target$252 Million. That’s the toll so far for not hooking up the FireEye device.

Of course there’s more to this than their FireEye – a lack of detection! I’ve been writing about this since 2007, yet businesses still spend 80% of their budget on protection. There’s very little detection and almost no response.

This breach has been devastating for Target. $252 Million is cost so far according to The Wall Street Journal. Both the CIO and CEO have been replaced since the breach. And Forbes’ reports tie Target’s slow start in the Canadian market to this breach.

Today’s Wall Street Journal Headline reads,

“Target Nears Settlement With MasterCard Over Data Breach” (read it)

“Settlement of $20 million would reimburse banks for costs; talks with Visa continue”

It’s another reminder that Target allowed hackers to take 40 million credit card numbers from their customers last fall.”The $20 million covers costs that banks incurred to reissue credit cards and debit cards as a result of the breach, as well as some of the fraud that resulted from the exposure of customer information, these people said.” according to contributor Robin Sidel.  Note, this is just for Mastercard. Visa and others are still out there. The cost is big. And the merchant is paying.

The good news in this article is that, “other merchants are… upgrading their equipment ahead of an October deadline that will shift fraud liability from banks to merchants under certain circumstances.”

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But how should we view this? Target is one of the few that discovered the attack. Merchants, and really all businesses out there, are under fire. The problem is the same in just about every account – and that problem is, the leadership is unaware of just how risky business is without proper security. Executives are focusing on beating the competition, just as Target has had their focus on new markets and beating Wal*mart.

Gaining access the asset owners is more important than ever right now.  If you’re message isn’t being heard, it’s not because these companies don’t need security. It’s because the message is either missing the mark or being presented in the wrong place.  The need is there – let’s get the message right, and get it to the right people.  This is the time to be helping clients get their detection-response strategy in place. Next, you’ll want a way to manage this for them. Only the largest companies can manage their own security with 24/7 monitoring and predictive intelligence.

© 2015, David Stelzl

The New Data Center

The New Data Center

IT Spending Is Shrinking – The Cloud Is Growing

If you happen to be selling hardware to Amazon or Google, you’re probably in good shape. Especially if you sell storage. Cloud storage requirements are growing. IT spending isn’t.

Steve Norton, contributor for the Wall Street Journal published some figures last week from Gartner and others that should serve as a wake up call to you if you are a technology reseller – especially if you are selling to the small or mid-sized businesses.

Here’s What Gartner Predicts:

“Global IT spending will shrink 1.3% to $3.66 trillion in 2015 amid a strong U.S. dollar, slowing PC sales and a continued switch to software-as-a-service, research firm Gartner Inc.IT -0.72% said in its latest quarterly forecast.” They were calling for 2.4% growth. New predictions are negative. 1.3% might not sound like a big deal, but you can multiply that for small companies looking to cut costs. They’re likely to move to cloud services first. Forrester was calling for 80% of these companies to be in the cloud within 5 years, but the time is shorter now. In other words, expect it to be far less than 5 years.

Also from Gartner: “Microsoft killed the XP licenses, but people are still running XP,” Gartner analyst John Lovelock told CIO Journal. “PCs are plummeting, but there is still a desire to get some of that new functionality.” In other words, people are going to keep their old computers and run their apps from the cloud – Microsoft 365, Google Apps, etc.

Steve Norton’s Comments:

“Gartner noted a substantial reduction in their forecast for office suite spending, reflecting an uptick in adoption of cloud services like Microsoft Corp.’s Office 365″, says Steve Norton.

He also notes that “IT services spending is forecasted to shrink…this year, with the largest drop seen in implementation services.” Expect it to drop more than you think. With Microsoft moving more to the cloud, your support services will be in less demand.  Less infrastructure also means less installation. The smaller the business, the less likely it is that they’ll be adding servers or disk.

What About Managed Services?

This is clearly becoming a price war. Managed services is a commodity business right now, and it will get worse.  Many of the resellers I am working with tell me their prospects just want to know how much they charge per device. That’s a bad sign!  They are also being undercut with low prices from both very large providers and the guy who works out of his garage.

Security is Still In Play

The good news is, there’s still a strong market for technology. Amazon will certainly cash in on cloud services. Apple is killing it with the iPhone. But you can grow too if you’re selling something clients really need. Security demand will continue to grow. The more companies more to mobile devices and cloud apps, the less secure they’ll be. There’s also an opportunity to move upstream with compliance and assessment offerings. Firewall management is not what I’m talking about.

Consider services like hosting policy, ongoing assessments, event correlation services, and monitoring for breaches. The small business can’t afford the technology required to detect a breach, and they most certainly can’t staff a team of responders. Virtual CISO services are another great offering. People need help with their security strategy as they move toward digitization. The CISO function will become more important for smaller companies, yet still unaffordable.

© 2015, David Stelzl

P.S. Find out how to sell into the security market…. (Read More)

David Stelzl Presents with Aegify – Risk & Compliance Solutions / MSSP

In case you missed it – yesterday Aegify sponsored a one hour workshop for resellers…as the managed services market continues to commoditize, it is more important than ever to be building more security into your managed offerings.  The MSSP is a critical step in providing your clients with the security they need…it’s also going to be essential to your long term profitability.

If you have not yet read The House & The Cloud, you can get it free by joining the SVLC Insider’s Circle – Read more here:  (CLICK).

Also consider going through the Security Sales Mastery Program referenced in the video above…read more here (CLICK).

© David Stelzl, 2015

John SileoIdentity Theft is Misunderstood By Many Of Your Clients

Last Friday I had the opportunity to interview John Sileo, one of our nation’s foremost experts on Identity Theft.  This was part of the SVLC Insider’s Circle online events…if you’re an active member you have access to the entire interview posted on the membership site.

We gained some great insights through this interview. John gave us actionable information – ideas to take to small business owners, as well as those responsible for security in the larger accounts. ID theft is still the biggest problem. There’s lots of intellectual capital being taken, but ID Theft is bigger in terms of volume and likelihood for most of your accounts.

John Sileo revealed some issues you need to know…in summary:

1. Small businesses are liable for their bank accounts. If someone steals money out of your personal account, chances are your bank is going to cover that. They’ll take the hit! But of course we’ll all pay for it in banking fees. There are no free lunches.  But if a small business account gets drained, that small business owner is on his own!  Most small business owners have no idea…

2. It’s going to take over a year for the business owner to discover he’s been hacked. Most of them are waiting to see if something will go wrong. If they don’t see it, the assumption is everything’s okay. They need someone to show them. It’s stealth, and they won’t see it.

3. The assessment process is broken. John shared a story from his recent visit to Starbucks. While sipping on a latte he watched as a man left his system to visit the restroom.  John was able to film the entire thing, including the guy’s screen – which was open for everyone to see. He was a government contractor accessing confidential information through a secure VPN. That VPN session was open and accessible while he was powdering in nose in the men’s room! Assessments don’t find this kind of stuff, yet it’s happening every day.

4. John personally experienced the loss of his own business years ago. He shared how his technology reseller business was compromised when someone ravaged through a trash can outside his office. Using unshredded documents, perpetrators were able to convince the banks that they were  “John”. They took out loans and bought stuff using John’s identity. It took about three years to recover his name – but he still lost just about everything he owned, including his business.

5. In our interview he revealed that 60% of the ID Theft going on happens at the small business level.  50% of these companies will go out of business once they disclose the breach (which is something they most likely will have to do.)  If they don’t disclose it and the media gets word – the damage multiplies.

ID Theft is big. If you’re in the managed services business, you need to be in the security managed services business. This week, Aegify, a provider of security managed cloud offerings is hosting a session on Growing the Managed Services Business. I’ll be addressing how to add security, what security to add, and how to take it to the market to address the issues mentioned above.  Register here and join us:

Yes, I want to learn about selling MSSP services  << Get your seat here!

If you would like a copy of John’s session, I did record it. Anyone who joins the SVLC Insider’s Circle will get this program, plus my latest book on selling security…and several other bonuses worth over $500, free.  You can sign up right here:  Learn more about the SVLC Insider’s Circle  << CLICK.

© 2015, David Stelzl

death of a salesmanWhat’s Your Conversion on Cold Calling Prospects?

Ask your peers – the successful sales people are probably farming accounts they’ve had for years.  Others have a different strategy. No one wants to hear from a sales person they don’t know.

I’ve had several coaching calls this week with sales people who are either new with their company, or new in their role. Some are large company sales people calling on enterprise accounts, others are SMB resellers selling managed services. The story is the same. They’re making 100s of cold calls, with about a 1% return – converting to meetings.  Note, this is not a sale, just a meeting.

After you read this…I think you’ll want more details. So here’s an opportunity.  This month, on March 26th, 1:00 PM ET, I will be presenting more on how to build your technology business – sponsored by Ingram Micro….

Sign me up!  <<< It’s free to join this event, Ingram has made it possible. Keep reading, but make sure you have a seat.

They’re wasting their time.

Not only are cold-callers wasting time – their managers will soon give up on them. Even though they are the ones that assigned the task of cold calling. The misconception is, if you make enough calls and your message is good enough, you’ll get a meeting. From there you can show them value through the amazing features of your product, and make the sale. It’s wrong thinking – 90s thinking.

Death of the Salesman

I wrote an article years ago called, “Death of a Salesman” where I explained many of these concepts. Of course, I stole the title from Arthur Miller, but I did give him credit. Sales as we know it are over. You might still be making some headway, but don’t expect it to last. 80% of purchases today are made based on Google research. Most sales calls come after the product research. The research has been done, the shopper knows the street prices, and now they want a deal.  Google is taking over the function of presales consulting.  Google knows more than you or your presales engineer will ever know.

How do you know if I’m right? Look at your conversion rates. Are you converting more than 10% of your calls to meetings? I would be surprised if more than 20% of your calls lead to anything more than voice mail. I spoke to one guy this week who is reaching 30% of his audience, but still, only about 2% are converting to meetings. Another rep in the enterprise space can’t reach anyone meaningful.  Several of my calls were with people who have recently been handed lists – they know their primary contact is too low in the food chain, and they need a way to move up. But how?

A Radical Approach to Selling

Over the past 12 months I’ve been conducting workshops on a radical approach to sales. If you look at my sales concepts in detail, you’ll see they have a lot more to do with marketing than sales. David Merman Scott recently published an article supporting this idea – sales and marketing must merge. He’s right. That doesn’t mean the marketing department goes away. We still need meeting planners, data sheets produced, and marketing graphics.  But the marketing concepts are what drive new logo business. And sales people will need to master them, essentially becoming their own marketing department.Blog Subscribe Ad

Look at the big 4 – they are consultants…but behind it all, everyone is still in sales. They create business. No one wants to meet with another sales person. And no one wants to see your corporate presentation. But there are things you can do.

Marketing is a science. The science of how we think and what we respond to. Conversion depends on great marketing. Consulting is the art of helping one move from point A to point B – where Point B is the preferred state to be in.  Can you do that?  If you think the engineers are responsible for this and your job is to set appointments – you’re wrong.  You need both. You need the ability to attract new business through marketing, and the ability to help them solve a problem at the business level. This is consulting. This is why PWC wil continue to prosper long after the technology sales person is out of work.

Can you become this person?

The answer is yes. The university system would have us think we need to go back to school, get a new degree, and start over. The truth is you can make the jump by applying the concepts given in Napoleon Hill’s well known book, Think and Grow Rich. There are 17 things to do, but the bottom line is a passion to get there. From there it’s working hard to get there. Reading the right books, working with the right coach, and being willing to invest in the right tools.  Your company may not allow you to expense these things – what should you do? Look for the ROI. If you don’t you’ll lose. Spend your money wisely, but make the investment where you’ll get a strong return.  I spend my own money on coaching, books, and marketing tools every month. It’s paid off – it’s multiplied. I’ll continue to invest.

That’s right – there are tools. Learning to use LinkedIn as a marketing platform. Learning to write great copy. And then putting your new marketing brain to work – what would attract a new logo buyer?

One of my clients actually took my advice and wrote a book!  I have it right here – he sent it to me last week and I was amazed as I held it. There’s nothing more powerful than sending your book to a VP, and then following up with an email to…not sell them something, but talk about the book. From there the sale is easy.  But you don’t have to write the book. You could send someone else’s, but it must be profound, and you must have studied it in a way that brings new applications to benefit you new prospect. Writing a special report can be almost as powerful….from there, its a matter of finding ways to get your book or report to the right people. This is a whole lot easier than cold calling.

Marketing events are still the number one way to get business. The problem is, most are doing them wrong. This won’t lead to business, and will often leave you wondering if it’s worth the investment. You’ll need to spend more to do it right. You’ll need a great speaker – which you will have to pay for. But if you can land 20 new logos, as I did a week ago, your return will be obvious.

You will also find yourself needing auto-responders, your own personal blog, hard-copy sales letters, and landing pages. These are all marketing tools, and they work. But chances are, your marketing department won’t use them in a way that creates new leads for you. It’s up to you to figure out how to use them, and how to bring in new business.   I’ll give you more in the upcoming Ingram event – What I Learned About Sales While Working on Multi-Million Dollar Projects with PWC.

© 2015, David Stelzl

P.S. One thing I learned from PWC is how to price…resellers are losing margin every day simply by how they go about pricing….I’ll show you some strategies that are easy to apply later this month. Don’t forget to sign up.

Not only are they wasting time; their employers will soon give up on them.

dropboxHow should you approach the CIO?

Last week, while at the Boston lunch & learn I did with IOvations, I had the opportunity to engage with several CIOs over lunch (by the way, 89% of them signed up for an assessment.) I always take time to talk to executives when I can – it keeps me up to date on what they are thinking, what their concerns are, and more importantly, what they look for in a technology provider.

This one issue concerning Dropbox caught my attention – not only did one of the CIOs I met mention it, but the same issue was in the Wall Street Journal a few days later.  It’s the Dropbox approach to calling high.

I don’t like it.

In Clint Boulton’s WSJ article, CIOs See Employees Become Sales Vehicle for Unauthorized Cloud Services, he talks about the CIO’s reaction when Dropbox calls to sell them corporate licenses. According to the article, the reps are telling the CIO that they already have 300 people in the company using their free product in the cloud, so why not formalize it?  Apparently CIOs don’t like this approach.

The CIO I spoke to had the same reaction when Dropbox called on him.  He realizes that he has a problem, Dropbox won’t tell him who has the service (and they shouldn’t), but he’s unlikely to go with Dropbox – in fact he seemed annoyed by this approach.  Manipulated.

Be Your Own IT – The Future of IT Services

This is the future. End-users are going to be their own IT. CIOs have a challenge in front of them. The end-user has a job to do, and whatever apps or tools they can use to speed things up, they’re going to use. There’s no need to wait on IT. The problem is security. Using an unauthorized version of Dropbox will likely lead to end-users storing top-secret stuff in the a less secure place; the public cloud.  And since it’s not the corporate version, it won’t be centrally managed. And, when that employ leaves the company, who will have control of that data?  There are numerous issues here.

The point is, CIOs are not going to be happy about this.

So taking the Dropbox approach of, “Your people are already using my stuff, so why not formalize it,” doesn’t seem to sit well with the CIO who already feels like he’s lost control.

Regaining Control of IT.

What CIOs really need is a way to regain control.  It would be better to approach this with sympathy and some answers. “You have a lot of people using our cloud services.  This is probably not in line with your corporate policies. In fact, it may be a violation of federal regulations in your industry! So let’s see if we can figure out a better way to serve your company.”

The CIO may still not like it, but they need to feel like you’re on their side. After all, if data is compromised, the CISO and CIO are going to take the hit, not the end-user who signed up for Dropbox.  And the more cloud apps and tablets become the business tools of today, the less control the CIO is going to have. They can’t block this. We’ve seen this before with CIOs trying to restrict chat, SMS, and even Internet access itself.

In my Boston session I took this approach. I explained the importance of allowing Internet access…and promoting a high-tech approach that Millennials will embrace.  But I also shared the problems. I then provided some answers. That’s what the CIO, and the Small Business Leader need. Answers.

© 2015, David Stelzl

IMG_3007I’m often asked what books to read – but rarely asked how to read them…

Have you ever considered, how to read a book?

Following my Keynote at the BASF Sales meeting in Frankfurt Germany this week, I did an interactive session on Character; the importance of building character, and how to go about building your own character. I often ask sales groups, “Are you reading sales and marketing books?” Rarely do I find a group with more than 2 or 3 people actively reading. It’s a lost discipline.  Reading is central to building character.

Mark Twain once said, “The people you spend time with and the books you read determine who you will be five years from now.” That includes both character and skills.

Andrew Carnegie – From Failure to Success

In preparation for my session I was reading about Andrew Carnegie. At an early age he and his family emigrated to the US from Scotland. he was penniless.  By age 30 he had his own business in the steel industry, and by age 60 he was one of the wealthiest people in America. He donated millions to the New York Library, and founded what is now, JP Morgan.  William Thayer, in a book on character writes, “He had few school privileges, for at the early age of 14 he was compelled to quit school forever to earn his daily bread.” How did he become so wealthy? Thayer goes on, “He could read more or less every day…he was a thinker…he was never satisfied without knowing the reason of things.”

How to Read

Later in the book he talks about how to read.  Of course, most of us in business can read. Hopefully you can read this…but that’s not what he’s talking about.  In his section on reading he states, “Get a habit, a passion for reading; not flying from book to book, with the squeamish caprice of a literary epicure, but read systematically, closely, thoughtfully, analyzing every subject as you go along, and laying it up carefully and safely in your memory. It is only by this mode that your information will be at the same time extensive, accurate, and useful.”

How I Read

I started to apply these principles in college. Up until then, books sat unread on my shelf. And those  I did read, I didn’t retain. You would know that from some of my high school english lit. grades.  Today I read every day. I read on the plane, before going to sleep, and often in the morning as well. I also listen to audio books while exercising.

Highlighter in hand, I find that marking my books up helps me pick out the important stuff. I also create a cheat sheet of page numbers and important facts in the books I really care about (I make these note on one of the blank pages at the front of the book). If a book is not helpful, I quickly abandon it. I either sell it or toss it to create more landfill.  The ones that make the cut are on my shelf for future reference.

Video is great – but in many ways I think it has made us lazy. I enjoy watching a great movie. But looking back, it’s the books I’ve not only ready, but studied that have made significant impact on my life and my business.

© 2015, David Stelzl

P.S. Speaking of books, have you read the updated House & The Cloud?  Even if you have the old version, you’ll want to read this one. It’s a complete rewrite, designed to address today’s security market with cloud, BYOD, and the digital, connected generation of workers taking over business right now.

Get it on Amazon.…  << Click to visit Amazon.Com