As a manufacturing leader of paving stones and retaining walls for the real estate and construction industries, Unilock Ohio sought Janek Performance Group for a sales training methodology to align a diverse sales team and maintain its competitive advantage.
About Unilock Ohio
Unilock Ohio is a regional division of Unilock, a family-owned and operated business with approximately 600 employees that first introduced paving stones to North America in 1972. The company is dedicated to maintaining family values and producing high-quality products, which has helped make it a leading manufacturer of paving stones and retaining walls. Constantly seeking inspiration from around the world, Unilock Ohio is committed to staying at the forefront of design and manufacturing innovation to meet the evolving needs, desires, and style preferences of its customers.
Unilock does not sell to consumers or the public. Instead, they sell most of their products through a distribution channel and directly to contractors.
With such a niche product, sales are tied to fluctuations of the economy, particularly the real estate market. When there’s a boom in construction, there’s great demand for Unilock’s products. As 2021 and 2022 were record years for the real estate and construction industries, Bob DeRosa, Assistant General Manager, and his General Manager discussed Unilock Ohio’s ability to weather downturns when demand for new housing and commercial buildings would decrease.
An outcome of this was the need for sales training, to make their sales team “better than they are today.” Unilock Ohio has a very diverse sales force. Many are experienced veterans. Others are young and new. Their goal was to provide a uniform refresh of their methodology so everybody could develop their selling skills. They wanted their staff to be better than the competition.
Unilock is the leader in several product divisions. With this success, they feared that, in the event of a downturn, they’ll have “a target on their back.” They wanted their staff to be prepared to excel when things get tough. As Bob says, “To stay number one is harder than becoming number one.”
After reaching out to a few sales training companies. Janek fit the bill because our staff, including members of the sales and client services teams, as well as our training facilitator, brought the energy and enthusiasm that resonated with Bob’s priorities.
Training was initially provided for Unilock’s Sales Managers, some of whom were new and came up through the ranks, to provide them with an outside perspective. The training was well received by all attendees. From there, the internal feedback was to provide training for the “TM’s” so that all are on the same page.
Unilock Ohio had an existing sales process, but they wanted to enable their staff with additional skills and techniques.
They needed a holistic training program that wasn’t just a one-day initiative. Instead, they sought a training program that would change their culture and positively impact their entire sales team.
With Janek, Unilock Ohio built a two-year training plan that included Critical Selling Skills, Critical Prospecting Skills, Critical Negotiation Skills, and Critical Account Planning—with each class reinforced by Janek Xpert, our digital sustainment tool proven to increase newly acquired knowledge by up to 170%.
Leadership at Unilock Ohio is extremely pleased with Janek’s training and support, particularly the resulting shift in culture and the sales team’s enthusiastic role adoption. Plus, leadership is committed to long-term behavioral change.
Further, Unilock Ohio knows sales training is not a one-off event. It does not exist in a vacuum. For maximum effect, sales training must be applied throughout an organization. That’s why Janek was thrilled to hear from Bob that other divisions are interested in Unilock Ohio’s success, “I’ve had some of our other regional divisions reach out because they heard through the grapevine what we’re doing at Unilock Ohio. We’re going to get them involved to see what they can do with Janek’s sales training programs.”
One of the best measures of the success achieved by Unilock Ohio is adaptation of training. Today, Unilock’s sales managers ride along with their reps and witness them leverage the training in real-world scenarios. Their success is illustrated in how they prepare for and conduct sales calls. According to Bob, “Our sales reps carry Janek’s workbooks in their trucks with them. They use them throughout their sales calls.”
As part of measuring success, Unilock Ohio relies on the strong metrics, leaderboards, and heat maps provided by Xpert to see how well the training content “sticks” with their sales reps. They then discuss these metrics directly with their reps and use the data to identify areas that can be supported by coaching.
Along with the metrics is the synergy achieved by a shared vision and true partnership. Bob put that best when he said, “I started drilling deeper and deeper to make sure Janek was the right sales training partner for our company. The enthusiasm everybody brought to the table was great. You had a good group and it was important to us, as a family business, to partner with an organization that shared our beliefs.”