Shares of Groupon, Inc. (Nasdaq: GRPN) are trading higher on the
session heading into the company's third quarterly report as a
publicly-traded entity, but should investors heed a little caution
According to reports out earlier, the very backbone of Groupon
might be experiencing a massive shakeup as pressure to grow
said that many of Groupon's sales employees are looking to exit the
company, sending out resumes to start-ups and tech firms all over
the West Coast, and much of the U.S. in general. The moves come
following a change last year, when Groupon shifted from a more
relaxed, employee-friendly sales environment to one where employees
might see little to no incentive under a new sliding-scale plan.
The plan doesn't pay much in commissions unless certain aggregate
monthly profit targets are met, and Groupon hasn't been crystal
clear with employees on how that scale is measured.
CEO Andrew Mason has lauded how important a strong sales personnel
is for Groupon in recent interviews and conference calls, even
going as far as to hold a special dinner event for veteran sales
people at the company (though some say Mason appeared to have
forgotten about the scheduled event, ordering last-minute pizza.
Admittedly, his company was about to go public, giving him plenty
on his plate to worry about).
One employee noted that the increase in competition -- from peers
like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), and others
-- in the daily-deal space has led t fewer and fewer opportunities.
The employee did say that profit margins have remained that same
amid the squeeze.
Still, the Street is looking for sales to increase 3.1 percent from
last quarter, and nearly 14 percent from its fourth-quarter numbers
reported in February. Recent news for
daily-deals site might be encouraging for investors as well, with
the unit swinging into profit in its most recent quarter.
While the problem's probably won't affect Groupon in the near-term,
prudent investors would do well to listen in on Groupon's
for any hints about its sales force and how performance has been.
Investors would also take note of news last week that newly hired
Kal Raman, who joined from Amazon in May, was promoted to SVP,
Global Sales and Operations. This might mean Groupon's sales
structure could get another facelift...maybe in the right direction
Of Groupon's 12,000 employes, about 45 percent are said to form the
Groupon is up about 2.0 percent Monday, well off of intraday