Changing Lanes

After successful stints leading sales teams at Yelp and Twitter, Amanda Levy took a year off to travel and volunteer around the world before settling into a position that fit her—vice president of sales at leading online petition site Change.org.

When taking a new path with a new crew, job No. 1 is to hone a new sense of purpose, she told SUCCESS. As Change.org ventures into new territory with its politician-to-constituent forum, Change.org for Decision Makers, Levy continues to blaze trails.

Q: What is one of the key areas of understanding when starting at Change.org that you needed to reach in order to do your job in the best way possible?

A: I think the most important thing was to understand our users and why they come to Change. For many of them, it is because they feel a strong desire to take action. They support a particular petition and they want to create social change. Our goal then is to connect these users with the great organizations that are supporting each of these different causes. So that means a lot of what I first need to do is meet with people and listen to everyone who will be using our platform.

Q: How did you build your sales teams at Twitter and Yelp, and how have you applied those philosophies and experiences to Change.org?

A:When it comes to building a sales team, regardless of what company you are in, the process is remarkably similar: You must make sure to hire truly phenomenal personnel, who are in some ways better than you are. Then you train them in such a way that you set them up for success. And then everyone on the sales staff must be totally engaged in building the long-term sustainability of the product we are selling.

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