Sage Drills Down Into Customer Data, Helping Partners Upsell, Cross-Sell

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Sage North America is making several enhancements to its channel program aimed at helping partners better identify cross-sell opportunities and generate higher returns on their marketing efforts.

The initiatives include a new scoring system that gives solution providers more insight into their customers, a revamped market development fund program, and a series of regional symposiums that bring together partners and customers.

"Our partners work hard to bring value to our mutual customers every day, and it's important that we provide the right tools to support their efforts to deliver great customer experiences," said Joe Langer, executive vice president of midmarket solutions for Sage North America.

[Related: Sage Channel Chief Set To Retire, Program Management Changes On Tap]

Under the Sage Product and Company Scoring Initiative, begun several months ago but not disclosed until Thursday, the vendor has been analyzing data collected on 190,000 customers -- some 130 variables including products they have purchased, the vertical industries they are in, geographic location, purchase volumes and more.

Some of the information is collected through the Sage Advisor program, launched in 2011, that provides customers with in-product technical assistance.

"It's helping us better connect with our customers and better understand their needs," Langner said. "It provides a custom model that predicts customer needs."

Sage is using the results to create customer databases that score the analytical results. Partners will be able to access the data and identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities, Langner said. He noted that while most partners only have between 50 and 200 customers, solution providers often lack deep insight into their customers' needs.

On April 1 Sage will launch the Sage Market Development Fund that Langner said would better align partner and Sage marketing initiatives and objectives. Sage MDF replaces the current Sage Partner Advantage Co-op Program, which Langner said the vendor largely used to "chip in" to help cover approved partner marketing expenses.

Sage MDF is a more structured takes a more collaborative approach to working with partners on their marketing initiatives, Langner said. Sage business growth managers will help solution providers develop and execute marketing campaigns co-financed by the vendor.

The Sage Customer Symposium Series events are designed to essentially replicate on a smaller, local scale the company's annual Sage Summit conference. Symposiums in Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and several cities have each generally attracted about 100 customers and 50 partners, Langner said. Symposiums are scheduled for Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities.


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