and my entire recruiting team was in the front row. This was the first time it really hit me how lucky I was to work for this great company. Here was this team that barely knew me, front row of a show in which I danced around the stage like Paula Deen. I’ll never forget that for as long as I live.

Who inspires you?

Folks who wear shorts during the winter because “they don’t get cold.” Hehe, just kidding. I have been inspired by a wide variety of things, but mostly musical theater, baseball games, and my brother Samb.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

Whoa! What a cool place. How neat are these swinging chairs! Let me go to the 4th floor to check that out. Oh god, I am locked in a stairwell.

What’s your favorite local business?

Southside Sub Shop in Elmira, NY. They have the best bread in the world. They also do this thing where they add just a smidge too much mayonnaise, but it mixes with the bread and hot peppers so well that you don’t even care at all.

What’s something that candidates are surprised to learn about Groupon?

The vast majority of the company has breakfast at least a few times a week.

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

My dream job is to be what Andy Richter is to Conan – the late night host’s sidekick.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

The only Keane album I enjoyed was Strangeland.

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