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Sales Training International (STI) Proprietary Software Programs
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STI was a pioneer in the webification of paper/pencil systems. In 1999, we started a company (DeGrootWeb) to help understand how to create web-based training and to develop the software to manage our courses. In 2004, we absorbed the seven-person company back into STI. See the history of the company for more details.

The software needs updated GUI, and some would operate better if reprogrammed in a more current language to make it more robust.

Each piece of software can become a stand-alone business.

Sales Diagnostic Questionnaire (SDQ) (see discussion in Sales Diagnostic Tools)

  • Presented at the ASTD-ICE in 1995. It was web-enabled using ASP in 2003.
  • The SDQ assessed 204 observable skilled competencies in 31 areas of selling.
  • It was a very popular assessment with thousands of people taking it online.
  • It set up teams so the group scores could be presented in graphical and text reports.
  • The SDQ went offline during a server crash but it can be restarted. Our programmer estimated about five hours.

For the most part, if a company committed to using this free assessment online, we would have an excellent chance to win the training.

Competency Diagnostic Questionnaire (CDQ) (see discussion in Sales Diagnostic Tools)

  • Programmed for the Web in 2005.
  • Started with the competencies from the 31 areas in the SDQ and then added competency areas from the Performance Appraisal Ratings Guide to bring the total to 50.
  • Each of the five points on the Likert scale is behaviorally described to minimize the halo and horn bias effects. The client can customize all content.
  • The client can add more assessments for different jobs.
  • CDQ enabled 360-degree evaluation plus coaching interaction.
  • The design structure gave controlled access to various levels of management.
  • The CDQ can be restarted..

Before being acquired by Solvay, Cytec used this software (CDQ) extensively. We set up several job areas for them to assess. With content ownership, the ability to set up and use a professional online survey tool would be a quick and easy way to begin using this assessment.

Customer Service Diagnostic Questionnaire (see previous discussion in Customer Service Diagnostic Tools)

This questionnaire explores the extent to which the person could perform the skills and strategies found in six customer service courses we teach which were selected from the International Customer Service Association (ICSA) most needed skills survey.

  • It uses a three-point scale (Train, Coach, Reward).
  • Customer service supervisors tend to take the evaluation of their team as a whole.
  • Again, once the appraisal is complete, the training is almost automatic.
  • The questionnaire is programmed in Flash. With Flash no-longer being supported by Adobe, this questionnaire becomes a prime candidate to put into a commercially available survey package or online with a modification of the SDQ software.
  • Currently available online in Articulate Storyline.

Non-SCORM LMS with e-commerce

Developed Non-SCORM LMS in 1999 originally in ASP, but transitional to Cold Fusion.

  • Manage our Web-Based Training (WBT) across multiple sites
  • Provide e-commerce order center for credit card clients
  • Connect to our bank gateway-based e-commerce capability
  • Enable our clients to access it to monitor training progress
  • Set up and assign team membership and team monitoring access
  • Provide multiple reports

The software can be made SCORM. We’ve been using it to manage our Non-SCORM courses and client’s old Non-SCORM courses.

Web-Based Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)

The unique approach was to organize the system by the prospect or client company information first (B2B bias), then by contact.

  • The web-based CRM was initially funded by a client in 2001 and took about six months to program in ASP and launch.
  • The CRM included secure registration and access system.
  • The project ended when our client was acquired by Siemens (used Seibel CRM).

With 35 salespeople entering data, we initially got a number of "white screens" and decided we would need a less fragile programming language and a more robust server (which we got and it solved the problems) to become commercially viable.

Competitor Analysis Software System (CASS) – Also known as the “Secure Sales Support Site” (S4)

Initially published in 1990 as a paper/pencil system. It was programmed as stand-alone software and sold on 3.5-inch discs in 1995. In 2003. It was reprogrammed for the web in ASP.

We offered this web-based software on a subscription basis.

In this software:

  • the four-box sales style competitor analysis identified:
    • Competitor’s strengths (objections come from these)
    • How to neutralize each objection
    • Competitor’s weaknesses where our client, product and service had strengths (Unique Selling Points)
  • the competitor’s strengths showed up in the objection’s forms section of the software as a potential objection along with the neutralizing information
  • the seller's strengths (where the competitor was weak) showed up in the Unique Selling Points boxes to be converted to Features, Advantages, and Benefits.
  • the software was pre loaded with examples of ways to Prevent and Respond to the 85 most common sales stopping objections and preloaded with examples of tactics to implement each of the steps in the sales process (see Strategic Sales Plan)

We set up a private website for our clients and they added brochures, product data sheets, pricing information, testimonials, and a host of other information important to the sales teams making it a sales support site.

Shell, TurboCare, Siemens, and several other companies utilized this software.

Software Value Proposition

There are two primary components to the value proposition for the software:

  1. The value of the software design and function. The value is in the design of the software that leads to the functions it performs. I would work with a programming team to bring the current programs back online, then while focusing on the function, re-write the code in a more sturdy language. And, of course making improvements along the way.
  2. The value of the content that goes into the software. The content is well researched, pragmatic, and effective. Most of all, it is comprehensive. For the diagnostic questionnaires that means having the ability to quickly pinpoint sales or customer service issues. For the other software programs, the libraries of information made available to enhance the functionality is what set these programs apart from the competition.

It will take a lot of effort to update the graphical user interface (GUI) for the software.

As you can tell by the functions of the software listed above, large companies are setup and operate based on just one of these software programs.

Contact

For additional information call or email Bob DeGroot: 281-367-5599 or Bob@SalesHelp.com

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