Pax8 To Launch Cybersecurity Program Teaching MSPs To Have Risk Conversation
“‘There’s this wilderness of cybersecurity and all the partners are trying to figure out how to go from one side of the woods to the other of the woods. Pax8 can stand here with their arms crossed and watch them try to figure it out, or we can go down there and say, ‘Here’s the map to get to the other side,’” says Pax8’s David Powell on its upcoming cybersecurity program.
David Powell and Pax8 want to better teach MSPs how to sell cybersecurity.
“They seem to have a gap in their own sales motion around that and a lot of MSPs don’t have a programmatic approach to selling,” Powell, VP of sales strategy for Denver-based cloud distributor Pax8, told CRN. “There’s always been this theory of are salespeople born or made, and the answer is both. A lot of MSPs are a born seller but they don’t have a nice process to create a seller.”
He said many MSPs say that have a small batch of great sellers, out of a larger group, so Pax8 wants to be able to help them all be great sellers of cybersecurity with its upcoming cybersecurity program. The program is in beta right now and it’s set to be released to all Pax8 partners in early 2024.
“We are going to be extremely altruistic in that we are not going to be pushing products. It’s purely a how-to-improve-your-approach model,” he said. “There’s this wilderness of cybersecurity and all the partners are trying to figure out how to go from one side of the woods to the other of the woods. Pax8 can stand here with their arms crossed and watch them try to figure it out, or we can go down there and say, ‘Here’s the map to get to the other side.’”
And he said partners are hungry to get their hands on that map.
Jeffrey Newton, VP of sales and marketing at Omaha, Neb.-based RediTech, which is in beta testing for the cybersecurity program, said it’s “really on point” for where Pax8 is in the ecosystem.
“They came in as a disruptor and they have never really forgotten who they were, who they’re here to serve and how they’re here to serve,” Newton told CRN. “Something that so many MSPs struggle to get right is selling to begin with. Unless you unpack the why, you’ll never really see it.”
He said 90 percent of sales is order-taking, but to transform into a true sales professional, MSPs must abandon everything they know to reduce sales pressure and increase the knowledge that they have offer.
“The biggest help we brought back to our team is to get out and accelerate the conversations, acknowledge the elephant in the room up front and to have that risk conversation,” he said. “We knew what we needed to do, we knew that it needed to be done but now we can supplement the actions we’re taking with the details.”
As security incidents have happened to end customers, and will happen to others, Powell said MSPs must be knowledgeable, prepared and take reasonable measures for themselves and their customers.
“We really want to have this idea of empathy and inevitability,” he said. “Empathy because no one wants to deal with it. This is not a fun thing to do. But then also inevitability because if you don’t address this for your customers, somebody else will.”
And it’s a huge economic benefit to MSPs as it has a lower customer acquisition cost when selling to existing customers.
The program is free to partners but will have a criteria to enter in, such as making sure the MSP has the appropriate measures in place to secure their environment.
It will also have various consumption channels including a self-service model or a delivered approach through Pax8 Academy–Pax8’s coaching entity for MSPs.
“MSPs are used to having technological conversations, not risk conversations,” Powell said. “Cybersecurity is about risk, not about technology. How much risk are you willing to accept? How much risks are you willing to pay money to mitigate? What’s your risk profile? What’s your risk tolerance? It’s a little bit of an unnatural conversation for MSPs so we want to make that an easier conversation for them to have by giving them a script and a playbook to execute against.”
The program would kick off with a sales training aspect, like how to talk to the right person about the right cybersecurity measures, followed by enablement.
And during the beta rollout, Powell is finding that C-level executives are signing up multiple salespeople within their organizations for the training.
“We want anyone who is talking to the customer about cybersecurity to have this kind of knowledge,” he said.