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SAP America cut in half the time it takes partners to make their first sale of its Business One platform by training partners in qualifying leads, the company revealed at its Summer Partner Summit in Denver.

The software vendor shifted resources from recruitment to enablement and by training partners in appropriate demand generation and pre-qualifying, they reduced the wasted efforts of partners on unrealistic opportunities, said Michael Sotnick, SAP’s Senior Vice President for Small- and Mid-size Enterprises.

The effort reduced the time between a partner’s initiation and first successful sale from 180 tom 88 days, he said.

“It taking was the fact that they were going after opportunities that were slightly out of the strike zone as far as the whether the solution was appropriate for them,” Sotnick said.

“By teaching to be disciplined about the leads they approached, we were able to arm new partners with the tools to win business and establish a repeatable process to add to the pipeline.”

SAP added 11 new Business One Partners since it launched, in January, a redesigned go to market strategy in the small and medium enterprise space, to rely on partners to use SAP’s platform as a jumping off point to craft nearly complete ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions for micro-verticals in the market.

Partners take Business One and MySAP All-in-One, which is 50 to 60 percent of what a client needs and hones it with best practices and industries knowledge of a vertical or micro-vertical into a solution that is 80 percent to 90 percent complete or greater, said Michael Sotnick, SAP’s senior vice president for SME business.

Once partners develop a solution for their first customer in a micro-vertical, the strategy essentially changes implementations to roll outs in almost every client, allowing partners to deliver a solution at a fixed-scope, fixed-cost and fixed-time, Sotnick said.

Click here to read more about SAP announcing new tools and rules for partners.

To be successful at this strategy, SAP needs partners with deep vertical knowledge to finish the platform and deliver best practices, said Larry Perlov, vice president of IMG Americas, a subsidiary of Information Management Group and a Business One solution in the manufacturing space.

“It takes three to six months for a typical channel sale for us,” Perlov said. “We’re doing it now in three to six weeks. It’s a unique methodology that builds a blueprint and a template based on lowest common denominator. You build the process and you repeat it.”

IMG and SoftBrands, a Business One ISV partner, have taken the approach a step further than micro-verticals, building solutions for specific supply chains, i.e. the distributors or resellers of a single manufacturer, that enables even faster and cheaper rollouts, executives at both firms said.

In addition to 11 new partners, four current Business One partners, including IMG, opened new practice areas, part of what Sotnick and Dan Kraus, vice president of SAP Business One, call feet on the street, that prefers existing partners open new locations or vertical practices before recruiting new foot soldiers.