Kansas City’s Top Companies: Sandler Training

Sandler Training says, “What shaky economy?” and rolls up its sleeves. The company has the numbers to back it up.

L to R: President of Training Dan Stalp, and owner Dick Brooks of Sandler Training of Kansas City. Photo by Paul Andrews

Job growth in a shaky economy can be tricky business. As Dan Stalp sees it, however, growth is a key indicator of success. Stalp is president of sales training group Sandler Training in Overland Park. Considering Stalp plans on bringing in two more sales staff as well as an additional full-time administrative assistant in upcoming years – along with a projection of doubling revenues in the next five years – it looks like the indicators at Sandler are lighting up.

Stalp says holding himself and his company accountable for results underpins Sandler Training’s success. Proof of the philosophy’s validity is in the numbers. Stalp puts Sandler Training’s revenue growth from 2009 to 2011 at 26 percent. Much of this growth can be attributed to an increase in the number of clients served — up 23 percent in the same two-year period. In 2012, Sandler reports numbers continued to climb, and 2013 is on target to meet even higher expectations.

A good chunk of the growth can be attributed Stalp’s roll-up-the-sleeves mentality. The company offers twice-weekly sales reinforcement training sessions, personal one-on-one coaching and regular client feedback about accomplishments.

More than simply a generic aim of growing a client list, however, Stalp’s savvy approach to building business maximizes resources. Focusing on training for sales staffs at larger companies is a key component in the formula. Conducting training sessions for a company with 30 sales team members is 10 times more profitable than conducting sessions for a company with only three sales pros. By the same token, however, the resources needed to supply the training are largely the same in both cases. 

The approach to getting to higher profitability goes beyond a client focus, Stalp says. For him, Sandler’s recruitment of the right people to build a cohesive team and maintain focus is critical. This means finding trainers willing and capable to step up in sales development and to adhere to what he calls the “accountability factor.” In many ways, the internal formula is the same as the one he teaches to clients.

As president of the company, Stalp holds himself to an even higher standard of accountability. Besides offering flexible work hours that let employees maintain work/life balance, building a solution-oriented company is a daily, ongoing process.

“We take care of our people and do what’s right,” he says.