Case Study

Implementing Sales Training to Enhance New Talent Retention

Wavin sought a partnership with Pareto to identify and place high-quality branch developers. Once the required talent was found, Pareto provided a tailored sales training course for Wavin's recent cohort of eight branch developers. The objective was to equip them with essential skills and knowledge for success in their fast-paced and demanding industry. Furthermore, the program aimed to enhance retention rates by offering robust sales training, fostering career development, and providing ongoing support to the participants.


  • Identify and place 8 high-quality branch developers.
  • A flexible, tailored, long-term sales training program for Wavin’s new branch developers.
  • Boost talent retention rates of new starters.
  • Support with challenges experienced by employees in their first year with the business.


  • Over 87% retention rate of the branch developers placed.
  • Pareto's sales training enabled branch developers to boost the sales of a Wavin stockist by 65%.
  • Supported the negotiation of new contracts with new stocklists.
  • Developed performance improvement plans to support new employees throughout the program.

Sales Training for Long-term Career Success

Wavin are the UK’s leading supplier and manufacturer of plastic draining piping solutions for below and above-ground projects. Due to their status as a market-leading contributor to the built environment, they are committed to leading the industry in sustainability by 2025.

Wavin commenced its partnership with Pareto in December 2022 when it needed a professional sales training provider to support the recruitment and development of their new cohort of 8 branch developers. Wavin operates in the built environment, which, while a highly rewarding and exciting industry to work in, can be demanding and challenging for new recruits. 

Wavin wanted a program that ensured that the new employees had the skills, knowledge, and support they needed throughout their first year with the business to succeed in their role. 

Alongside developing their skills and knowledge, Wavin wanted the sales training to drive retention rates of their new starters and enable them to see this as the start of a long and prosperous career with the company. 

The Solution

Assessment and Deployment of High-calibre Candidates 

Challenge - Finding high-potential and dedicated candidates to begin a branch developer career with Wavin. 

  • Pareto’s internal recruitment team conducted thorough telephone interviews and screening calls for applicants to assess their suitability for their vacancies. 

  • A shortlist of 26 individuals was subsequently invited to an assessment day. During the session, the candidates were assessed against numerous personality-based competencies in line with Wavin's ideal candidate profile and taken through a variety of different tasks, including self-introductions, group activities, and presentations.  

  • The result was that eight outstanding candidates were offered the opportunity to join the Wavin team.

Designed a Flexible Sales Training Course

Challenge - Not overloading new recruits in a single training session but embedding it throughout the year.

  • Pareto adopted a strategic approach to training the new employees. The program was deliberately divided into five 2-day training courses spread across the year. The courses are aligned to the Wavin sales process, supporting sales essentials through to account development, giving the cohort fundamental sales skills to be successful and deliver a return on expectation.

  • This flexible training timeline provided a long-term and focused learning experience. 

  • It also allowed the branch developers to actively apply and enhance their skills in real-world field activities throughout the program.

  • A fast-track management and coaching enablement supported the programme to ensure that managers had the tools and techniques to embed and lead the team to success.

Tailored the Training to the Needs of the Business and Participants 

Challenge - Ensuring the training addressed the needs of the business and participants. 

  • Before each training session, the Pareto trainer met with Chris Lockwood, Wavin's Branch Development Manager. In these sessions, they discussed the details of the training agenda, outlined the objectives, and discussed practical examples directly related to the daily responsibilities of sales professionals at Wavin. 

  • This meticulous planning and coordination were instrumental in ensuring that the training content was precisely aligned with the participants' roles and the specific work environments they encountered with Wavin. 

Interactive and Engaging Sessions 

Challenge - Avoid ‘death by PowerPoint’ and allow participants to communicate and express ideas.  

  • The training program featured both presentations by the trainer and breakout sessions. In the breakout sessions, participants worked on individual tasks and later regrouped to share results, exchange ideas, and strengthen communication within the team. 

  • This approach aimed to deliver a comprehensive and engaging learning experience, combining informative sessions with active participation to ensure a clear understanding and positive reception from the team.

Pareto Supported with Improvement Programs

Challenge - Wavin needed support to address any challenges the participants had throughout the sales training. 

  • Pareto proactively addressed challenges related to the new starters' development, such as time management or communication. Working in partnership with Wavin's HR team, they implemented month-long improvement plans. 

  • These plans provided participants with clear expectations, actionable steps for improvement, and necessary support. The focus extended beyond professional skill development, emphasising a holistic approach to individual growth within the business. 

Wavin’s Actions to Support the Pareto Training 

Chris provided valuable support to the new branch developers by pairing each of them with either himself or a technical sales manager for a two-week field experience. This immersive training covered various aspects of the job, including:

  • Merchandising 

  • Trade days 

  • Customer visits 

  • Branch audits

  • How to get past gatekeepers

After this initial field experience, the new developers were strategically paired with seasoned colleagues to concentrate on specific areas of development for designated periods. For instance, they would dedicate focused weeks to activities such as trade days, allowing them to deepen their understanding and expertise in specific aspects of their role.

These field experiences allowed the new starters to apply their Pareto training in practical situations, enhancing their confidence and skill set.

The Results

Seven out of the eight branch developers who joined more than 12 months ago have been successfully retained, highlighting the positive impact of Pareto's training on their onboarding process. The training has been instrumental in driving the essential skills and attitudes required for the branch developers to thrive in their roles.

Pareto's training brought about notable improvements in negotiation skills, specifically in addressing issues related to stockists' presentation and stock management. Successful communication and negotiation with a particular stockist resulted in a significant 65% increase in sales.

Following Pareto's support with the employee improvement programs, Wavin saw a marked improvement in the conduct and performance of employees experiencing challenges in their roles. This highlighted that Pareto's support goes beyond just providing sales training; they are focused on the well-being and behaviours of the participants in their day-to-day roles.

The sales training's impact became evident in real-life scenarios when a participant utilised the acquired skills during a trade day to commence negotiations for a new account with a non-Wavin stockist. In this situation, the team member used the following skills:

  • Product knowledge

  • Storytelling and presentation

  • Asking discovery questions 

  • Strategies for getting past gatekeepers

  • Overcoming objections

The team, having personally experienced and appreciated the benefits of the course, actively communicated their willingness to support upcoming programs for new branch developers at Wavin. Their enthusiasm stems from the desire to ensure that incoming hires receive the same level of value and benefit from the sales training.

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