At ClearConnect, Ryan Cunningham finds success with a service that fills the gaps other providers leave
Viasat Business works with leading telecom channel agents like ClearConnect to reach businesses throughout the U.S., whether they need broadband satellite internet as their primary connection or as a backup connection for business continuity.
ClearConnect is a veteran-owned business co-founded by Ryan Cunningham. ClearConnect’s unique business model blends Cunningham’s experience in sales and marketing to fill an important role in the telecom channel.
Cunningham started his professional career as an advertising account executive in the early 2000s. While he enjoyed what he was doing, he saw an opportunity in sales that he couldn’t pass up. A friend from the Marine Corps told him about a business-to-business telecom sales opportunity and that’s when he made the jump. He started cold-calling businesses in the Denver area selling T1 connections, quickly advancing as his drive and rigorous daily activity helped him exceed quotas.
Cunningham eventually became a regional vice president, with responsibilities for direct and indirect revenue goals. After 10 years with technology service provider Cbeyond, he moved into an assistant vice president position with DexMedia, helping build their digital sales channel.
That’s when he recognized an opportunity to combine his telco sales and leadership skills with advertising and digital experience to build something unique in the channel. With the help of some long-time business partners, he started ClearConnect.
In just a few years, ClearConnect has seen significant growth – an over 45% increase year-over-year – and is well known in the channel for having built a strong team of trusted solutions advisors.
We asked Cunningham to identify the top things he thinks are important in building and maintaining a good reputation with customers and partners. He responded:
“No. 1 is to set clear expectations and do everything possible to match those expectations. We work in technology, and naturally everything doesn’t go as planned, which leads me to …
“No. 2: Be open with how you communicate. At times, overcommunicate. Most people I deal with understand things don’t go perfectly but educate them on what’s taking place. Avoiding what could be a tough conversation doesn’t help you, your partners or customers.
“No. 3: Keep it simple. I find people hide behind complexity at times, and that’s because they don’t have the energy or desire to change and disrupt the status quo. Moving toward a simplified approach helps customers and partners. Time is a valuable commodity, and simplification of any process helps customers and partners.”
Servicing more customers with Viasat Business
Before partnering with Viasat, ClearConnect focused on where the cable companies or traditional telcos had coverage. That quickly changed as soon as they found out about Viasat’s ability to service 96% of the U.S. population with broadband that could be installed just a few days after placing an order.
“When Viasat first entered the channel several years ago, ClearConnect was one of our very first agent partners,” said Eric Stark, Director of Sales for Viasat Global Business. “We have truly appreciated the partnership as it has grown over the years. We share similar values, especially around customer experience. Our pitch is simple, if you don’t have access to broadband, then we have you covered. If you have cable or fiber, then we are a great redundancy option to help ensure you never have downtime.”
ClearConnect’s partnership with Viasat has enabled us to assist many customers that didn’t know what their options were with broadband solutions.
One of Viasat’s most recent success stories was a national franchise that was struggling with several of their stores, and one of our Solutions Advisors presented Viasat as a solution. The IT director had objections, which the advisor overcame, educating them on the viability and quality of Viasat’s service. They now have over 10 locations using Viasat as their primary connection, and continue to add more.
Based on our success with this franchise we started a campaign reaching out to all our franchisees and presenting Viasat as a true business solution for their bandwidth needs.
For ClearConnect and other telecom channel agents, having access to Viasat Business solutions is a way to ensure all their customers can be served. But the greater value is knowing they have a trusted partner who will support them throughout the sales process.
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