Watch out, rookies, you’re about to get schooled. Lavi S. takes pride in his role as a Sales Training Manager, and that means taking newbs from wide-eyed to wonderful on a fast track to a successful sales career at Yelp. This superstar set a record for career growth at Yelp, moving into his current role after only nine months on the job. If you’re joining the Yelp sales team, put your worries behind you and listen closely to the wisdom Lavi has to share.
What did you do before coming to Yelp?
Before joining Yelp I was in the world of private education. I was working with students of all ages who were looking to return to school and earn a degree.
How did you earn your current position? What was your journey to get to where you are?
That’s actually something that I think makes Yelp the most unique place to work in the world. I climbed up the sales ladder at Yelp extremely fast and it was always on me to determine when I got there. Everyone gets there at a different pace, but you can control the effort and determination you are putting into it. When Yelp tells you that you determine your own path, that is 100% accurate. Becoming a training manager was a combination of doing very well in the sales role, and having a passion for helping my fellow Yelpers succeed. When the opportunity opened, I jumped on it very fast! No brainer!
What comprises a typical day for you?
No two days are ever the same for me. I spend a lot of time helping rookies with their book of business. They’re my #1 priority, no questions asked. With my spare time I usually research our industry and come up with ways to expand our educational programs. It’s important for us to stay current in a world that changes its technology every day.
What can a new Account Executive expect to learn in training?
Week 1 is all classroom education, and every week thereafter is a slow progression into a full time sales role. Once we hit the phones on week 2, we slowly pull back on classroom education and allow the reps to learn by doing. What may come as a surprise to some new hires is that Yelp trains on every aspect of the advertising industry and how to communicate with small business owners. This is why our reps are so successful. We know not just our product, but everybody else’s as well.
What would be your advice for someone interested in the Account Executive Position?
My advice is simple. Walk into this role with an open mind, a hunger for knowledge, and a positive attitude towards helping small business owners achieve something they’ve never had before… a leveled playing field with major corporations. Our product, and our overall sales atmosphere are very different than many organizations, so get a good night’s sleep before your first week. It’s packed with some amazing information that you don’t want to miss!
How is training at Yelp different than other companies?
Although we have metrics requirements that must be met, this is not a “smile and dial” factory. Training at Yelp is an interactive, positive learning experience that stays with you forever. The sales rep has a voice here and their opinion matters. Also, while our sales floor is very competitive, we are all eager to help each other succeed. That’s big!
What are the expectations during training?
Simple. Hit your metrics, bring a positive attitude to work every day, and have a willingness to learn. While that sounds generic, it’s so true.
What's the best part of working for Yelp?
This is going to sound cheesy, but I get to see people go from trainees to all-stars in a very short period of time. I take a lot of pride in working for a training team that puts their heart and soul into rookie development. I’m also a big fan of our office layout. When I look around the office, I see sales reps, managers, and directors all under one roof, not behind closed doors. Everyone has an “open door” mentality here, and that’s very unique.
What is your favorite presentation to teach during training?
I love talking about selling our brand. We have the most trustworthy local business service in the country, and I love teaching rookies about the differences between Yelp and everybody else. I’m also a really big fan of a presentation we give on understanding small business owners. Although it’s not my presentation to give, I enjoy hearing it and rediscovering why we got into this role to begin with.
What is your favorite success story from someone you've worked with?
It would be too easy to say that I enjoy seeing people succeed and make tons of money. What I really enjoy is working with someone who is struggling. If the training team can help someone who is having a hard time with sales, that means a lot more to us.
Last piece of advice for someone entering our training program?
Don’t settle for the things that are given to you. There are hundreds of great books, articles, and video discussions online that take an average salesperson and make them a superstar.