Useful Tips for Selling Cybersecurity: Channel Sales
Keeping customer information safe; that is a top priority for businesses. When selling cybersecurity products and services to prospective clients, the process starts with an approach that focuses on how very important security is to a business, and a knowledgeable salesperson who cares about the customer’s needs.
Cybersecurity is an ongoing concern—one that has offered a number of sales opportunities for IT security and hardware companies to bolster their increasing stream of revenue.
The Scare Factor and Creating a Marketing Plan
As with the ability to sell any item, it all starts with a marketing strategy—something to get customers interested in learning why they need this cybersecurity (or any kind of) product. While calling it a “scare” factor sounds callous, cybersecurity threats do pose very serious risks for businesses and providing solutions to counter these attacks means you are keeping your customers protected.
Here are some ideas on how to plant the seed.
- Cybersecurity Reports: Create and promote an easy-to-access cybersecurity report from your website or Facebook page, or one that can be emailed in cold calls. When would-be customers see that they can review their own plans for free, they may pay more serious attention to what you are offering. Promote the free cybersecurity checklist with a solid, attention grabbing headline, examples are: “How to Determine the Best Security Solutions for Your Business,” “Is Your Database at Risk?” and “Are You Absolutely Sure Your Customer Information Cannot Be Hacked?” Ask the questions in such a way that the would-be client is afraid not to look! Follow up these customer-accessed reports with an email or phone call to generate sales leads.
- Email Snippets and Newsletters: In an email, send out a short newsletter of useful cybersecurity tips for businesses and personal use. Depending on your client list, a weekly email may be OK, but a notification every two weeks or once monthly is a better way to keep people from automatically deleting the “junk.” (In other words, do not over-saturate). Within the mails, you can promote your product, of course!
Printed fliers and newsletters sent through the postal service continue to be very effective ways for communicating with people, especially when these tangible items are in one’s face. Newsletters provide subtle hints as they teach people the basics of Information Technology. You can “scare” your clients by providing information to help them solve potential problems.
- Business Reviews: Arrange to meet with your clients once every four months or twice a year to review their cybersecurity and Information Technology requirements. Personal, face-to-face interactions are prime opportunities to discuss the most current sources of malware, ransomware, phishing scams, and computer viruses. Personal service also lets your clients know that you’re paying attention to them, and in our social media world, these moments do not go unnoticed–word of mouth is everything. When cyber criminals attack, your clients will be happy to tell others in their field why they have not been hacked, and why your businesses is the best for keeping the bad guys away.
- Seminars and Webinars: Educational sessions are an effective way to generate useful leads. Invite the folks on your client list and ask for referrals, too. Send out cold call notifications for these sessions. A cybersecurity seminar takes some planning and the ability to talk, talk, talk … but sales people know how to do that, right? In a 90 minute or two-hour seminar, you can bring in guest speakers such as corporation leaders who can tell their own cyber horror stories (and how your company has solved them). Invite Information Technology specialists to explain the basics to seminar attendees.
Webinars may have the same outcome and for some people, they are more convenient. The plusses for webinars are that you can talk and sell to many people at once. Clients can access webinars at their own convenience. The overall business expense is less than what it would be to hold a seminar. However, the minuses for webinars are that you have no face-to-face contact with people who may prefer engagement and the ability to ask questions with their voice, not a keyboard. Webinars do not allow sales people to cultivate relationships. And, of course, there’s no food! Feeding your clients, even with something as simple as cake and punch, goes a long way in getting their attention and, ultimately, selling the cybersecurity or other product in your arsenal.
Choosing the Best Products
Finding and offering the best kinds of products for individual customers and their particular business requirements is the start to a successful cybersecurity campaign. Sales people who do their homework before making a pitch are more ahead of the game; determining what works best is a critical step. With hundreds of cybersecurity products available, knowing exactly what your customer base needs will help you to decide what to offer. Technology is complicated enough for the everyday computer user; companies that have predetermined knowledge about all aspects of cybersecurity will have an edge when selling these products to their own customers.
Most hardware resellers are now folding IT services into the mix, and cybersecurity is a huge market that shouldn’t be overlooked. When it comes to hardware, software and services – the number one rule in IT sales is to know your customer.
IT Xchange has been providing technology resellers with IT solutions for over 20 years. Contact us to learn more on how you can grow your margins.