Groupon Sales Training

Redesigning our 4-week sales training program to equip our reps with small business knowledge, Groupon tools, and Sandler sales methodology.

Client: Groupon
Date: February 1, 2014
Services: Instructional Design, Video Production, Graphic Design


As the global leader of local commerce, Groupon offers consumers unbeatable deals while driving more business to merchants through price and discovery. In order to increase our coverage and build out our marketplace, it’s crucial for us to retain and attract new businesses.

Building the best sales reps begins with our onboarding program. Our sales new hire training is an intensive 4-week program that teaches sales reps about our suite of products and how to effectively sell using our sales process.

My task to was to revamp Groupon’s new hire training for sales representatives.

The Challenge

I identified several problems after observing trainings, consulting with trainers and reps, and reviewing existing materials in-depth.

Branding – As a key department within Groupon’s sales organization, we lacked any branding and identity. The materials did not follow any of Groupon’s brand guidelines which affected how our department was perceived.

Structure & Consistency – Reps had difficulty understanding concepts because of poor course design. Too much information was presented at once and learning activities did not engage nor aid in retention

Clarity – Instructions for learning activities were unclear, which resulted in additional time spent setting expectations and clarifying details. This often caused sessions to stray off course and run over the allotted time.


Our training department consists of 14 people. As the sole instructional designer, I was responsible for designing all course materials including facilitator guides, learner guides, presentations, handouts, e-learning modules, and videos. I worked closely with trainers who were assigned a specific session, and that trainer would be my subject matter expert for all questions and concerns.

This was a very large-scope project that required a lot of planning and organization. Because I was revamping existing content, I had a fairly good base to work off of. Our 4-week program consists of 42 individual training sessions. Within each session contains several deliverables: a powerpoint presentation, learner guide, facilitator guide, and handouts. Before beginning a session, I met with my assigned subject matter expert to discuss my concepts, clarify details and answer any questions.

Once we both agreed on my proposed changes, I started with the presentation as this was the most time-intensive. To address the branding issue, I introduced Groupon’s visual branding guidelines using our primary and secondary palette as our color theme. I also designed a logo that embodied our company culture but also gave our department a recognizable and professional identity.

I wanted to present our content in a fun way that aligned with our brand’s personality—clever copy, boldness, and playful designs. I used Adobe Illustrator to design infographics and elements to create a visually engaging presentation. To give each session more structure, I used the new color palette as an organization tool. Each presentation slide was color-coded to the learner guide, which helped reps easily identify their place. I also added exercise numbers for activities as this helped trainers easily reference a specific learning activity.

Providing clarification was much needed throughout each session — specifically around learning activities. Previously, reps had to rely on trainers for oral instruction because there were no instructions noted anywhere. In the learner guide and presentation, I added detailed text instructions explaining the task, the information required, and set clear expectations. This reduced the amount of questions and confusion around learning activities.

Building a multimedia library

I created eLearning modules based off the trainings that were done in person. This allowed us to build a library of resources so that reps could revisit sessions if they needed a refresher.