How to Sell Data Security Software
Have you ever talked on the phone with a friend about a product, only to see an ad for it five minutes later? Do you ever wake up to nightmares of Mark Zuckerberg standing in front of your face when you open the shower curtain? Well, you’re not alone, many of us struggle with fears of data security, and we aren’t wrong in doing so.
However, if you are a data security professional for a company, then these sorts of fears may be plaguing your day from start to end. As cybercrime increases, data security becomes an increasing worry for companies, in fact, a study by Accenture found that the number of organisations reporting phishing and social engineering attacks increased 16% from 2018 to
2019. Moreover, the larger the company the more they care about data security. These facts mean that there is a high degree of opportunity for companies selling data security software. However, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, as, for data security products, sales cycles are longer, and more people are involved in the cycle, as human resources, as well as IT and data security departments, have a strong say in what software gets implemented. Moreover, it can be difficult to find the most relevant decision-maker. In addition, when you find the correct executive to contact, sticking to GDPR compliant methods is crucial as they may often be very alert to covert contact methods.
Concurrently, due to the technical complexity and continuous novelty of data security solutions, it can be difficult to condense that information in an understandable way for a relevant decision-maker that may not be fully versed in new tech. This makes sales outreach difficult when going to decision makers that aren’t specifically focused on data security, or are more used to older solutions.
Nevertheless, there are various best practices that can help salespeople to sell data security software which will be explored in this article.
Account for Differences in Knowledge
It is important to understand that many prospects may not understand their blind spots or data security weaknesses as well as you. Especially for companies that are not gigantic multinationals, they may not be aware of the potential impacts of a security breach. It is your role as a provider to eventually help them understand what possible risks and associated costs they may be facing. When engaging with prospects, it’s crucial to ask open-ended questions to really understand what they may be overlooking and what threats they aren’t preparing for seriously enough. Making them understand these critical points is an effective way to show how your solution will be an upgrade on whatever system they currently have in place. However, it is also important to not overwhelm a prospect with too extensive information, as it can also create a barrier between you and the client rather than a context of value-adding. Providing relevant information as the prospect slowly understands where it needs to bolster its security arsenal is a more productive approach.
Moreover, it is possible that certain decision makers or smaller level companies may not be aware of nor be impressed by specific technologies and the technicalities of how your solution works. It is important to keep the information relevant to the decision-maker in question and focus on the results of your software rather than the specifics of it works.
Manage Expectations Realistically
Due to the fact that malicious threats are always searching for new ways to break through data security barriers, its important that you manage your client’s expectations to not lead to disappointment. Rather than overpromising about perfect safety or instant problem solutions, it is better to focus your sales context on business risk.
Implement Account-Based Marketing
Due to the high amount of decision makers within a data security software sales cycle and its long duration, it is important to implement account-based marketing to keep track of the decision-making unit. This will ensure that the relationships and crucial prospects to target will be accurately mapped thus helping to personalise and improve your sales outreach. Thankfully, we’ve written this article on how to implement account-based marketing (luck you).
Keep a Focus on Education
Specifically, within data security, there is a high degree of misinformation or lack of information in general. No matter how high the quality of the security system a company implements, if the user is not apt at following proper procedure and understanding what types of threats they may encounter, then even your amazing software will fall short. It is therefore important to keep a continuous cycle of educating your prospects to avoid disappointment after a deal is closed and to ensure a long-lasting sales relationship. Moreover, if the client is not even aware of what threats they face, they won’t see the need for any additional software such as the one you may be selling.
Be Relevant and Strategic with your Outreach
Different decision makers within the same company may have different motivations for implementing additional data security software. For example, a human resources professional may have a much more micro and employee experience-oriented view of what data security can bring to their business, whereas a data security head may focus more on big-picture security concerns.
Use a Quantitative Approach
People love statistics, even if exactly 86.93258% of statistics are made up. However, having data to back up the efficacy of your solution can significantly increase the success of your sales approach. Although, while a large number of software companies struggle to put truthful KPI-based numbers behind their solutions, in cybersecurity there is a real opportunity to do this. Data security software can be measured in the amount of real data breaches that are affecting the business versus others, through security reviews or a clear roadmap of how the company security upgrades over time.
Due to the aforementioned emphasis on GDPR compliance often present with data security and IT professionals, it can be challenging to find appropriate channels with which to target these decision makers. However, social selling through networks such as Linkedin, presents a legitimate channel with which to engage with your desired prospects.