We’ve been talking about making security a priority in the strategy of all businesses. However, this is easier said than done. Security is usually often considered as something that is performed and executed outside of a strategic business plan. Security teams (if any) aren’t usually involved in business decisions taken by the management. Instead, they are more focused on threat mitigation, detection and resolution. It is hard for a business to have a solid strategy for growth especially if growth is determined by how secure your business is.
Security is also seen as an expense in place of a necessity because it is often perceived as a prevention activity as opposed to a growth tool. This undervalues the impact security can really make in the success of your business during a sales pitch. Your job as a CISO or CSO doesn't end at just data, security or infrastructure. There's a much larger role you have and that is the need to carve out for your business a story with a strong case in understanding security norms. One of the primary reasons is to be able to demonstrate your strategy in defending all your company's assets which include the ever so important sensitive customer information.
Your security story is the sum of all the ways your company defends assets, meets compliance and market criteria, implementing the right technologies that keep these said valuable assets safe.
Building a cybersecurity story is a group effort. You need to work with multiple departments of your company to be able to come up with a convincing story on how security affects sales cycles, revenue generation, operations and more. Your story also needs to be altered to cater to different stakeholders. For example, when you sell to businesses outside of your country of origin, you need to be able to understand local security norms. When regional security compliance is a part of your security strategy and in turn, if your business adopts security into their strategy, your sales team has an easier pathway into foreign markets selling your product or services.
Here are a few other examples of how you can build your cybersecurity story around the stakeholder you are talking with:
#1. Industry-specific stakeholders: We spoke about how incorporating regional specific compliances in your security strategy can have a significant impact on your sales efforts in foreign markets. Similarly, we have industry security compliances like HIPAA which are security compliances followed by healthcare institutions globally. If your business is selling to healthcare, then it will make your sales team's work much easier to have a convincing story around HIPAA compliance. This also helps reduce sales closure cycles drastically.
#2. Business Operations - Incorporating a sales security story in your pitch has a major impact on sales operations. Good security has a significant impact on the supply chain of a business, gives way to new market opportunities, shortens sales cycles, increases trust in the inflow and outflow of data. All of this ensures that your sales team isn't stuck anywhere with concerns from prospects on how their data and assets will be protected. It was easy to get by using a pitch with a cost advantage, unique differentiator and you know, all that glam but in today's world, it is imperative that you have a solid security story to tell your prospects or it's going to be really hard for them to buy in on anything you are selling.
#3. Growing your information security function - When tasked as a CISO, CSO or even a security manager to grow the functions of information security, you have to make sure your management really understand your plea for a higher budget. You are never going to be convincing if your story doesn't have a direct impact on the business's costs or revenue. There are many great tools or products your team may want to use but if it does not fit into the security story or the strong tie into revenue generation, it becomes very hard for you to justify to your management.
There are plenty of other instances that contribute towards a convincing cybersecurity story that will help accelerate your sales initiatives. A solid security strategy helps give your sales efforts better access to foreign markets, reduce your sales cycles, builds your brand and reputation which all leads to revenue growth. We're not preaching that security professionals let go of what they do on a daily grind but what we do insist is to build cybersecurity stories that emphasize on proven case studies which have shown to help generate revenue. We also advise that security professionals fight to push security on top of the management's priority in the larger business strategy.
Remember if you do not have a security story that doesn't lead to the clear articulation of revenue generation and significant business development benefits, you're not doing it right! Appknox has been instrumental in the creation of security stories for over 100+ businesses globally. Get in touch with us to see how we can help you build security stories that WIN!