Sage is ploughing millions of pounds into helping its resellers expand their internal salesforces by funding the recruitment, training and first three months salary of any new recruits.
At its annual two-day Sage Visions conference in Scotland last week, Paul Stobart, chief executive of Sage’s UK and Ireland division, unveiled two channel initiatives designed to help partners with their salesforce expansion and sales skills.
“We are spelling out the opportunities available to partners through new products and supporting programmes,” said Stobart.
Sage Business School, which will provide the funds, will help resellers avoid the high costs associated with expanding their internal salesforce, the vendor claimed.
Nick Brown, head of channel sales for the mid-market division at Sage, said the school will also enable expansive channel growth.
“This allows our partners to grow without an upfront investment and reduces the risks associated with an expansion into other Sage product areas, such as CRM,” added Brown.
Sage Academy also has a programme of activities and workshop services to help the business skills of channel partners in areas such as customer service and marketing.
“This is a real investment from Sage and we are preparing our channel partners to deal with all the new opportunities available to them, such as in vertical markets and through our expanded product portfolio,” added Stobart.
However, Martin Hamill, managing director of Sage reseller Clarendon Accounting Solutions had reservations about the potential channel benefits.
“Sage putting money behind the cost of training and first few months of salary is a benefit and could be a step in the right direction. However, we don’t tend to bring new salespeople on board very often and I believe the Business School will appeal more to Sage MMS and above resellers,” Hamill said said.
He also added that Sage’s Academy attendance could be limited by reseller availability.
“The Academy will help if we get the time to use it, but when we are out of the office we are losing potential services sales to customers,” he said.
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