Although I’ve been in the payroll industry for nearly four years, I haven’t had the opportunity to attend a national organization conference as unique as PASA's D.R.I.V.E. Conference. We are very involved in the payroll conference circuit and with the Payroll Ancillary Service Association (PASA).
PASA is a new organization that focuses on educating service bureaus on best practices for implementing and up selling ancillary services to their end user clients in an effort to improve their overall service offering, increase client retention, and ultimately to better compete with the larger national payroll companies. The ancillary services represented at the PASA D.R.I.V.E. Conference included payroll software, time and attendance, HR, payroll tax processing, tax applications, retirement/401(k) services, recruiting, insurance and ACH processing. The D.R.I.V.E. Conference was PASA’s second conference and while relatively small it still drew quite a few thought leaders within the payroll service industry allowing attendees and vendors, such as myself, to enjoy intimate discussions about best practices for selling and implementing ancillary services within a payroll service organization.
The D.R.I.V.E. Conference was well organized and included an insightful keynote speaker, Tom Batchelder, who spoke about ways to avoid “Barking Up… a Dead Horse” and ultimately wasting time and effort in the payroll sales world. We also had the opportunity to participate in a “speed learning” seminar in which attendees visited each ancillary service provider for a crash course in selling and/or implementing their particular ancillary product into the payroll sales process, including tips to increase revenues for service bureau owners and commissions for the sales representatives. The conference also included an Ancillary Services Panel Discussion which covered best practices within various organizations for implementing ancillary services, incentivizing the sales/operational staff to up sell new and existing clients, and ways to improve the “stickiness” of a client by expanding the ancillary services that they are using. The Q&A session within the panel really got the attendees involved and a lot of great ideas were shared.
My first PASA experience was a huge success; I was able to meet a lot of outstanding colleagues who will be valuable resources within the industry. I felt that the information provided to the attendees was relevant and well received. I am looking forward to attending my next conference with PTM early next year.