Kissimmee, Fla. (June 16, 2004) -- As part of its ongoing plan to retain and motivate its ever-growing reseller channel and to compete with mega-reseller companies like Microsoft Business Solutions, Best Software has agreed to invest $1 million to deliver sales training, hiring assistance, direct financial support and marketing assistance programs to its resellers.

“You are our competitive advantage and now we are putting our money where our mouth is,” Taylor Macdonald, Best Software senior vice president for business partners, told nearly 3,000 resellers in attendance at the company's Insights 2004 conference. “We need to take market share away from our competitors, get more feet on the street, and help you be productive without taking sales away.”

One of the key components of Best’s new Partner for Growth initiative is the “100 in 100” program -- through which it hopes to add 100 field-trained sales executives to the existing business partner channel in 100 days. Participating firms will receive a subsidy to offset new-hire start-up costs, special lead generation assistance to fill the sales pipeline, and expedited new-hire training on Best Software products.

MacDonald, in a one-on-one interview, noted that hiring and retaining the right people, particularly in sales, is one of the most difficult challenges facing the channel and any sales organization. So, as part of its new program, Best is working with a profiling company, Opus Marketing, to help in the hiring of new sales people.

In addition to profiling sales force prospects, there will be an intensive, week-long training camp for Best partners beginning in September. It will feature three-and-a-half days of sales training and a day-and-a-half of product demonstration and domain knowledge.

“The reason people are successful in this business is hiring the right person for the job and having the education in place,” MacDonald told WebCPA. “Too many people [in sales] have hired wrong, not trained their team right and not managed them properly. We are saying to partners that we are going to listen to your pitches, watch your demos, stay in touch with you the whole way and not abandon you.”

Other enhancements to the Best Software Partner Advantage program include a new unit growth contest for existing Best Software business partners; fees paid for Best Software product sales referred to other business partners; fees paid directly to customers who recommend a Best Software solution; and free product offerings for in-house use.

-- Seth Fineberg

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