Cybersecurity Marketing

Savvy Success Strategies: How to Efficiently Scale Up Your Cybersecurity Marketing and Sales Efforts

Having worked with over 25 cybersecurity companies in various stages of growth on their cybersecurity marketing strategies, we’ve gleaned some best practices to help avoid common issues as you scale. While it may be tempting in the rapidly moving and congested cybersecurity market to immediately develop one-off programs based on the idea du jour or quickly ramp hiring in sales, believing this is the fastest path to increasing revenue. However, this approach, that feels ultra-entrepreneurial and agile has the potential to derail your growth goals in the long term. To reach the top you must first build a solid foundation.

Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

We’ve seen many startups so focused on the end game – whether that be seeking a rapid exit or achieving certain growth milestones – that they skip over some critical foundational elements that will pave the way for their cybersecurity marketingand sales efforts to be fruitful. Jumping ahead can actually be more costly and derail reaching the coveted end goal. Instead, investing the time and energy to establish the strategic direction will enable your teams to scale efficiently and adapt quickly to changing market demands, extremely valuable traits in an ever-evolving industry like cybersecurity.

Stop… Are you on solid ground? In the same way a house should be built on a solid foundation, so should your business.

At a high-level, activities to build this foundation may include a market assessment and target audience identification, key messaging development and differentiation, and the mechanisms and tactics by which you will reach your target customer. Uncovering these types of elements as part of your strategic roadmap will serve as the baseline for cybersecurity marketingand sales efforts and pay dividends. These efforts will also inform your hiring and budgeting decisions, increase ROI, and provide the ability to quickly adapt to changing market demands.

Some sample questions you may ask yourself during this stage:

  • Where do we fit in the cybersecurity ecosystem?
  • What are our competitors saying?
  • How can we differentiate to stand out?
  • What types of companies need our solution?
  • What roles will pay attention?
  • What is our best channel and integration strategy?

While this list is certainly not exhaustive, it highlights why it is vital for you to take the time to explore these types of questions. Focusing first on this essential baseline work will be time well spent to ensure your future success and growth and allow you to articulate the unique value of your solution – in the language of your target market – which to your sales team will mean $$$.

To maximize success, it is critical that marketing and sales are in lockstep from the get-go with dynamic and closed loop interaction, as this will set the stage for your teams to scale up efficiently and in unison. Far too many times we have seen disconnected sales and marketing functions that play the blame game to the detriment of the business. Mandate this crucial partnership into your culture and you will reap the rewards.

Scaling Up: Get these Right the First Time

While there are a lot of considerations when scaling up, over the years we have identified some key areas worth a little extra TLC. When done wrong they have long term implications, but when done right they can exponentially contribute to the bottom line.

  1. Targeting and the Ideal Customer– Probably the most important area to focus on as you must determine who you are selling toand what their pain points are so you can articulate your unique value. Tip –Don’t forget to learn from your current customer base and utilize the sales feedback loop with what they are hearing in the field so you can pivot your messaging and positioning as needed.
  2. Staffing– Make the right hires at the right time as adding staff to early or too quickly can be costly. Tip –Make sure to recognize that different skills sets may be needed at various stages of growth and outsource when appropriate.
  3. Budgeting – Industry benchmarks show B2B companies should be reinvesting between 6-12% into their marketing budget, and in some cases upwards of 20%. Tip –Be thoughtful where and how you are allocating those investments and be sure to keep your sales and marketing budgets separate.
  4. Infrastructure– The right tools and technology can enable both sales and marketing and provide efficiently and agility.Tip –Spend the time to establish sales and marketing processes before investing in technologies, and then implement the tools that best support those processes.
  5. Metrics– Measuring outcomes across sales and marketing are important to understand where to maximize ROI. Tip –Make sure marketing and sales work together to define the metrics and create a unified dashboard that they analyze together on a regular basis.

Investing in cybersecurity marketing strategiesand sales may seem like a daunting task, especially for organizations in the early growth phase. Careful consideration should be taken to build out these functions in the way that will best capitalize on spend and set you up for long term success. The benefits of outsourcing in areas such as marketing can mitigate your hiring risks and validate growth plans before making large investments on internal resources. It can also augment resource gaps that may not justify a full-time headcount or provide oversight on strategic initiatives such as market assessments or messaging development, where specialized experience is particularly useful. If you do decide to outsource, look for experts with specific experience in your industry for maximum results.

Want to learn more? Check out the webinar, Scale Up! Building Your Cybersecurity Sales & Marketing Machine