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Sage on a Fast Track

Company acquires Master Builder from rival Intuit and unveils new plans

Nashville, Tenn. – According to Taylor MacDonald, executive vice-president of channel and sales operations at Sage Software, the economy in Canada and the U.S. is doing great and this was the underlying reason why his company released the Fast Track for Consultants, an update to 100/100, Fast Track for Growth 2007 and new marketing and lead generations programs.

“Partners are telling us the economy is great and people are out looking to buy business management software,” said MacDonald. This, along with a much stronger Canadian dollar, was one of the reasons for the number of partner programs Sage was offering its partner base.

Gail Wilson, president of Markham, Ont.-based solution provider Gail Wilson & Associates Inc. agreed with MacDonald. She said 2005 was the best year her company ever had with a 20 per cent growth rate over the previous year.

With more small and mid-size businesses upgrading from Y2K and buying more business management software, more people will be needed to implement the solutions being sold. To that end, Sage announced the Fast Track for Consultants program, which combines training and education on recruiting to develop new consultants for partners.

“Experienced consultants do not grow on trees and if you hire someone from another firm you have not added to the skill set of the industry,” he said.

By not having enough well-trained staff, partners slow down the sales cycle and that impacts Sage business and partner business, MacDonald added.

Partner resources
Sage also boosted its Partner Marketing Resource Center with more customized tools, new Webcast Lead Builder for leveraging the more than 600 Webcasts the company hosts each year, more than 60 lead-generation Webcasts per month and marketing assistant tool that offers partners 31 marketing packages.

According to MacDonald, about half of the co-op funds earned by Sage partners are not being used. “That is not acceptable,” he said. The partner marketing resource centre displays a partner’s available co-op funds on login. From there, Sage informs partners on at least four marketing programs right from the opening Web page.

Partner generated leads have a three-to-one chance of being closed, MacDonald said. This percentage is better than any other type of lead generation program available.

Wilson said this program is an excellent one for very little money.

“These programs help us build our business. Sage has given us the tools to grow our business,” Wilson said, who has been an Accpac dealer since 1983.

Ron Verni, the CEO of Sage Software, pulled the trigger on a couple of deals that surprised the more than 3,500 attendees at its Insights Partner Conference. Sage acquired Master Builder from rival Intuit Inc., along with Contractor Anywhere Inc. The purchase price for both deals was not disclosed.

Both additions were made to boost the company’s construction and real estate software portfolio.