The year 2020 won’t just go down in the history books as the year the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the world. It will also go down as the year that “broke all records when it came to data lost in breaches and sheer numbers of cyber-attacks on companies, government, and individuals.” Frighteningly enough, according to Forbes Magazine, “Nearly 80% of senior IT and IT security leaders believe their organizations lack sufficient protection against cyberattacks.”
The simple fact is security needs to be top of mind for every business – now more than ever. This makes it a prime time for anyone in cybersecurity sales to offer their services. That said, in this guide for selling cybersecurity to SMBs, we’re sharing what you need to know to help your current and prospective customers protect their websites from malicious and suspicious activity, remove malware, patch vulnerabilities in their CMS, and more.
Understand Your Customer
The first and most important step of selling security, specifically selling cybersecurity is understanding your customer. What are the jobs they need done? In the video, “The ‘Job’ of a McDonald’s Milkshake,” Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen explains that people don’t hire (buy) a milkshake because of the taste or the price. They buy a milkshake because the job they need done is to satisfy hunger and boredom on their commute to work.
When you consider the fact that your customers aren’t buying your security products based on price or features alone, and instead focus on the job they need done, it becomes much easier to understand the needs of your customer. As a result, selling cybersecurity becomes much easier. For example, some of the jobs small to medium businesses need done are:
- Protecting their website from malware
- Preventing malicious traffic to their website
- Scanning for and patching vulnerabilities in their CMS
- Protection from DDoS
The goal is to get them to hire your company to assist them in getting these jobs done. With this understanding, the next step is determining who exactly to pitch your offerings to.
Who Are The Decision Makers In The Business?
Odds are, when selling cybersecurity, you won’t be working with the CEO or the top executive of the company directly. Rather, you will be working with the IT personnel and security officers, the risk managers, or even the chief information officer. You’ll need their contact information, and a plan of action for pitching your offerings.
Provide Education On Cybersecurity
It’s not enough to merely think about selling cybersecurity – you must be clear about selling it to your specific audience. For example, you likely know they need malware removal tools on their website, but what else do they need? In truth, your prospective clients and customers might not even be aware of what products and services will best serve them. That’s where education comes in.
A smart way to get someone to know, like, and trust you, and ultimately buy from you, is to offer them value. Teaching them about the threats they face can go a long way in making sales. This education begins before you ever approach a prospect. If you’re selling cybersecurity, your website should feature marketing collateral such as:
- Whitepapers and case studies of real threats
- Blog posts explaining the various facets of security i.e.:
- No website is too small
- Anyone can be a target
- A firewall and antivirus software isn’t enough to fully protect you
- The types of threats in existence, and how to combat against them
- Educational videos
Then, once you begin reaching out to leads, you can use these materials to back up your claims, and further educate your potential customers.
Implement A Cybersecurity Product Portfolio
Having a top-notch cybersecurity product portfolio makes the task of selling cybersecurity much easier on you. If you don’t currently have enough products in your portfolio, but want to give your customers additional ways to protect themselves and their online assets, you may want to consider working with channel partners. This is a quick way to add products to your arsenal and give you more opportunities for revenue in your business.
When selling security to SMBs, your product arsenal can include, but isn’t necessarily limited to:
- Malware scanning and removal tools
- Web application firewalls
- Website security
- Virtual private networks
- Website backups
Note: You don’t have to sell every product to every customer. However, having options allows you to customize solutions that are unique to each client. This can be beneficial when you hear objections such as, “we already have that.”
Develop A Marketing Strategy
You know who you’re targeting for sales. You know what you’re selling. Your website is filled with amazing educational resources about cybersecurity, and you’ve acquired and/or created an impressive product portfolio. Now, it’s time to start developing a marketing strategy for selling security and get to making money already!
It’s important to remember however, the key is not to make more money. The main goal should be to deliver value. Yes, this will result in revenue for your company, but what matters more to your customer is that you are meeting their needs and solving their problems.
While cold calls and cold emails can work for some people, it’s better to start with building relationships. The best marketing strategy therefore, is to begin by sharing helpful information. You’re not asking for the sale just yet, instead focus on educating. There are a number of ways you can begin marketing.
- Start sharing your educational blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram using relevant hashtags where appropriate
- Join relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups to engage and network with the types of decision makers you would like to eventually pitch
- Consider paid ads on social media with the intent being to drive visitors back to your website to give you their contact information – at a bare minimum you should be trying to get their email address
- Offer free trainings on cybersecurity to SMBs – online and in-person
- Ask for referrals from past customers
- Write guest posts on websites, and get featured as a guest on podcasts, and in traditional media whenever possible
Be The Go-To SME For SMBs
Want to know how to sell cybersecurity effortlessly? Work on making your company the subject matter expert (SME) in all things security. Learn everything possible about protecting websites and data. This will make it that much easier to train staff, make sales, and create new opportunities for your company.
Measure And Deliver Results
Once you finally start selling cybersecurity, begin tracking how things are going, and document it for future marketing materials. For example, if you successfully remove malware from a website, ask your client for a testimonial, and if you can feature them in a case study.
It’s also a good idea to create reports of threats that were thwarted with products you have sold, and use that to convince current customers to keep coming back. Being able to prove you are delivering on your promises helps customers justify their purchase of your products, and can be the difference between recurring revenue, and customer churn. We hope this guide for selling security to SMBs has encouraged you to start thinking about your own product offerings, and what you can do to increase revenues in your own cybersecurity company. Want help selling cybersecurity to your current and prospective customers? Consider partnering with SiteLock. We’ll help you understand the best methods for how to sell cybersecurity, and improve your bottom line. Click here to learn about our channel partner program