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July 12, 2010

Day in the Life of an Account Executive

A new addition to our "Day in the Life of a Yelp Employee" series is Jenn H. from the Yelp sales team. Based in Yelp's new Scottsdale office, Jenn discusses the many opportunities she's had with the company (uh, jet setter anyone?), what it's like to be a part of Yelp's fastest growing office and working side by side with Chewbacca and of course, how she helps business owners across the nation to learn about Yelp and how they can leverage it to connect with customers.

What did you do before coming to Yelp?     
Before Yelp I worked for an Equipment Leasing firm in Southern California. My company provided competitive lease financing products to businesses (snooze). Although I gained some important sales experience, I knew ultimately I wanted a career that I was passionate about and one with which I could see a real future... that's where Yelp came into play!

How did you first hear about Yelp and the job opening?
I found out about the job through a friend that worked in the New York office. Once I read about the description and saw that I would be working with local businesses, I knew the position would be a great fit for me. I wanted to utilize my prior sales experience but also be involved in a company that was a disruptive technology. After some grueling interviews, I was extended an offer. I left my home state of California and flew to New York to start my Yelp career. Little did I know where Yelp would take me! I lived in New York for about 9 months and was then given the opportunity to help open Yelp's newest (and largest) satellite office in Scottsdale, AZ.  It's been an incredible experience taking an office from 0 to 120 employees in a 6 month period. I've been exposed to different parts of the business and have grown my own career immensely!  

What's your title at Yelp and how long have you been with the company?

I started as an Account Executive about 15 months ago. I sold sponsored search results to local businesses to help them gain more exposure to consumers in their area. After 9 months, I was offered the opportunity to relocate to Scottsdale and play an integral role in opening the new office. And now, just recently, I was promoted to Training Manager -- that means in addition to selling, I help train and on-board our new hires here in Arizona! 
What comprises a typical day for you?
A lot of my job is educating business owners about the power of Yelp -- because most of them are so busy running their business, it's helpful to have someone like me ensure their business is getting the most out of Yelp. I walk business owners through Yelp's Targeted Advertising Program and demonstrate to them how Yelp will get them more exposure to their current and new customers. Additionally, now that I'm a Training Manager, I work with new Account Executives to walk them through the process of sales at Yelp and help them learn the ropes. One of my favorite parts about my work day is that each day is unpredictable. I never know who I am going to talk to and as a result, I get to learn about so many unique and interesting businesses, people and meet a lot of entrepreneurs that educate me, too.

What's the BEST part of working for Yelp?
I love that there's endless opportunity to grow my career at Yelp. We have a structured Yelp Sales Development Program that provides Account Executives a clear path to gaining more responsibilities, more perks and the ability to make more money. The Development Program is fantastic because it shows you where you stand, lays out your goals, and really trains you as you move into your next position in the company. Getting to be part of an innovative Web 2.0 company that's transforming the local business landscape is pretty darn cool too.

What is your favorite perk at Yelp?
The best perk is definitely the people and culture... and I suppose our brand new office with shuffleboard, ping pong and Rock Band. But truly, I get to work side by side with amazing, talented people every day.

What has been your favorite memory at Yelp?
My favorite memory... how do I choose? I think I'd have to say going to Puerta Vallarta for Yelp's President's Club trip. A few times a year Yelp takes the top sales performers on an all expenses paid trip. It's tough to earn, you have to really work your tail off, but it was well worth it! At Yelp you are rewarded for your hard work and accomplishments, and the President's Club trip is one of the best rewards you can earn. Needless to say I'm working even harder this time around to qualify for the next trip! 
What separates Yelp from other places you've worked?
Yelp is forward thinking in how it values their employees and company culture. The company is invested in my professional development and I get both formal and informal training on a daily basis. I was promised three things when I started at Yelp: I would make money, have fun, and grow my career. 15 months later all of those things hold true. 

Finally, what would be your one piece of advice for someone interested in your role?
To be successful as an Account Executive you need to be motivated, a good communicator and passionate. It's key that you be open to developing and growing yourself. Working at Yelp is not a J-O-B where you clock your card and sit around all day - it's a career. I come to the office excited about my day and my opportunities to learn and grow. If you are willing to put in the time to work hard and develop yourself, then Yelp is a great fit for you!