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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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March 27, 2024 | David Powell

Selling Cybersecurity: How MSPs Can Become Crucial Partners in Managing Risk

MSPs should try to bring an end customer into the cybersecurity fold. Here are some ways to help drive that.

Owners of small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are no strangers to the concept of risk. They navigate a competitive landscape, regulations, economic conditions, and more.

But not all SMBs are confident in or even knowledgeable about assessing cybersecurity risk. MSPs can be crucial partners to SMBs by bringing technological skill and a strong dose of empathy to the conversation about cybersecurity solutions.

A recent report by Canalys noted that security spending in 2023 grew by 11.6% to $19 billion and is likely to grow in 2024. MSPs can successfully sell security to SMB clients by adopting best practices in education, customization, and operational improvements.

When an MSP brings up the topic of cybersecurity, SMB clients tend to respond in a few predictable ways. Some mistakenly believe their businesses are too insignificant to be targeted by cyberattacks. Others become overwhelmed by the volume of threats and solutions, leading them to avoid further discussion. Small businesses’ limited budgets and resources further compound their vulnerability.

It is essential to recognize that SMBs are equally susceptible to risks. And objections don’t have to be the final word for MSPs trying to bring an end customer into the cybersecurity fold.

Educate SMB Clients About the Importance and Benefits of Cybersecurity Solutions

To effectively sell security to their clients, MSPs must first educate their clients about the importance of cybersecurity and the potential risks. Try these conversation starters during quarterly business reviews:

David Powell of Pax8

David Powell

  • Discuss the current and ever-changing cybersecurity landscape, highlighting trends, best practices, and common vulnerabilities for SMBs.
  • Share local stories of cybersecurity incidents. This can be a good opener: “You know, we have seen these types of incidents happening to companies here in town with names you would recognize …”
  • Emphasize that cybercrime is not a matter of “if” but “when.”
  • Share success stories from clients or industry peers who have implemented cybersecurity solutions.
  • Bring empathy to the conversation. Every SMB has to start somewhere to learn about and implement protection. Even then, cybersecurity incidents can happen to anyone. There is no shame in the cybersecurity arena, and MSPs should deliver empathy along with their solution stack recommendations.

Customize to Fit Client Goals, and Remember the Basics

To effectively sell cybersecurity solutions to SMB clients, it’s crucial to tailor the solutions to their specific business needs and goals.

Here are some key considerations:

  • Security starts with a strong foundation. Think of it as a home security system. No matter how advanced the system is, it won’t be effective if the front door is left unlocked. MSPs must work with clients to identify their most critical assets and data, helping them understand the value of what they are protecting.
  • Understand clients’ budgetary constraints and available resources. They may hesitate to spend money on something they perceive as a low priority or with uncertain outcomes. MSPs can bridge this gap by highlighting the return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) of cybersecurity solutions. Offer flexible, scalable options that align with their needs and capabilities.
  • Discuss cyber insurance, as it is a hot topic in 2024. MSPs can guide SMBs through finding the right insurance policy and ensuring compliance with the associated requirements.

Tools and Resources to Support the Sales Process and Deliver Solutions

Cybersecurity is a dynamic and evolving field. MSPs must use the right tools and resources to support their sales process and deliver solutions.

  • Use a cloud commerce marketplace that can provide a comprehensive and integrated portfolio of cybersecurity solutions from leading vendors.
  • Use a Center for Internet Security (CIS) control mapping tool that can help assess an SMB’s cybersecurity posture, identify their gaps and needs, and help map solutions to industry standards.
  • Use an invoice tool to split IT from cybersecurity services and costs. The separation can help justify value and pricing to clients. It can also show clients the difference between IT and cybersecurity offerings, and how each contributes to their business success.

Cybersecurity is a vital solution for SMB clients, and MSPs have a unique opportunity and responsibility to help them protect their business.

David Powell is vice president of sales strategy for Pax8.

Image: DALL-E

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