Case Study

Johnson Controls International

A Need for Growth and Shift Towards a Coaching Culture

Discover how Johnson Controls leveraged Pareto’s services to assess, place, and train employees, transforming a fixed mindset into a growth mindset culture within this global enterprise.

Johnson Controls International is an organisation with a rich history. Founded in 1885 as the Johnson Electric Service Company, they’ve been at the forefront of their industry for almost 140 years. Despite this heritage, they’ve always looked forward. From the creation of the first electric room thermostat to cutting-edge fire suppression and HVAC technologies, Johnson Controls are behind the tools that make buildings safe, secure, and comfortable.


  • Previous sales management coaching not fit for purpose
  • Desire for gender diversity within manufacturing and engineering
  • Lack of structured product training for sales teams


  • Creation of new sales management course enabled teams to hit an average of 95% of performance targets
  • Graduate intake on average 50% women since partnering with Pareto
  • Four technical training manager roles created covering each business channel
  • £47.2 million additional business won via effective use of enablement tools
  • 94% graduate retention since beginning of recruitment programme
  • Sales training delivered across the six continents JCI operates in

Driving Business Transformation

Johnson Controls International began its partnership with Pareto in 2017. They came to our team with a desire to grow and evolve, seeking to transform their internal environment to one which is driven by a growth mindset, aiming to create a learning and development culture focused on best-in-class skills, knowledge, and behaviour amongst their salespeople and leadership teams.

Given the high-profile clients and iconic buildings that JCI is responsible for in major cities worldwide, this investment in their people was vital to driving morale and inspiring innovation within their organisation.

Alongside these requirements, JCI wanted to tackle the male-skewing graduate talent pool within manufacturing and engineering—and with only 16.5% of the global engineering workforce comprising women and low graduate retention rates for many organisations within the sector, they were eager to begin redressing this imbalance.

The Solution

From the beginning of their partnership with JCI, Pareto focused on a two-pronged approach—one which ensured that the company had access to graduate sales talent that was ready to hit the ground running, as well as management solutions that would give leaders the confidence to monitor, track, and drive consultative selling behaviour. 


Graduate Solution

  • Assessment Days: Graduate candidates were invited to assessment days where they could be evaluated for meeting the necessary aptitudes for success. 
  • Bespoke Training Programme: This emphasised soft skills, such as understanding the structure of a cold call to getting past gatekeepers, and negotiation focused on mutually beneficial outcomes to role-plays which would demonstrate their growing skills, knowledge, and behaviour.
  • One-to-One Coaching for Graduates: JCI’s graduate salespeople received one-to-one coaching to embed their learning and development. This ensured that they were able to effectively sell solutions based on the value and benefits their products and services offered, a cornerstone of the consultative sales technique.
  • Final Project Presentation: JCI’s new salespeople accredited by Pareto’s expert training providers, presented a final project on the methodology and content covered during their learning and development, which highlighted how their contributions could drive outcomes and ROI for the business.


Management Solution

  • Initial Consultation: Management staff were evaluated during Pareto’s initial consultation, gauging their aspirations for staff behaviour and the results they wanted to see. 
  • Skills and Behaviour-Based Scorecards: Based on skills and behaviour-based scorecards and a competency framework, this two-part assessment clarified how success and best practices would be utilised as a benchmark within JCI’s business.
  • One-to-One Leadership Coaching: Enabling JCI leaders to develop, inspire, and mentor their staff, driving motivation and engagement. Individual members of the management team were helped to understand what kind of leader they were, and how to adapt their leadership style to the unique business environment of JCI.
  • Management Toolkits: JCI’s leaders were given management toolkits which enabled them to begin monitoring, tracking, and driving consultative selling behaviour, inspiring their colleagues to be part of this transformative journey and the company’s increased success.

“My manager will come to me and say ‘...we’ve got a need here.’ The first people we think of talking to is Pareto.”

As a result of this comprehensive skills scan and training plan, Pareto delivered a tailored, flexible, and blended eLearning project which would develop the soft skills gaps identified during the initial assessment and consultation phases. In addition to this digital-forward solution, JCI’s leadership teams could also take advantage of one-to-one management coaching sessions with Pareto’s expert training providers, supporting them in applying the coaching and motivational skills they’d gained. 

JCI’s managers and graduate salespeople alike had access to a dedicated consultant who would address any challenges that individuals were experiencing during this transformative period, ensuring that all staff were able to commit to a cultural shift towards inspiring one another and driving successful, motivated sales behaviours. 

When it comes to hitting performance targets, Pareto’s intervention offered a strategic advantage to JCI.

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Before coaching commenced, the company achieved an average of 76% of its targets across all business channels. All managers were reassessed against the scorecard utilised at the start of JCI’s relationship with Pareto, showing dramatic improvement. 

By the second month of coaching intervention, this figure raised to 80%—and by month three, there was a significant leap in meeting performance targets, with the UK business hitting 95% of targets and many teams exceeding 100% of their targets. 

Alongside this, Pareto helped JCI to begin fully utilising their sales enablement tools—embedding their effective use into JCI’s internal process and culture. Once three tools were being used, JCI noted a 22% increase in their sales win rate, and a 52% reduction in the number of cancellations. This highlights that through a tech-forward, coaching-focused shift, the organisation was able to maintain more productive relationships with customers. 

Ultimately, this led to an additional £47.2 million of additional business won due to leveraging these tools, resources, and Pareto’s wider consultative partnership approach.

The Recipe for Continued Success

JCI was able to retain 94% of the graduate talent pool which Pareto provided, but the return on investment hasn’t stopped there, with 29 sales managers across nine Latin American regions having since received 26 hours each of one-on-one coaching in people development and change management.

From the start, Pareto’s relationship with JCI was guided by the understanding of how the skills gained by their graduate talent pool and existing employees can be applied to everyday tasks, especially given the dynamic pace within the organisation. 

“Having people speak to your trainees on a regular basis… It feels like you’re being taken care of. Nothing’s too much trouble.”

JCI’s business was evolving and changing, with a need for a workforce of diverse and tech-forward salespeople that could educate their customers on responding to present-day challenges, such as sustainability and cost-effectiveness. 

Pareto’s dedicated approach and adaptability have enabled JCI to achieve this ambitious vision, with a strong graduate retention rate and 50% of all graduate talent programme alumni being women.

As a result of the wins that JCI experienced through their partnership with Pareto, these management training and graduate solutions were then delivered in a number of languages across the organisation’s global footprint, leveraging Pareto’s worldwide reach to drive recruitment, performance and motivation gains throughout their EU, Middle East, Asian, and Latin American sites.