United Rentals, based in Stamford, Conn., is the largest equipment rental company in the world.
United Rentals, an equipment rental company, has long leveraged Corporate Visions’ Conversation System to transform their customer conversations with differentiated messaging, content and skills. But, according to Shelley Robins, sales training manager at United Rentals, even though the company was a long-time believer in Corporate Visions methodology, they were having challenges with reinforcing the skills across their sales managers and outside reps.
“We felt we were making breakthroughs in training our branch managers and outside reps, and we thought it was enough,” Robins said. “But it wasn’t enough.”
Another challenge that many Fortune 500 companies can relate to: price. While some deals tend to be quick and transactional, other cycles can last longer, but, regardless of the length or complexity of the lead cycle, rate is a major challenge. “We are the highest priced in the market,” Robins said.
The company needed to overcome the pricing objections their reps were facing, and knew they needed to make their customer conversations about more than just the question of rate.
Leveraging the skills and techniques from Create Value Skills and Capture Value Skills, United Rentals has improved the way their outside reps deliver their marketing message, arming them with the value articulation skills needed to overcome pricing objections.
“You can’t just try to compete on rate,” Robins said, noting that by applying the Capture Value techniques, they’ve been able to have more effective and valuable engagements with customers.
She added: “It comes down to articulating value in a way that’s differentiated, memorable and simple because sometimes a salesperson might only have 30 seconds. But if they can get 30 seconds to get three more minutes, or five more minutes, or a next meeting…those small improvements make big wins.”
As for overcoming the reinforcement challenge: United Rentals conducted a manager impact to help make the most important skills “sticky” among outside reps, driving real and lasting behavior changes in the field.
“We embarked on a reinforcement system so that we can build higher adopters of Create Value Skills and higher adopters of [Capture Value Skills].”
United Rentals conducted a study with 80 managers and sales reps. Each week, the company leans into a specific training theme, sending out a coaching kit to the managers, who then train to the particular skills area they want to reinforce.
“[Corporate Visions] has helped us to create [the coaching kits] and push those out, so now managers are getting refreshers,” Robins said. “It’s about actually taking our managers and giving them these coaching tools, and we have ‘asks’ of outside sales reps so that they’re laser-focused on whatever that particular principle or technique is.”
In only four months of conducting the manager impact study, United Rentals has seen over $1 million in sales with just 80 managers and outside sales reps involved in the program on a testing basis.
“We’re so excited because we knew the challenge is that we weren’t getting high adoption,” Robins said. “[The reinforcement system] is building better habits and putting all these techniques into muscle memory, and we’re seeing results.”
She added: “When you can develop someone, and have a partner like Corporate Visions that helps you develop people, a company – transform and make financial gains that make a difference in the lives of their families…that is a big, big deal. And without Corporate Visions, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”
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