Graham Bunting 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 system 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 account management and 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.
In 2017, with his business partner, David Pitts, Graham created Trust Business Partners. His mission is to help vendors and distributors grow. To grow their sales channels, sales revenues, and market share. The dynamics associated with multi tier channel go to market are well understood by David and Graham – they form part of their DNA. “We have been extremely fortunate to have been part of a special team of talented people in SDX Business Systems. We enjoyed fantastic leadership and teamwork. We were challenged and driven hard by our leadership team, and developed to be the best that we could be. We were schooled to understand the dynamic of channel engagements and be respectful of the business leaders in our channels, yet bold and challenging to them too. These are the foundations for the principles that guide us today”
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