Former Groupon Employee Describes High-Pressure Tactics Culture And Merchants “Freaking Out”

Jun 16, 2011

Editor’s note:Guest author Rocky Agrawal continues his in-depth TechCrunch series looking at the daily deal industry. Agrawal is an entrepreneur who has worked on local products since 1995. He blogs at reDesign and Tweets @rakeshlobster.

I received a couple of emails from a former Groupon employee which sheds some light on the sales culture at the company.  This is one person’s view, but it comes from a former insider.  The emails are below, and are fairly balanced and honest. You can judge them for yourself.

This information was provided on condition of anonymity. The employee left voluntarily for a position elsewhere.  ”I really don’t have any reason to fabricate anything, i just think its time mom and pop shops know what they’re getting into before getting swept up in the hype, and your series has been great,” the former employee said.

Some of the key points:

  • Some sales representatives care about merchants, others view them as a nuisance.
  • Some reps only care about commissions and don’t cap the number of deals that can sold. Groupon then has to do this in real time when merchants freak out.
  • Sales people (not surprisingly) are encouraged to squeeze as much as they can from a business.
  • Last minute changes to deals are common.
  • The ex-employee encourages small businesses to really run the numbers themselves.

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