We completed our first day of security sales training, but more importantly, here’s an update on Bangalore pizza! On this trip I was happy to see that Marriott (my preferred hotel chain) finally has a hotel in Whitefield, just outside of Bangalore India. The last time I was here I wrote about the surprisingly great pizza at the Oberoi Hotel. I was disappointed to find that the Marriott does not have a pizza on their menu – however, when I showed up for breakfast yesterday, there was a pizza on the breakfast buffet! Notice the egg in the middle of this pizza…if you are looking for my expert opinion on this pizza, you’re out of luck – This is just a little too weird for me…so I opted for a picture instead. The crust looks pretty good for international pizza, but that’s as far as I can go. The good news is, the rest of the breakfast buffet was outstanding.
Our training session was a great experience for me. I love learning from sales teams around the world, hearing about their experiences and how different cultures approach the sales process. Last time I was here it seemed that the Indian run companies were not that interested in security – they felt like they had it covered and the threat was not that great. Things have changed. The tech business is going strong, and the level of security awareness is high. Our class focused on the systems engineer’s role in presales support…my goal here is to give them the tools they need to identify security opportunities emerging from their existing projects – mostly data center, VDI, and core infrastructure as well as mobility projects (BYOD).
The SE role is an important one – and with a little sales training, and some coaching on public speaking, this role can become a tremendous asset to the sales organization. And since most companies neglect giving their engineers this kind of training – those who do create a amazing competitive advantage.
The SE should be the bridge between highly complex technology and the business leader who doesn’t have time to wade through mounds of technical jargon. They need to make decisions. In a two day board meeting there might be 30 minutes on the agenda to review the company’s security posture. Most CIOs are not going to be able to accurately pull together the company’s position, provide accurate insights into the top threats, show how likely the company is to experience loss, and show whether the company’s security posture is trending up or down. IT most likely can’t provide this information either, in a format board members can consume. So who will be that bridge? It should be the presales systems engineer…
Over the next 12 months technology providers would be wise to add this skill set to their existing engineering group. It may make all the difference in the world.
© 2013, David Stelzl