The passage becomes clearer

01 Mar 07

Following a successful recruitment drive Passage Software has its hands full bringing a host of new business partners up to speed according to Brett Fraser, Passage Software general manager.
Fraser joined Passage last year to redesign the company’s partner program and put together a recruitment plan to boost partner numbers. In December he took on the role of general manager, to look after day to day operational management, freeing up director Geoff Nightingale to complete other business projects. 
“We conducted market research on what partners did and didn’t like about dealing with us as well as looking at the market space Passage plays in and identifying new opportunities,” he says.
The survey revealed partners wanted better access to support, good communication from the vendor and free training if possible.
On the plus side there were no complaints about margins and partners remain happy with the quality of Passage products.
It’s products sit firmly in the 6-75 employee segment of the market and are achieving significant success in the light manufacturing and engineering verticals.
With a focused tele-marketing team providing qualified leads to business partners Fraser says Passage has literally chocked the channel with business.
“It confirms that SMEs have a real need for financial software. Many of them have outgrown their current software and are ready to upgrade. With the targeted campaigns we’re doing for partners we’re achieving a 10% hit rate and 33-50% conversion into sales.”
Fraser believes Passage could double its existing partner base and the market would be able to sustain it.
However he’s quick to point out his priority is to get new partners up to speed before taking on any more.
“Our goal is for every partner to have 100 clients they’re servicing. We want to keep them busy so they aren’t tempted to take business off other partners, which tends to happen elsewhere in the market.”
Daniel Handcock, Passage business partner development manager, says his telesales reps are trained to help partners close sales.
“They can dismiss any objections the customer has and will do all the follow ups to help a partner close the sale. In many cases the partner just gets the sale order through,” he says.

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