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Sage partner programme drives growth

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Sage Pastel Payroll & HR has grown its business partner network in South Africa to more than 1 000 companies, of which more than 200 have been formally accredited in its business partner programme.
Most of these companies are fast-growing small businesses that help other SMEs to prosper by providing them with IT, accounting or payroll services.

The business partner programme falls in line with Sage Pastel Payroll & HR’s commitment to drive growth for small and mid-sized businesses and to help them succeed. It also positions the company for strong growth as demand for payroll and HR software in South Africa accelerates as a result of a stringent regulatory environment.

General Manager Laurica Kok, says that Sage Pastel Payroll & HR originally set the programme up to extend its reach into the large and diverse SME market in South Africa. By partnering with carefully chosen partners, the company is able to offer top-notch support and consulting services to customers wherever they are, even in smaller towns far from the main metros.

Kok notes that most of Sage Pastel Payroll & HR’s business partners are small businesses themselves, whether they are IT resellers and integrators or accounting and auditing practices. “For us, it is gratifying to support business partners as they grow, especially if they are small, owner-driven businesses. It is in our best interest that they succeed, and we strive to provide the encouragement, support and tools to make this possible,” she adds.

“We believe that a healthy SME ecosystem is critical to economic growth in South Africa. A major focus for our company is to help SMEs to succeed, whether by working with them as our partners or by providing them with software and solutions that help them meet their business goals.”

“Given that we have thousands of customers, we can’t serve them all directly,” says Kok. “That is why we depend on our Business Partners to be our sales representatives and customer support team for a growing customer base. They are truly an extension of our business, offering our full range of HR and payroll solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.”

With an ever-changing tax and labour law environment in South Africa, even the smallest companies need to put automated HR and payroll solutions in place, says Kok. That is helping to drive demand for Sage Pastel’s products, in turn creating opportunities for referral partners such as accountants and for services partners who help companies to implement the software.

Kok says that accredited partners have been trained up to a high level of proficiency in Sage Pastel Payroll & HR products and have also agreed to align themselves with the company’s business practices and policies. In return, they get marketing support such as collateral and leads as well as training and market intelligence.

“People buy from people, so business partners will always be a valuable part of our organisation. They are our eyes and ears in the market, and a valuable source of feedback for us as we develop our product range,” says Kok. “They help us reach the customers with a personal touch, and they can often provide a range of specialist services and advice to SMEs that use Sage Pastel Payroll & HR solutions. They give us a far larger footprint than we could achieve on our own ensuring we can continue to offer the best to customers.”