Guest Column | July 2, 2019

Winning Big With Alternative SaaS Channels

By Rob Spee, Channel Journeys Consulting

Taylor Macdonald, Sage Intacct

Taylor Macdonald

SVP Channel Sales

Sage Intacct


San Jose, CA

Year Founded


Acquired by Sage

In 2017


Help CFOs access integrated management and financial reports to grow and drive their businesses.

Channel Experience

29 Years

“We started a channel from scratch in 2010. No partners. We had a great cloud product. We had a partner agreement. And that was it. And we've grown the channel today to over 50 percent of all new business.” Taylor Macdonald, Sage Intacct.

History is known to repeat itself unless we learn from the lessons that history offers. That’s exactly the approach Taylor Macdonald, SVP Channel Sales at Sage Intacct, took when he was hired to build a cloud channel strategy for this SaaS vendor.

I had the opportunity to ask Taylor exactly what he did differently in building his “Channel 3.0” in my Channel Journeys podcast. He started by first looking at all the things that on-prem partner programs had done wrong. Then he designed a cloud channel program for the type of partners who best understood his customers’ financial challenges – CPAs and other accounting agencies.

Key Take-Aways

  • Use alternative channels to find partners who truly understand your target customers’ business challenges. Be sure to understand their business model, mindset, strengths and weaknesses so you know how to best support them.
  • Many partners do not like programs with tiers and get tired of spiffs and incentives. Instead, they want a program that rewards all partners equally.
  • Invest heavily in partner enablement. Charge a fee to join your partner program if needed to help fund that enablement. It also will weed out partners who aren’t serious.
  • Providing margins for the life of the customer builds partner loyalty and gives your partners the opportunity to build large long-term annuity streams as they grow the account.
  • Be selective in who you allow into your program. Don’t be afraid to ask more of them, as long as you’re providing more. And weed out the bottom performers every year.

Take Action — One Thing You Can Do Today

If you believe your number one goal is to make your partners successful, make sure your organization is aligned to that goal.

Listen to the complete podcast to learn more about Taylor and hear more valuable tips for building a successful cloud channel program and channel team.

Robert Spee, Channel JourneysAbout The Author

Rob Spee is founder and CEO of Channel Journeys Consulting and host of the Channel Journeys podcast. Rob applies his channel expertise to help clients create and execute channel strategies to accelerate revenue growth. His global channel experience spans from building channels at startups to vendors and distributors like Arrow, BMC, Carbonite, and SAS. Follow Rob on Twitter and LinkedIn.