Sales executives who are selling cybersecurity solutions and products have a multitude of challenges. Whereas 15 years ago there were only a dozen major solution providers in this space, today there are somewhere over 1200 vendors looking to solve cybersecurity problems for their clients. Of these 1200, each has approximately 3 products, meaning somewhere around 3600+ products are all competing at the Buyers’ Table.[i] Salespeople who want to win whales must define and communicate their differentiators.
Differentiate. It starts with looking at how your product provides similar benefits as your competition, how do you flow against your competition, and finally where do I align with but continually out-perform your competitors. Read our post Rivers in the Ocean for more on this concept.
Build Trust. You are vulnerable when it comes to having conversations around risk and exposure due to malicious attempts or attacks targeted toward your customers’ companies. These executives are usually not eager to share with salespeople their stories of missteps and gaps. Often, the reason for the gaps is that they have not been able to help their leadership team adequately understand the business risks, and therefore get budget approvals for tools they know are necessary to secure their organizations. You must develop trust with your prospects to allow them to open up about their real problems. Ask good and meaningful questions that you have developed from your preparation.
Develop Insights. In order to compete effectively, your salespeople must develop a deep insight into the environmental, social, and political factors of your business. Arm them with stories of how you have solved other customer problems with your products. Prospective customers are looking for salespeople who can help them understand the ecosystem of tools and the orchestration of these tools into an overall security posture.
Stay Up to Date. Building trust and becoming a trusted advisor also means you are up to speed on compliance and regulatory obligations for companies in their geographical regions. and how these regulations are applicable to their type of business. Data protection definitions also vary within each state and province. Be in the know.
Know Your Target Customer. Who is at risk in a company and who should the salesperson be targeting? More and more board members are becoming trained in their obligations for public companies regarding cyber security and protecting the data assets of an organization. In some cases, they are liable for bad decisions and poor judgment in the area of information security spending. This is an area of increasing discussion amongst corporate directors as custodians of security, safety, and future viability of the company.
Although security measures will be implemented at various levels within the company, leaders at the very top will determine strategic directions. Be prepared to sell high.
Mitigating risk is the overall objective for organizations looking at cybersecurity solutions and products. It will be important for salespeople to determine the risk profile of a prospect and conduct a risk assessment that narrows down the business problems that need to be solved.
The Whale Hunters can help with a target filter to prospect into those industries that are most at risk for cyber threats and therefore likely to be the most willing to have a conversation with you.
Let’s go hunt whales together!
[October is National Cybersecurity Month]
[i] Ned Miller May 8, 2018, Chief Technology Strategist for McAfee