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1986 - 2015

With thousands of online courses completed each year by participants from around the world, Sales Training International is a leading provider of online sales training, sales management training and customer service training.


1986: After very successful careers in education, psychology and sales, DeGroot Communications is founded by Robert DeGroot, M.Ed., D.C.H. FAPA in Houston, Texas.

1988: Psychology for Successful Selling is published as a hardback book by Branden Press. The company relocates to the The Woodlands, Texas just north of Houston.

Sales Training America logo1989: The company wins the South Montgomery County Chamber award representing a "Successful New Business Start Up." Sales Management and Customer Service courses are added to the curriculum. A national advertising campaign expands the client base beyond Houston and the company changes its name to Sales Training America.

1994: Sales Training America receives the "Organization of the Year" award from the Houston Chapter of American Society for Training and Development for the third time.

Sales Traning International logo1995: As the client base expands into Canada, Europe and Latin America, the company officially makes the transition to Sales Training International (STI).

Registered trademark icon1996: New world class program design, page layout, packaging and trainer materials provides the foundation for the company's efforts to establish a "brand" identity.

Sales Training International and Value Selling Strategies P.R.O.S.P.E.C.T. Model, with their distinctive designs, become registered trademarks "®".

Sales Training America ® becomes the brand for the company's self-study products.

The first www.saleshelp.com Internet web site goes live and the company's global marketplace expands.

STI Authorized VAR logo1997: Sales Training International doubles office and training space and triples staff to address the increasing needs of clients in such diverse markets as oil and gas, software, construction, manufacturing, health care, transportation, public utilities, wholesale trade, services, and finance. Authorized Value Added Resellers begin reselling STI's products.

DeGrootWeb logo1999: STI's Internet department spins off to become DeGrootWeb.

The new company's mission is threefold: 1) re-purpose STI's training courses for Web based delivery, 2) develop browser enabled SoftWebWare™ and, 3) build Secure Sales Support Sites (S4) Web sites for our clients.

MACC logo1999: The Major Account Call Center (MACC) is developed for Shell Fleet Services to make direct sales to their growing list of products to fleets and to support outside sales forces where available.

Sales made in the MACC ranged from $2,500 to $8.7 million. MACC evolved to become a prototyping center to test methods, offer proof of concept, and then provide training in these methods to production call centers for Shell. The MACC operation was discontinued after Shell reorganized and merged this highly successful group into its lubricants division.

STI logo2000: STI sets a new direction to be the number one Web-based sales, sales management and customer service training company in the world offering a blended learning experience through strategic alliances, independent coaches and corporate trainers.

www.SalesHelp.com retains its first page rankings organically on the 10 top search engines.

SDQ logo2000: STI develops the Web-enabled version Sales Diagnostic Questionnaire and launches its first Web-based Training program.

Learn Selling Online logo2001: www.LearnSellingOnline.com is launched with 15 modules, including two major research modules. This site forms the foundation for the new e-learning community being created. Four diagnostic tools will soon help clients determine which of the 52 sales titles and 11 sales management titles will meet their needs.

Learn Customer Service Online logo2002: www.LearnCustomerServiceOnline.com is launched with five of seven courses complete and two diagnostic questionnaires operational.

STI acquires DeGrootWeb to focus on developing e-Learning.

Learn Customer Service Online e-learning affiliate logoLearn Selling Online e-learning affiliate logo2003: e-Learning Affiliate test program is launched.

Seven more courses were added to www.LearnSellingOnline.com

Learn Sales Management Online logo2003: www.LearnSalesManagementOnline.com is launched. Four of eleven courses under development.

ASTD elearning logo2003: Online course libraries meet the American Society for Training and Development certification standards for instructional design, interactive components, student engagement, navigation, etc.

www.SalesHelp.com retains its high ranking on the 7 top search engines (carry 95% of search traffic).

2004: With over 70 courses (almost half are WBT), 9 master reference modules and three software programs in its core interrelated focus areas of sales, sales management and customer service, Sales Training International owns one of the largest libraries in the sales training industry.

"Virtual Company" business model. A new office suite was built for the headquarters and most company functions are outsourced except core program research and development, sales, and accounting.

Compentency Survey2005: Seven web-based interactive sales management courses were launched along with eight sales management tools in PDF form on www.LearnSalesManagementOnline.com. Also, www.LearnCustomerServiceOnline.com received three new courses this year.

The 360 degree "Competency Diagnostic Questionnaire™" (CDQ) is launched.

www.SalesHelp.com retains its first page ranking on the five top search engines (carry 95% of search traffic) using the search term "sales training." Other STI sites are now at or moving to top for their search terms.

2007: Careful repositioning of Sales Training International's web sites achieve first page rankings for web-based sales, sales management and customer service on the leading search engines. Our web positions are earned organically by content rather than buying key words. (Search: sales training online, sales management training online & customer service training online)


2008: "Virtual Company" Business Model Goal Achieved - Started the process in 2004, the company completes the transition to the "virtual company" business model in July 2008. From 7,000 square feet of training center, web-design, and office space with 24 staff, to 0 square feet and 1 employee, who along with contract trainers, programmers, and sales affiliates, helped the company achieve a banner year. E-business, license sales, and web-based training take the lead in revenues.

2009: An exciting year for STI:

  • All categories of the Sales Diagnostic Questionnaire results can now be directly cross-referenced to online courses allowing personalized curriculums to be developed
  • A "Back to the Basics" sales curriculum was launched to help our customers through the current difficult economic environment. www.LSObasic.com

2010: Reworked online customer service courses into a SCORM conformant format. Courses can now reside on our clients' servers.

Averaged 600 course completions per month by participants around the globe.

2011: Marina Customer Service Training.com was launched with 10 online customer service training courses modified for the marina industry.

2012: Amazon.com - The content of our sales and sales management courses was redeveloped in HTML5 as a part of its transition to mobile learning devices. During the stage of the process, the content was then modified, uploaded and published on Amazon.com as eBooks. Currently 35 eBooks have been published. Promotional site: www.BobDeGroot.com

2013: Course upgrades - Using state-of-the art Articulate Storyline eLearning development software along with facial animation software, the customer service online courses are redeveloped with an actual "story line" to engage the students in the content.
2014: Completed converting courses to eBooks and published them all on Amazon.com and on Barnes & Nobel. Launched "Negotiating Value" as a stand alone website.
2015: Published "Trance Formed Body" (IngramSpark 2015)to help people manage their weight. Available as paperback and ebook. (www.TranceFormedBody.com).

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