Title: Divisional Sales Manager, Merchant Development
Location: Chicago, IL
Preferred pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Colleen has been destined for success since childhood, starring in her own self-produced show “Cooking in Colleen’s Kitchen.” What’s next aside from closing amazing deals for Groupon? Food Network stardom and a Hallmark movies podcast! Stay tuned for more.
What’s your favorite Groupon memory?
My favorite Groupon memory is with the very first team I managed in our new hire program. We made a parody of The Office called The Groffice and I played Michael Scott (best TV character of all time). The video was such a success that the entire floor heard about it. The most random things that have happened here are when celebrities would get tours of the office. Ashton Kutcher walked right by my desk once, I’ve seen Steve Harvey here a few times, and even Kevin Jonas has made an appearance.
Tell us about your job! What do you love most about what you do?
I manage the BEST group of people. There are 12 reps who sell to local businesses in the Home & Auto (oil changes, house cleaners) and Retail (butcher shops, magazine subscriptions) divisions. We work hard and play hard (except when we played a softball summer league this year and got slaughtered every game).
So why Groupon…why not do Sales somewhere else?
The people, 100%. Being a sales manager here is probably similar to a lot of places. You get a goal, you get a team, you have metrics to hit, and you have a handful of different people to answer to. The reason I stay here is that Groupon still thinks of itself as a startup and gives its employees the opportunity to think of a new idea and run with it. Groupon isn’t set in its ways and the leaders here really encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, which is something I like to take advantage of.
What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on since you’ve been here?
The most challenging thing I’ve done here is probably also the most rewarding. After being a sales rep for about 3 years I first became a manager in our new hire program. It was hard for me to really take a step back and put my teaching skills ahead of my fast-paced sales skills. There was a lot of pressure to coach to each individual rep’s learning style and also set them all up for success. It was extremely rewarding to see how far they came from week one to week 12…and they’re all still here two years later! I still feel proud whenever I see them!
Who or what inspires you?
My parents are my inspiration and I try to showcase the skills I’ve learned from them daily. My dad is extremely focused, smart, and thorough in his work. My mom is energetic, sharp-witted, and charismatic. Both sets of skills are important for a people manager to have, so I try every day to be just like them!
“The reason I stay here is that Groupon still thinks of itself as a startup and gives its employees the opportunity to think of a new idea and run with it.”
Where were you before joining Groupon?
I was in sales for Kraft Foods. After moving from Kansas City to Omaha to Tulsa, I knew it was time to get back to Chicago and Groupon was my ticket home!
So what was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?
As soon as I saw there was a giant (fake) cat in a spaceship in Groupon’s lobby, I knew it was a match made in heaven.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
Instead of looking at one giant sales goal, my team and I look at each business in our portfolio. If we’re below our goal for Groupon, that means we’re also below the goal we’ve set for that local business. We only win when our local businesses win.
Looking back on your time here, what are you most proud of?
I recently graduated to a black track jacket*, which is a pretty big deal! I’ve had a lot of professional growth in the last five years. I started when Groupon was a lot different; those cold-calling days were a grind and I was able to develop a pretty thick skin for sales then. Since becoming a manager, I’ve learned a lot more about business and I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of face time with our sales leaders. I’m also proud to say that three of my reps went to President’s Club (the department-wide competition culminating in a tropical trip for the winners) in 2016 and I have at least three more pacing to win for 2017!
So you’re a member of both Women@Groupon as well as our Groupon Volunteers. Why do you participate in both?
I am a member of Women@Groupon. I always enjoy hearing success stories from people inside and outside of this organization. I also participated in Groupon’s telethon supporting the American Red Cross, which was live on WGN.
What are you up to outside of work?
I love to cook and I recently got a ton of stuff to take up cookie decorating. I sew a little, paint a little, and I have about five instruments (that I can’t play). If I’m out, I’m only going to a dive bar and my ideal Friday night is staying in with my fiancé and friends with good wine, good food, and plenty of board games.
If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?
I’d be a Food Network star! I used to put on a show (most times talking to nobody) growing up called “Cooking in Colleen’s Kitchen.” I would talk about what I was making, why you should make it, and include tips and tricks. All in all, I was talking to myself for 30 minutes straight, so doing it for a camera would be nothing.
What’s your favorite local business?
It would be impossible for me to choose between these 4 amazing Lakeview spots: Cozy Noodles, Rice & Bread, Coalfire Pizza, and Kai Sushi. They truly each have such an amazing staff that always makes us feel welcome, and the food is reliable, undeniable, and a staple in my diet!
Can you write a Groupon haiku?
Gold cat stars pinned for each one–
*Black track jackets are given to employees on their 5-year anniversary of working at Groupon, aka “Grouponiversary.” Yes, we like portmanteau a lot here.
Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.
I’m creating a podcast that talks exclusively about Hallmark movies.
Rapid Fire Questions
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
Picture by Sherly Crow/ Kid Rock
Cool Ranch Doritos
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”- Rumi
Go to Italy.