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December 8, 2023
Small-business clients often think their businesses are "too small" to be the victim of a cybersecurity attack, or they're so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of threats and solutions that they freeze at the prospect of a conversation.
These are some of the typical responses that small and medium-sized business clients give to their managed service provider partners when the topic of cybersecurity comes up. Small businesses' limited budgets and resources compound these responses, leaving some SMBs vulnerable to threats simply because they don't see another viable option.
But these objections don't have to be the final word for MSPs who are trying to bring an end customer into the cybersecurity fold.
As many service providers already know, SMBs aren't any less at risk due to their size. A recent Canalys report found that security spending "grew 11.6% year over year to $19 billion" in 2023 even as economic conditions remained a concern for many businesses.
So how can MSPs overcome these challenges and sell cybersecurity solutions to SMB clients effectively? There are several best practices to take into 2024 across education, customization and improved operations.
Educate SMB clients about the importance and benefits of cybersecurity solutions. This might seem obvious, but many SMBs are still in the dark about the importance of security and the potential legal and financial consequences of their businesses being at risk.
Use quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to start the cybersecurity conversation by talking about what's going on in the space, what are the best practices, and what are the common gaps and vulnerabilities in SMB environments. Explain that cybercrime is a matter of "when," not "if." Better to deal with it now and prepare for the worst, rather than wait until it is too late.
Use testimonials and case studies from existing clients or industry peers who have implemented cybersecurity solutions and achieved positive results. Show how cybersecurity solutions can help them improve their productivity, efficiency, reputation, customer satisfaction and profitability.
Customize solutions to fit SMB needs and goals — and remember the basics. Cybersecurity isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, and different SMBs may have different priorities, challenges and expectations.
Remember that all security starts with ensuring a strong foundation. Consider this analogy: A home with a home security system can't overcome the front door left unlocked or windows wide open. Cybersecurity solutions offered by MSPs work in the same way. MSPs can ask their clients the value of what they're trying to protect and help them identify their most critical assets and data. Most SMBs may not understand the value of their assets, or they may assume they aren't of enough value to be worth stealing.
Ask clients about their budget, resources and constraints, and help them find the best value and fit for their situation. Some SMBs may have limited funds and staff to invest in cybersecurity solutions, and they may be reluctant to spend money on something they perceive as a low priority or a negative outcome. Help clients understand the return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) of cybersecurity solutions and offer them flexible and scalable options that suit their needs and capabilities.
Discuss cyber insurance, which is likely to be one of the dominant topics for SMBs in 2024. Business owners need to be aware of the complexities involved in coverage before jumping into a plan. Premiums are rising and every insurance company — and its policies — is built differently. MSPs can fill a crucial role in offering SMBs the guidance they need not just to find an insurance policy but also to do the important work to be compliant with the requirements associated with the policy.
MSPs need to use the right tools and resources to support the sales process and deliver solutions. Cybersecurity is a dynamic and evolving field.
Use a cloud commerce marketplace that can provide a comprehensive and integrated portfolio of cybersecurity solutions from leading vendors, and that can help manage and optimize a cybersecurity business.
Use a Center for Internet Security (CIS) control mapping tool that can help assess an SMB's cybersecurity posture and identify their gaps and needs, and help map solutions to the best practices and industry standards. A CIS control mapping tool can help an MSP provide clients with a customized and tailored cybersecurity solution that meets their specific requirements and objectives, and that follows the guidelines and recommendations of the CIS.
Use an invoice tool that can split IT from cybersecurity services and costs, and that can help communicate and justify value and pricing to clients. This can help show clients the difference between IT and cybersecurity offerings, and how each one contributes to their business success and satisfaction.
Cybersecurity is a vital and valuable solution for SMB clients. MSPs have a unique opportunity and responsibility to help them protect their business and achieve their goals. MSPs can sell cybersecurity effectively and efficiently and grow their cybersecurity business and reputation.
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