How are presales changing in the cyber-security industry?

How is cyber-security presales changing as we look towards 2023?

Episode Description

Whilst the Cyber-security presales industry still has catching up to do, the conversation as we head into 2023 is moving away from cold calling and generic presentations, towards true buyer enablement. With these new methods, Damian also sees more demand generation activities coming into focus for presales and understanding the value they bring. “It’s about showing them what kind of outcomes you can achieve”.

Podcast Transcription

Mark: Welcome back to another episode of the “Burning Presales Podcast.” I’m joined here today by Damian Thommasino. Welcome. It’s great to have you on. Tell me, what’s the security software and cybersecurity industry like with presales today in 2022? And where do you think it’s gonna go for 2023?

Damian: Yeah, so I think it still has a lot of catching up to do. I think we still value things in terms of, again, these metrics that were really built a long time ago. And we’re slowly shifting how we think about the conversation. You know, you also have a lot of the external factors like where the markets are today, and everybody pulling back budgets, so it complicates matters even more.

I think 2023 and beyond, I really see cybersecurity sales in general starting to move more towards enablement, and having conversations with buyers instead of traditional, you know, hard cold calling or hard selling. They have like the traditional, you know, pitch slap on LinkedIn where someone connects and messages you to buy right away. I think these tactics are really starting to die off as more and more buyers see the controls really in their hands.

Mark: And you see lots of large purchases being made today, far larger, where predominantly the research has been done online, and before they actually talk to people, how can you help people that you are not talking to?

Damian: Yeah. So, this is a really interesting crossover topic around demand generation, which, you know, traditionally is a marketing function, but actually, if you think about it, what we as pre-sales engineers are really doing is kind of a form of demand generation from writing content like blog posts, this podcast for example, right? Doing YouTube videos or going to conferences or presentations, all those different activities, they’re different types of media for sure, but it’s creating demand and content that your potential buyers will see, will consume, and start to become educated around.

And the more you can help them realize, hey, there is this problem, and there is a gap that many companies have, which statistics always help here, the easier it will be to have that conversation. And I’ll give you one of my favorite statistics. We have a deal that went from initial touchpoint, meaning they raised their hand and said, I want a demo, to signed contract in 17 days, which is unheard of in most industries, including cyber. And I’ll tell you, the secret to it is there was no secret. The person came in, well-educated, understanding the space really well, knew exactly what they needed, and understood what we offered and our value proposition. And we already had all the stakeholders educated internally. It’s why it closed so fast.

Mark: Wow. That must have been a really interesting conversation with them to learn what their journey was, post them doing it.

Damian: Right. Exactly. And it just, it makes it easier to have a conversation because they kind of already know what questions to ask, you know where to emphasize from a value perspective where you’re different, which is why knowing your story is so critical. And then having that conversation just to make sure everybody’s, you know, speaking the same language, and the value is aligned there. It’s really just a matter of showing them what kind of outcomes you can achieve.

Mark: Amazing. Thanks so much for coming on. Look forward to inviting you back to “Burning Presales Podcast” very soon.

Damian: Thanks for having me.