IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Selling Cybersecurity Even If You’re Not a Security Expert, Part 1: The Sales Process

Many providers believe that selling security is significantly harder than selling managed IT services. It’s not. By Erick Simpson

Security is the No. 1 concern of business owners today. This isn’t surprising given the number of hacks, breaches, data thefts, ransomware attacks, and privacy violations that we hear about on a daily basis. And those are just the ones we know about. According to the Online Trust Alliance’s (OTA) most recent Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report, cybersecurity incidents nearly doubled from about 82,000 in 2016 to 160,000 or so in 2017. But since so many breaches go unreported, the OTA notes that this number could easily be more than double that.

The necessity to thwart cybercriminals and protect critical business, financial, healthcare, and other data has created a tremendous opportunity for IT service providers to address this challenge while benefiting from a continually growing revenue stream.

In this series, I’ll dive deep into the topic of selling security services and cover essential topics such as the solutions available within different levels of security offerings; how to lead with security to prospect effectively and set appointments; and how to price, position, and sell these services, even if you’re not a security expert.

Cybersecurity Services Sales Process Overview

I’m beginning our journey with an overview of the sales process. You may ask, Why start here? Wouldn’t it make more sense to describe what security services are; then move on to how to select, bundle, and price these services; and then describe how to sell them?

Maybe. But here’s a really good reason why I’m going to buck convention: This isn’t a new topic. In fact, I’ve been talking about security for years now, and why IT providers need to jump in with both feet and take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. I’ve been fortunate enough to have built a career educating, training, and helping IT providers develop and grow MSP, cloud, and security practices. But guess what? There hasn’t been the stampede to adopt security that I expected. Not even a rush, or rapid walk—at least not with the partners I deal with. It’s almost like I’m forcing some of them to do something they don’t want to do. Why is this?

I believe the answer lies in the perception many providers have that selling security is significantly different (read: harder) than selling managed IT services or the cloud. Well, guess what? It’s not. Really. In fact, the opposite is true; it’s generally easier to set appointments and close security business than it is for just about any other technology service. I guarantee it. I’ve trained partners to do just that, and their outcomes support my position.

This is the reason I’m going to start this series with an overview of the sales and onboarding process and everyone’s role in it, in the hopes that once I’ve removed the mystery and FUD about selling security, I’ll inspire you to more objectively evaluate this significant opportunity … before your competition does.

About the Author

Erick Simpson's picture

A Technology Businesses and Channel Growth and Transformation Consultant | Business Process Improvement, M&A and Integration Expert

Co-Founder of one of the first "Pure Play" MSPs in the industry, and creator of the MSP Mastered™ Methodology for Managed Services business performance improvement and the Vendor Channel Maturity Level Index™ that identifies IT channel program maturation for strategic growth, Erick Simpson is a strategic technology business growth and transformation specialist. He is experienced in improving top and bottom-line business performance by increasing operational efficiencies, boosting marketing and lead generation outcomes, accelerating sales velocity, shortening sales cycles and maximizing service efficiencies.

With over 30 years of experience in the IT industry as an Enterprise CIO, MSP, Strategic Coach and Consultant, Erick is a Business Process Improvement Expert with hundreds of successful IT Solution Provider, MSP, Cloud and Security practice business improvement consulting engagement outcomes.

One of the most prolific, recognized and sought-after  business improvement and transformation experts, authors and speakers in the industry, Erick has contributed to numerous industry publications and spoken at hundreds of events.

His published works include "The Guide to a Successful Managed Services Practice"; the definitive book on Managed Services, “The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER!”, “The Best I.T. Service Delivery BOOK EVER!” and “The Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER!”, along with 50 Best Practice Guides.

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