Over the last few years, the motion for selling SaaS Security products has undergone significant changes. Through numerous conversations with CISOs, I have gained valuable insights that I would like to share.
Currently, CISOs are very cautious about how much time they spend researching products, unlike five years ago. They are overwhelmed by the volume of information and are more likely to delegate the task of evaluating products to their technical staff.
In this context, it’s essential to consider the technical aspects of your product and communicate them effectively, as this will likely be the level at which your offering is evaluated. While some outliers may exist, most CISOs operate within this framework.
Ensure that your product is easily deployable to the client’s ecosystem
The solution should be easy to deploy while also considering how it fits within the client’s current infrastructure and portfolio, which can be a challenging aspect to tackle if your tool is specifically designed to be compatible with the client’s environment and allows for seamless integration without the need for a complete overhaul of existing processes. This, in turn, simplifies the adoption of the tool within the organization.
The best way to differentiate is to perform, not necessarily just only to message
Recently, there has been a surge of new innovations in the security industry, which is a positive development given the increasing focus on security. However, many of these new offerings tend to sound similar, making it challenging to differentiate between them.
Key factors to consider include how quickly the tool can deliver value and how few human resources it requires
Proof of value is critical, and if a tool can demonstrate its effectiveness quickly, it can then move towards a “land-and-expand” strategy for success. Ultimately, delivering on performance is the best way to differentiate and succeed in an increasingly crowded market.
Go in-depth and not in-breadth; stay ahead of the curve
Rather than focusing on a marginal advantage over competitors in terms of functionality, it’s crucial to prioritize the ability to demonstrate value quickly, particularly in the current landscape.
Once you have successfully established yourself within a given shop and demonstrated your worth, there may be an opportunity to displace an existing tool, although this is unlikely given the high number of entrants currently in the market.
However, this is a consideration that will become increasingly relevant over the next year or two and something that must be factored into the discussion.
As a service provider, it’s crucial to approach each client engagement with an open mindset that prioritizes flexibility and adaptability. You should always keep in mind that the initial plan you’ve laid out may not necessarily be the most effective or suitable solution for your client’s unique challenges and circumstances. Therefore, it’s crucial to remain receptive and attuned to your client’s evolving needs and expectations throughout the engagement.
This means being prepared to recalibrate your approach and modify your plan as necessary, even if it means deviating from your initial blueprint to deliver better results more efficiently. By prioritizing the client’s needs and being willing to make adjustments as required, you can foster a stronger, more productive relationship that positions you as a trusted advisor and valuable partner in your client’s success. Ultimately, maintaining a flexible and responsive mindset can help you deliver superior outcomes and ensure that your client’s needs are always at the forefront of your work.
What matters most is not what they claim to do but what they are actually able to deliver
The true test lies in what users discover during the course of their usage and evaluation of the tools.
Many tools seem to be trying to align with current buzzwords without necessarily delivering on their promised functionality in a truly effective manner. While they may appear to work on the surface, this is likely why there are so many contenders in the market. It’s not just in the DevOps or DevSecOps realms but across various security sectors, where numerous entrants make similar claims without necessarily fulfilling them.
The key to success lies in swift deployment, speedy time-to-value, and seamless integration with existing development workflows. The ability to smoothly assimilate into these processes is critical for achieving success, rather than simply making claims about superior technology.
Ultimately, what matters most is how efficiently and effectively the tool can be deployed and how soon tangible value can be realized.
This is how you are going to win, and don’t forget to have some fun along the way.
- CISOs in 2023: How to Deal with the “Elephant-In-The-Room” - April 7, 2023