Graham has been a successful figure in the telecom space for nearly 3 decades in sales and leadership roles; starting out as a salesman for a small reseller business, supplying, installing and maintaining key-systems and PABXs. After growing up through the ranks to becoming a branch manager, Graham took a role working for the newly formed management buyout SDX Business Systems Ltd (formerly STC), where through recruiting, managing and developing successful partnerships, and enjoying strong leadership from the business leaders, he developed his detailed understanding of the channel business.
Graham has worked with the dealer channel for more than 15 years and was part of one of the most successful channel management teams in the late 1990’s with SDX Business Systems Ltd, where through recruiting and developing significant partnerships like Central Telecom (now part of Vodafone), and Pennine Telecom he grew from a regional channel manager to a business manager responsible for a team of sales and account managers delivering significant growth from the north of the UK.
Graham’s policy of 100% engagement was a critical factor in the successes he enjoyed; always looking for opportunities to get face to face with the end users and to lead the sale to a successful conclusion. As a result, there was no shortage of sales engagement opportunities – his approach was extremely infectious; driving confidence in the sales teams and a very welcome break from traditional “coffee cup” account management. This ultimately led to sales teams “stepping up” and supporting the necessary scaling of the business.
When SDX was floated and subsequently acquired by Lucent technologies Graham took a new role as Account Director, managing the largest partner and revenue stream outside the US, looking after Crane Telecom, Lucent’s then flagship distributor. Graham was responsible for a small team of account managers and a support team delivering around $72m of annual revenues.
Further structural and headcount changes after Avaya was formed in 2000, saw Graham taking a business development role working with the newly appointed distributor, Nimans, along with 2 other distributors, Westcon, and MTV Telecom for the newly formed SMBS business unit. Soon after this appointment, he was promoted to Head of Distribution for UK, Ireland, and South Africa, and before getting into his stride, took a promotion to the UK Channel Sales Director for the SMB Business, where in his last year his region was the top performing region globally and one of few to deliver an on-target performance in the UK business
After leaving Avaya, Graham spent a short time consulting and returned to employment with Opal Telecom at the start of 2010. He managed the integration of VNetworks and the Opal dealer businesses but was recruited from Opal by Azlan to head up a new team supporting the Avaya portfolio in the UK. Shortly after joining, he was charged with bringing the AudioCodes products to the channel as part of the Microsoft Lync portfolio of UC&C solutions.
Graham decided that whilst being known as a channel professional was a flattering term, he wanted to explore a broader challenge, so returned to a direct sales hunter role. Through his exposure to Microsoft Lync from the AudioCodes relationship, Graham decided to find himself a role selling Lync direct to end users and he was recommended to Amillan in the Midlands as a business leading the charge with Lync and bravely changing the direction of their business.
His new role saw him securing the first Lync 2013 solution sale in the UK. Graham brought Aspect Software and Amillan together to partner, and subsequently won Amillan’s first Aspect contact centre customer sale. Further partnerships were created by Graham with vendors and “sell through” partners, resulting in him securing Amillan’s first sale of SMART technologies Lync room systems, as well as developing a sizeable partner pipeline.
After a 2-year engagement running the sales operation for iPass in Northern Europe Graham founded Trust Business Partners with David Pitts. Trust offer services that target sales growth into an indirect business model without the high risks and costs associated. Their 60 plus years of experience doing just that (internationally) positions them as the go-to team for channel development and channel enablement.
If you’re even considering developing channel sales, ensure you have started by asking yourself (and answering) the right questions – need help firstname.lastname@example.org that’s what we’re here for.
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