I Could Have Missed It All…..

Fathers  Day 2013 6This past week was the annual Sage Summit Partner/Customer Conference  which was held in Washington D.C. at the Gaylord Conference Center and Resort.

I have been to every Sage Summit since its inception and more than a few when  it was Insights.Bill Bo Paul

This Summit was a special one for me and if the doctors are right it will be my  last so it was important for me to attend. Sage gave me the opportunity to say thanks to the Sage Community and also to tell the attendees what’s going on with my health.
Bill Hugh SeanBill Sean Tess BorosPascal Driving BusPascal Bill CannonsWalking At Summit 2Bill Bo PaulPeter Bill Wayne

Joe Noll of Lancaster, PA showed me what an incredible human being he is, as  did Dave & Cheryl from LDK Consulting. The love that the Sage community showed me was overwhelming. An example of this was when I was talking to Diana Waterman, an incredible human being and one of my favorite Sage employees, a  gentleman walked up to us that I’ve never met and introduced himself as Pramod Gandhi  from Dubai. In a very humble manner he asked about my health and then he said, “Bill, we are  praying for you in Dubai.” You could have bowled Diana and myself over  with a feather. It was then that I finally understood the global reach that my  LinkedIn Group had accomplished. The entire week was like that for me from Sage executives to partners like Pramod.

I had to conserve my energy so I didn’t go out to the parties. Today I’m wiped  out and know that I will fall asleep right after takeoff but no matter I will take these memories with me on whatever journey I embark on.

Thank you to the following ( I apologize if I’ve left your name off, it’s no  reflection of you, but rather a reflection of my crappy memory)

Joo Sohn / Kevin Rooker / LDK Consulting / Joe Langer / Diana Waterman / Sophie  Leguillette / Himanshu Palsule  /Tammy Mathews/ Connie Certusi /Pascal Houllion / Wayne Schulz/ Lori Schultz / Pramod Gandhi / Danielle Cote / Robert Wood/ Joe Ward / Suzanne Spear / Joe Noll  and of course Marti Wolfson

I do hope and pray that my doctors are wrong in their prognosis because I do want to live longer and spend more time with my sons and I sure don’t want to miss Sage Summit 2014 in Vegas. Please don’t stop being who you are. What I’ve found going through this process is that it doesn’t take much effort to make someone’s day just a little bit better as you did mine.

I have been given money for the purpose of adding to my son’s college fund and also for liver cancer research. I hope this doesn’t come off as pandering but both are great places to donate money.

My mailing address is:
1025 Stratton Drive
Vista, CA. 92083

BK Fav - Copy

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Remember The Good Old Days?

Help Find A Cure For Liver Cancer

Do you remember the days when Sage sales consultants would sell 3 to 5 new ERP systems  weekly just by answering the phone? Do you recall the times when end users would not complain (too much) about the total cost of product and implementation because you had  prepared your resellers and customers in advance? Proper preparation would often eliminate any surprises for you and your client when total cost would become a point of discussion.

What happened to the good old days when new system sales were easier to land? What I believe has happened is that software sales consultants have not prepared their prospects for the ultimate presentation; you know, the one that includes the total cost, including the price of the product, maintenance, deployment and training.

Further, a practice seldom used by sales consultants today is the ability to upsell to existing  customers. For example, vertical-specific enhancements that integrate seamlessly with Sage 100 ERP (formerly known as MAS 90/200)

One of the major reasons why potential enhancement solutions often turn into missed upselling opportunities is because many software sales consultants fail to make an effort to study the industry in which their prospect or customer work.

This is why conducting a complete business analysis is so critical. In addition to learning about your clients and their respective industries, inquiring about the responsibilities of each employee within a company’s structure is vital, especially in terms of listening to your customer’s specific requirements and asking the right follow-up questions. Asking constructive questions and offering a wide range of enhancement solutions, tailored to fit the needs of the prospect, are strong suits of most Sage Resellers.

Don’t forget to visit relevant vendors and partners at Sage Summit 2013 (July 21-26) in Washington, D.C.

Sage, Sage 100 ERP, Sage 500 ERP, Sage CRM and Sage Software are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sage. All other trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. This article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any e-zine, newsletter, blog, or web and social media site. The author’s name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

Bill is recognized as a top performing senior level executive with multiple years of proven success in sales, management & business development

He’s considered a leader in Sage Software ERP solutions, business-to-business direct sales and business development.  He’s developed successful sales teams & is adept at analyzing growth opportunities & managing operations to meet corporate objectives. He’s also been successful in building an online Sage LinkedIn Community with 8,200+ members.

Contact: Bill Kizer
760.518.2493
williamkizer52@gmail.com

Sage Summit 2013

Sage Summit 2013

http://www.billkizer.com

Going To Sage Summit 2013?

sage summit 2013 square logo
The timing for this blog isn’t an accident. I wrote it specifically to be finished around Sage Summit 2013.

If you have questions about products and services and which Partners provide the best, look around while you’re at Summit. You’ll find enough quality VAR’s to answer any questions you might have. If you’re a customer attending and you don’t have a Sage VAR that you’re currently working with here’s your opportunity to find the best. They’ll be easy to spot; they’re usually the ones standing in booths, attending lots of sessions and you’ll usually find them between sessions talking with other VARs about software.

What factors make you want to return to a retail store, a vendor or a service provider? Is it price? Is it location or is it something even more?

One of my favorite quotations was written by Benjamin Franklin; “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten?”

What does that mean to you as a consumer or should it mean anything at all to you? My answer is “Yes it should.”

Saving money doesn’t mean buying the lowest priced products or services. It means buying products or services that offer the best value. This can be stripped down to 3 words, Focus on Value.

Traits to Look For In Your Sage Software Partner….

Do they have integrity, passion, & honesty? Or do you have to check and re-check every invoice they send you knowing that you’re going to have a less than pleasant conversation with them about the “Holy Cow” additional costs that you hadn’t anticipated?

Do you hear from them regularly to tell you about new updates, versions or maybe just an offer to go to lunch? Or, do they call just to remind you that your annual maintenance and support fees are due?

Do you recommend them to friends or business associates who are looking for ERP software?

If your “VAR” isn’t providing you with quality service like the ones that have been mentioned then maybe what you have is a Re-Seller, not a VAR.

If your software partner doesn’t appear to offer much beyond the ability to sell software I would refer to them as a Re-Seller. A Re-Seller doesn’t offer additional services, usually doesn’t have the resources to provide those services and generally has to charge you more because they have to pay an outside resource to provide those services.

Our clients deserve the best service that’s available. They trust that they’re getting the best service. It’s incumbent upon us to provide an extraordinary customer experience each and every time that we have a dialogue with them. It’s time that our clients are treated as something other than a quick buck.

If you’re losing more than your fair share of clients for “undetermined” reasons then it’s time to re-examine your business practices. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate why you’re in business & if it’s just to make money then you’re probably in business for the wrong reasons.

However if providing an extraordinary customer experience for your clients is your number one goal, congratulations, you “get it” and not surprisingly so do your clients. Welcome to the World of VARs

Have Fun At Sage Summit 2013
July 21 – 26

http://na.sage/sagesummit.com

Bill Kizer

Bill Kizer

Sage Summit 2013 – Are You In Or Are You Out?

Gaylord National Harbor Resort

Gaylord National Harbor Resort

There has been much discussion about the value of attending Sage Summit 2013 Partner & Customer Conference, which is being held in Washington D.C. July 21 – 26 at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort.

This is my favorite Gaylord because it’s easy to navigate (Not like the Opryland Human Maze), it’s close to some outside restaurants and clubs, (Again not like Opryland which is a $25 Cab ride downtown Nashville)

But I won’t miss it and neither should you!  I’ve have found that Summit provides me with great value and relevant information. Our industry changes daily and there’s no way to stay on top of these changes if we don’t talk to the source(s). You can find the source(s) and other partners who have utilized those changes successfully by attending Sage Summit 2013. 

Most of the real interesting conversations are those that you find in the hallways between sessions and keynotes. If you want to watch a partner who is adept at deciphering what is said and more importantly what’s not said, find Wayne Schulz and ask him if it’s okay to tag along, he’ll probably say “no” but go anyway. It’s how he and I became friends.

Its eye opening, informational and very rarely is his take on things wrong. I talk to Wayne 3-5 times a week and the conversation is always lively. You can catch Wayne on his daily morning walks at 6:00 a.m. along with other partners like Robert Wood, Peter Wolf & I swear I’m going to get up at Zero Dark 30 to walk with them.

If sessions are your thing then go park yourself in every Ed Kless session that has an open seat. You won’t leave disappointed. I have sat in many of his sessions, taken the week long Consulting Academy, gone to conferences just to hear him speak and rate Ed as one of the top speakers in our industry.

Look at the business partners and vendors who consistently attend Summit.  If you want the keys to success they’re the people to see. Go to their booths and see what they’re doing that you’re not. It’s probably a safe wager that they’ve been involved in Summit for many years.

“It has always been MY rule that if I am serious about selling Sage products I need to attend Summit. I need to “breathe” the air, sense the mood of the Sage community, and get enough inspiration to see me through another year.” Arlie Skory; Managing Partner at Skory Employer Solutions LLC 

There is a long term value of creating lasting relationships with other colleagues who will share their knowledge with you. I’ve spent many hours talking with them about the direction that our industry is headed.

What price tag do you put on the information you receive at Summit? How about face time with Sage executives, visiting with 3rd party providers? I don’t think you can put a tag on these. The sessions alone that Sage offers are topic rich.

We get caught up on doing work as we’ve always have not aware there are better ways to streamline our businesses & become more cost effective. If we don’t go to Summit & feed off the synergy then we’re going to stay in that same rut getting the same results.

There are BP’s who have concerns that they don’t write any new business at Summit. They’ve bought booth space, & brought a large group. Is it worth the expenditure? Can I justify the costs? How much business will I miss out on while I’m at Summit? These are valid questions. The answer is simple….How much effort are you willing to exert while you’re there.

If you’re going to Summit with the sole intent of closing deals you will be disappointed. It’s like going to the circus expecting Shakespeare; this is an unrealistic expectation. A lot of companies look at expenditures that don’t provide immediate return as worthless. I think of attending conferences the same as Spring Training, The chances of a productive year increase exponentially with a successful Spring Training.

If you’re still not sold, here are 3 questions to ask yourself.

►By not going am I adding or taking away value from the success of my business?

► What new technology can I find at Summit that I can add to my product portfolio?

►Am I the problem or am I the solution?

Come to D.C. & see what’s going on at Sage. You will go back to your business with new tools, ideas & a new attitude.

See you in Washington D.C.
Bill Kizer
http://na.sage.com/sage-summit/
http://billkizer.com

The 7 Deadly Mistakes of Using LinkedIn & How To Avoid Them

The 7 Deadly Mistakes Using LinkedIn & How to Avoid Them

Since starting 3 LinkedIn Network Groups, the largest is the Sage Partners, Employees, Alumni & Analyst with 7,500+ members in 60+ countries and the United States & the group has become a daily reading staple for many of the Sage NA executives. The group was created with the idea of members sharing ideas & opinions on current Sage changes, events & general take on the Sage environment with each other.

Since May 2008 I’ve seen many mistakes that members continually make about setting up their LinkedIn profile & utilizing it to its maximum benefits.

Below are some of the most common mistakes. This was taken from a presentation that I gave recently at Sage Summit, Sage’s Annual Partners & Customers Conference In Nashville

#1 / Never Complete Your LinkedIn Profile
Don’t Open Your Professional Profile to 175mil LinkedIn members worldwide
Don’t List Your Accomplishments & Certifications
Don’t Include Your History, Current Position or Core Competencies
For mediocre results keep you profile at less than 100%

#2 / Use The Ghost Avatar
                       
Does Anyone Really look like this?
Does Remaining Anonymous Really Help?
Don’t Build any Social Media Credibility

#2a / Use A Cartoon As Your Avatar

Pets & Children’s Photos Have NO Value on LinkedIn. If You Go To Spring Break Every Year & Consume Copious Amounts of Alcohol & Lose Your Clothes, Please Keep Those For Your Private Collection.

#3 / Don’t Contribute To Your LinkedIn Profile
Stay Secretive About Yourself & Don’t Let Anyone Know Who You Are
Don’t Share Your Industry Knowledge
Let Others Determine & Shape Your Online Brand

#4 / Don’t Ask (Or Answer) LinkedIn Questions
By All Means Keep Your Unique Business Acumen All To Yourself
Don’t Become An Expert in ANY Industry, Remain an Enigma

#5 / Don’t Invite Others to Your Network
Keep Your Network Your Own Private Domain
Reduce The Number of Your Relevant Connections(Or Just Don’t Get Them In The First Place)
The Less Connections You Have Will Result In Fewer Search Results That You’ll Appear In

#6 / Don’t Give Or Ask For Recommendations
Don’t Let Your Colleagues Say Anything Positive About You
Remain An Enigma In The Virtual Word
Don’t Send Any Recommendations To People You’ve Worked With

#7 / Don’t Include Any Current Contact Information
Make It Impossible To Contact You
Make People Guess Where You’re Currently Working
Don’t Answer Messages or LinkedIn Invitations

These are but a few of the mistakes that I see people making but they seem to be the ones that continually show up.
Remember that an intriguing & complete LinkedIn Profile will help you Take The Work Out of Networking

Bill Kizer
Creator Sage LinkedIn Partners, Employees & Alumni Networking Group
LinkedIn Profile: http:// www.linkedin.com/in/bkizer  ~  williamkizer52@gmail.com
760.518.2493

Robert Wood; 2012 Co-Presentor
DDF Consulting Group, Inc.
Linkedin Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bertowud  ~   robertw@ddfcgi.com
352.615.5898

Top Ten (Or So) Booths Not To Miss @ Sage Summit 2012

Another Year; Another Conference & 10 More Top Booths To Stop & Meet. Have Fun! 


Altec ~ Booth 817

Come & meet the best team in Document Management in Booth 817. Altec understands the world of accounting, the importance of business communication through all mediums and has the expertise and product depth to begin your journey to the paperless office of tomorrow – today

Avalara ~ Booths 743 & 745

Look for the Booths with the Orange theme & you’ll have found Avalara! Their company has one of the shortest “Elevator Speeches.” We provide the fastest, easiest, most accurate and affordable way to manage sales tax compliance.” Their dynamic team will help you walk through the maze of taxation. They’re sponsoring the after party at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on Tuesday evening. Don’t Miss It!

Scanco ~ Booth 511


You have to stop by & see what’s new in Bar Code solutions. I have worked with the entire team for multiple years & have found them extremely helpful. They’re customer oriented & will do just about anything to help you close a deal.When you work with Scanco, you have the security in knowing you are working with Sage’s Barcode Vendor of Choice. They develop and enhance the MAS 90/MAS 200 Barcode Module and fully integrates Scanco’s Warehouse Automation Module and LabelXpert Designer to Sage MAS 500. They’ve spent 20 years in the automatic identification business specializing in everything from barcode software and hardware to RFID applications. Scanco’s staff is well equipped to meet virtually every warehouse management need.

ISM ~ Booth 411ISM began as a company with one vision in mind: “Simple answers to difficult questions.” Their goal was to convert complex technology into   tangible business value so you get more work accomplished using fewer  resources. Keeping that same vision in mind, today they’ve grown to become  one of the top Sage resellers of business ERP and accounting software in the country.

ISM has a fantastic team of professionals that make ERP fun. Keeping that same vision in mind, today they’ve grown to become one of the top Sage resellers of business ERP & accounting software in the country. They’re also a Sage Master Developer with 20 years off application development experience. Stop by & see why customers choose ISM as their “Partner in Success”
                                                                   xkzero ~ Booth 746

Stop by xkzero’s booth to see their new products iSales 100 & GetX, their new mobile apps designed to make your business more efficient. Take the apps for a ride & say Hi to Paul & his team of experts! These solutions are a “Can’t Miss!”

                   Fisher Technology ~ 421

TaskCentre lets you integrate data between applications, on premise or in the cloud, build fully automated processes, generate alerts and automate reports all without having to write any  program code.

TaskCentre has a new Web service connector tool that can be used to bridge not just your ERP and CRM solutions but also your
Ecommerce, Logistics, Marketing Automation or Content Management Solution, ensuring that your business systems are not
separated by information silos. Meet Paul & Nicole.

IndustriOS ~ Booth 532


All I’m going to say about these great people from Canada is that they’re incredibly nice people who know their stuff. They also sponsor the Dan & Linda Run Challenge. Dan should be a breeze to beat, (Are you listening Rob Johnson?) but I’m sure Linda will give the women a run for their money, Check out their You Tube at the link below.

Blytheco ~ 517

If you like a full menu of product, resources & experience then you have to stop by & see what’s new in the “House That Stephen Built” Say hi to Ginger Kittinger who has worked the booth for Blytheco since, well, you’d have to ask her. They also have a race car simulator!

Foremost in accounting technology solutions for almost 30 years, Blytheco has provided a level of service that offers proven business solutions to clients that are customized to their needs. Providing a high level of consistently reliable customer service, support and satisfaction is Blytheco’s trademark in the industry. Our experienced staff of over 120 can provide you with unparalleled hardware and operating system support, accounting application training and support, custom programming and modifications and third-party software integration. Tailoring software to provide timely, accurate, and effective information will result in your business becoming more efficient and more profitable.

  I ~ Business Network Booth 711  

“Everyone knows that “Cloud” is the new buzz, but I-BN knows cloud. Since 1999 I-BN has been delivering Sage products over the internet. I-BN hosts products from over 30 of the exhibitors at the trade show. If you need to know whether something is possible in the cloud, stop by the I-BN booth.”

For those of you who are VARs looking to transition to the cloud, we do a lot of research about the business angles and the impact on a VAR practice and are glad to share insights (old Sage pun intended) so that the individual practice leaders can craft their own strategies to deal with the new realities of subscription based pricing and connected services consulting. Your top 10 including Altec, Avalara, Blytheco, ISM, Scanco and Task Centre have all run in our data center. We look forward to working with xkzero and others in the future!

Vendors & Booths Were Chosen By The Team of Trent, Trevor & Bill Kizer

                 Congratulations To All Those Chosen. Much Success To All

This List Does Not Reflect the Opinion of Sage Nor Any Of It’s Employees