Inside Training with Kinsey J.

After starting her career in Arizona, and now residing in New York – no matter where Kinsey J. lays roots, she sees success. Kinsey always leads by example, inspiring the minds of those new to sales in our NYC Training department. She sets the bar high, while still having fun and expects that of those around her. She shares her experience and advice on becoming a top Yelp Account Executive below.


Describe the path you took to get to your current position:

I am the Sales Training Manager here in our NYC office. I started in 2010 as an Account Executive in our Scottsdale office, rocked the phones for awhile, then managed a sales team for about a year in the desert. I moved to the Big Apple at the end of 2012 to take on the training role. With the growth of the New York office, we needed someone to work closely with our awesome new hires in their first 60 days on the job, so here I am!

What excites you about training new Account Executives?

What I love about new AEs is that they come in Day One eager to learn and hungry for feedback.  We normally don’t get on the phones until day four or five, but they are so excited to start calling businesses, it’s almost hard to hold them back.  Our new hires always seem to come into training with the mentality that they want to be the best as soon as possible, and those are the greatest employees to have. 

Describe the first week of training:

The first week of training is quite a bit of classroom learning.  We have presentations on every step of the sales process as well as the history of Yelp and the product itself.  Almost every day, we do roleplay sessions in which one person poses as a Yelp salesperson and the other person poses as a business owner. This gets everyone comfortable with the script and ensures they’re knowledgeable and excited about the product they’re selling. This is also the time when the Account Executive trainee class learns how to use our CRM system, Salesforce. Then, we hit the phones to “test the water” at the end of the first week and everyone starts to set appointments for the following week in their territories. On a rare occasion, we might even have someone close a deal in week one! 

After the first week, what can a new Account Executive expect their day to be like?

After the first week, a new AE is going to be operating like a normal sales rep. They will spend the majority of the day trying to reach businesses in their territory with the goal of setting appointments to discuss the Yelp advertising program.  They also attend about five different training sessions each week to learn about more advanced topics.  The trainings are led by different sales managers in the office so the new hires have a chance to meet and hear from the entire management team during training.  

What will they learn during training?

During training, new AEs will learn every step of the sales process which includes everything from prospecting to closing. More specifically, they will learn what it takes to complete the full sales cycle. Specifically, they will learn how to manage a book of business, demo the Yelp product, provide concise solutions, and more.   

What are the expectations during training?

As a training manager, I make sure to clearly lay out expectations every week.  The overarching expectations during training are: work hard, bring a positive attitude every day, and implement feedback. 

What is the hardest part of the job?

The hardest part of the job is not taking things personally.  When you get hung up on, you have to remember, it’s not just you!  It happens to everyone.  Businesses get dozens of calls from people trying to sell them something so we have to find a way to stand out from the rest of the sales people calling.  It’s not easy to keep picking up the phone if someone is rude to you on the other end, but you have to keep the end goal in mind: to help local businesses grow their customer base through Yelp. 

What qualities make a good sales rep at Yelp?

The #1 quality that contributes to a great sales rep is attitude.  This job can take a mental toll on you if you let it, so you have to treat every call as a brand new opportunity and always have a positive outlook.  Other qualities that the most successful reps have are a strong work ethic, competitive spirit, persistence, fearlessness, and professionalism.  All of these traits paired with an excellent ‘tude will undoubtedly take you a long way here.

What advice would you give someone going through training?

I’ve actually got a lot of advice for people going through training.  First, leave everything on the table every day.  Show us what you’re made of because it’s your time to shine and really prove yourself.  Soak in all of the training and feedback you get and implement it immediately. *Pro Tip: be the first one to master the script!* This will help tremendously in your early days on the job. Finally, I can’t say it enough, but you HAVE to have a positive attitude and be optimistic.  

What other information do you think a rep would like to know before going through training?

Something reps should know about training…these 60 days will arguably be the best time at Yelp!  You will have ups and downs, believing in yourself and doubting yourself. But when you get to the end of your 60 days, nothing feels sweeter!  During that time, not only are you learning a bunch of new and exciting stuff, you are forging friendships while doing so.  Some of my best friends are Yelpers that I started with back in June 2010.  We might be in different offices now, but we still have awesome relationships that will last a lifetime.  Another thing to note before entering training: the training pit is the place to be – always loud, buzzing, and contagious!  Any given day, someone could be closing their very first deal, which is a moment in time that you will never forget.