We started in 1986 with the name DeGroot Communications. As our client base grew across the country, we changed the name to Sales Training America. In 1995, again reflecting our expanding client base, we changed our name to Sales Training International. Our company continues to adapt to the changing needs of our clients to generate our current offerings of books, ebooks, resources, 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 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 company's first Internet website (www.saleshelp.com), 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. STI programs its own LMS and 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: LearnSellingOnline.com is launched with 15 modules, including two major research modules.
2002: LearnCustomerServiceOnline.com is launched with five of ten courses complete along with two diagnostic questionnaires.
2003: All online courses meet the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) certification standards for instructional design, interactive components, student engagement, navigation, etc. and awards STI as one of seven with Library Certification. LearnSalesManagementOnline.com is launched.
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 to enable clients and resellers to host them.
2011: Marina Customer Service Training.com was launched. Today, it is a part of the LearnCustomerServiceOnline.com curriculum.
2012: STI becomes a book publisher by converting 37 training courses and workbooks to ebooks and some to paperback. All are now sold by Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and other booksellers around the world.
2013: Customer Service Excellence series of courses redeveloped in Articulate Storyline and published on OpenSesame.com.
2015: Moved company 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: Objection Free Selling: How to Prevent, Preempt, and Respond to Every Sales Objection You Get is published in both ebook and paperback formats www.ObjectionFreeSelling.com.
2017: Objection Free Selling climbs to # 10 in the USA and # 5 in the UK on the Amazon Top 100 Best Seller lists. Seven other ebooks also climb into the Top 100 Best Seller lists: Value Selling Strategies, Profile and Qualify Sales Prospects, Telephone Cold Calling, Features, Advantages, and Benefits, Reseller Strategy, Active Listening Skills, and Telephone Etiquette. The Customer Service Excellence series of 10 web-based training courses get an update.
2018: The book, Strategic Sales Plan: Why Sales Fail and How Wins are Won, is published in April and by November it climbed to #17 on the Amazon Top 100 Best Seller's list. Seven of the web-based sales courses are transitioned to Articulate Storyline 3 and launched on our reseller's site.
2019: Eleven more ebooks hit the Amazon Top 100 Best Seller's lists. Total of 20 Bestselling ebooks to date.