From DeGroot Communications to Sales Training America to Sales Training International developing and providing products and services ranging from software, consulting, and instructor-led training, our company has adapted to the needs of our clients to generate our current offerings of books, e-books, and online learning in a global marketplace.
1986: After very successful careers in education, psychology and sales, DeGroot Communications is founded by Robert DeGroot, MEd, DCH, FAPA in Houston, Texas.
1988: Psychology for Successful Selling is published as a hardback book by Branden Press. The company relocates to The Woodlands, Texas just north of Houston.
1989: 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.
1995: As the client base expands into Canada, Europe and Latin America, the company officially makes the transition to Sales Training International (STI).
1996: New world-class program design, page layout, packaging and trainer materials provide 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.
1996: The first www.saleshelp.com Internet website goes live and the company's international client base expands.
1997: 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, healthcare, transportation, public utilities, wholesale trade, services, and finance. Authorized Value Added Resellers begin reselling STI's products.
1999: STI's Internet department spins off to become DeGrootWeb. 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.
2000: STI adopts new strategic vision to become the number one Web-based sales, sales management and customer service training company in the world. www.SalesHelp.com retains its first page rankings organically on the 10 top search engines. STI develops the Web-enabled version Sales Diagnostic Questionnaire and launches its first Web-based Training program.
2001: www.LearnSellingOnline.com is launched with 15 modules, including two major research modules.
2002: www.LearnCustomerServiceOnline.com is launched with five of seven courses complete and two diagnostic questionnaires operational.
2003: www.LearnSalesManagementOnline.com is launched. All online courses meet the American Society for Training and Development certification standards for instructional design, interactive components, student engagement, navigation, etc. and awards STI as one of seven with Library Certification.
2004: Company creates a new strategic vision that includes adopting the "virtual company" business model.
2005: The 360 degree "Competency Diagnostic Questionnaire™" (CDQ) software is launched.
2008: "Virtual Company" Business Model Goal Achieved. Everything is outsourced except internal accounting and research and development.
2009: All 32 categories of the Sales Diagnostic Questionnaire results can now be directly cross-referenced to online courses allowing personalized curriculums to be developed.
2010: Reworked online customer service courses into a SCORM conformant format.
2011: Marina Customer Service Training.com was launched with 10 online customer service training courses modified for the marina industry.
2012: STI becomes a multi-book publisher by converting 35 training courses converted to e-books and are now sold by Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.
2013: Customer Service Excellence series of courses redeveloped in Articulate Storyline and published on OpenSesame.com
2015: Business Moved to Cape Coral Florida - Founder and owners Bob and Kem DeGroot, both avid boaters, moved their home and business to Cape Coral Florida where they can boat year round.
2016: Published Objection Free Selling: How to Prevent, Preempt, and Respond to Every Sales Objection You Get in both e-book and paperback formats.
2017: Objection Free Selling hits # 10 in the USA and # 5 in the UK on the Amazon Top 100 Best Seller lists. Five other e-books also climbed into the Top 100 Best Seller lists: Value Selling Strategies, Telephone Cold Calling, Features, Advantages, and Benefits, Reseller Strategy, and Telephone Etiquette (USA & UK).