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Security: The Differentiator That Closes More Deals

Internet security

Edward GatelyWith cyberattacks regularly making global headlines, security should be top of mind for all businesses.

Whether it’s selling a phone systemWAN services or a new SaaS application, security should always be part of the conversation. During the Channel Partners Evolution concurrent education session titled, “Security Is Always Part of the Sell,” panelists will explain how to bake security into every standard offering, and then make the sale.

Andrew Pryfogle, Intelisys’ senior vice president of cloud transformation, will be the moderator. Joseph Cudby, senior director of Level 3 Communications Professional and Government Security Services – Global Security Services, and Michael Schmidtmann, owner of Trans4mers, will serve as panelists.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Pryfogle, Cudby and Schmidtmann share their insights on how including security is good for customers and great for your business.{ad}

Channel Partners: Can you give some examples of how you can add security to and make it an important part of any standard offering?

Pryfogle: Every customer is a prospect for security solutions because every customer is vulnerable. Simply asking the question about the customer’s security strategy can uncover how prepared or unprepared the customer is. It may be a simple cloud-based firewall, or it could be an advanced intrusion-detection solution.

Cudby: Simple example: Sell an Internet connection, add in a firewall on premises or in the cloud – sell a “secure pipe” instead.

Schmidtmann: I work with a large MSP in New York who serves the K-12 market. They required all salespeople to add security as a topic to all conversations and presentations. They were shocked how many customers had no idea they offered security, and were eager to talk with them about upcoming projects.

CP: Is including security in every standard offering easier than maybe a lot of people think?

Pryfogle: If you’re already having a voice or data or network conversation with them, security is a very natural and necessary add-on.

Cudby: As a network provider, it is pretty simple to add in some network-based security controls with every deal – see the example above – upsell to a secure pipe versus just a pipe.

Schmidtmann: The potential size and scope of security offers are …

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… virtually unlimited, so it’s important to feed customers new ideas and offers in bite-size doses; otherwise, the customer can feel overwhelmed. Start with incremental solutions and grow the business over time.

Channel Partners: Will adding security actually help you make the sale?

Pryfogle: A technology solution that doesn’t have a well-thought-out security strategy is inherently flawed; in fact, it may be the single thing that differentiates you from the competition. If the customer sees you are genuinely interested in their security posture and the potential threats to their business, and you come with solutions that can make a real difference, you’ll close more deals.

Cudby: Security decisions are often made in different places in the organization from a typical network purchase. Show that you understand customer requirements beyond a simple connection and you will engender a positive reputation in other areas. This leads to deeper relationships and more sales.

Schmidtmann: The more companies that serve an IT department, the more complicated it will get. If a customer can implement new security solutions from a current, trusted source, they’ll prefer to do that.


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