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Today, the Internet has transformed the way people communicate, the way they work and do business, and the way they are entertained. But even as the world embraces the digital age, more than half its population is still not connected to the Web and is at risk of being left behind in the fast moving 21st century economy. And this ”digital divide” is not limited to developing countries alone.
According to “Exploring the Digital Nation,” a U.S. Department of Commerce report published in November 2011, only 57 percent of rural households in the U.S. have broadband Internet access, compared to 70 percent of urban households. An important factor in this disparity is the estimated 14 to 24 million American households and small businesses that are either unserved or underserved by DSL, cable, or other terrestrial technologies. The good news is that satellite broadband, which is available virtually everywhere, is making a vital difference in such communities.
HughesNet®, the world’s largest high-speed satellite Internet service, serves over 620,000 subscribers in North America, helping to close this digital divide. And working with Hughes to bridge the gap are national sales agents—partner companies that help bring HughesNet to consumers and small businesses nationwide.
Serving as the voice to the consumer, sales agents come in all shapes and sizes—from a five-seat call center to a large business with staff and offices across the country. Acting as consultative representatives, sales agents market to consumers and small businesses and educate them on what HughesNet is and how it works. An important part of what sales agents do is determine how potential customers would use the Internet once they have high-speed access, enabling agents to make recommendations on the best service plan to meet their needs.
Many HughesNet sales agents also offer complementary products such as satellite TV or home security products, creating one-stop shopping for consumers who might need multiple services. For sales agents, this arrangement offers built-in upselling opportunities. As an example, when speaking to a satellite TV prospect, simply asking the question, “How do you connect to the Internet?” opens the door to a potential HughesNet sale.
Headquartered just outside Charlotte, North Carolina, Red Ventures, for example, is a top national sales agent for HughesNet that built its small, garagebased business into a thriving customer acquisition company with 1,200 employees. Marketing similar services like DTH satellite TV and home monitoring systems makes HughesNet a natural fit for Red Ventures.
“The Hughes team is a smart, thoughtful group with a strong focus on strategic thinking that comes through from the sales management team all the way to the executives,” said Jason Carlock, senior vice president of Red Ventures. “Hughes is the leader in consumer satellite broadband, and we deeply trust the direction in which they are going, giving us confidence in our investment.”
“Red Ventures is a leader in its field, and we highly value them as a partner,” said Allen McCabe, vice president of North America Channel Sales for Hughes. “Sales agents like Red Ventures are an important link in the HughesNet sales channel. That’s why we provide lucrative sales agent programs and incentives to stay competitive in the marketplace with attractive customer promotions.”
In addition, Hughes provides a high-quality fulfillment team for installation, assuring sales agents that their customers’ orders are installed by the same certified technicians used by Hughes for its direct customers.
In September 2011, Hughes held its 2nd Annual HughesNet Summit for resellers. The event gave sales agents and other resellers an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with the Hughes team, discuss ideas and common issues, and plan for the future. A hot topic was preparing for the Hughes next-generation, 100+ Gbps satellite—ECHOSTAR® XVII with JUPITER™ high-throughput technology, which will be launched in the summer of 2012 and deliver HughesNet high-speed broadband service to between 1.5 and 2 million subscribers.
“Hughes has a passionate team that matches our equally passionate group at Red Ventures,” said Hallie Kilmer, marketing manager at Red Ventures. “We walked away from the summit rejuvenated, excited, and confident in the management team at Hughes. We also found it beneficial to interact with the distributors and dealers in the installation network to see how we can work together and join efficiencies to be mutually beneficial.”
“Today, HughesNet has over 60 percent share of the consumer satellite Internet market, and we plan for continued growth with new products and services,” added McCabe. “We’ve maintained our leadership position by providing our customers with the service tools and new customer initiatives to create the best satellite broadband experience available, and by relying on our sales agents out on the front lines of the digital divide to do what they do best—serving as our voice to the customer.”
For more information on joining the growing network of HughesNet resellers, please visit http://wwwnt16.hns.com/dealer_inquiry/index.cfm.
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