Security Market Validation for the Buyer and Seller

While everyone else talks about 2020 predictions and New Year’s resolutions, let’s start the year with some practical and useful information…

Are you heading to a security conference in 2020?  As a buyer, how do you evaluate the various security vendors to identify who you should consider as part of your security program?  As a seller, how do you differentiate your message to resonate with the buyer?  Let’s help both by defining the key elements of Security Market Validation.

Let’s start with Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and the “Why”.  Why them or why us?  Everything starts with a problem.  Buyers have a problem they are trying to solve.  Security solutions have to be able to solve that problem, but they also need to differentiate their solution.  We’ll get to the second part of that statement in a minute.  The first alignment between buyer and seller has to be on the problem statement.  The seller needs to “tell their story, who they are, and why they do what they do” and it has to resonate with the buyer.  This requires three core elements to be articulated between buyer and seller: Problem, Point of View, and Category.  Here’s a quick example:


Security Market Validation for the Buyer and Seller


Once you have a connection on the “Why”, now we move on to the “How”.  This is where sellers need to “differentiate their approach and solutions over the competition.  They must do it Better or Differently to be considered a Leader in their Category”.  And these differentiators need to resonate with the buyer.  This requires two more core elements to be articulated to each buyer persona: Challenges and Differentiators.  Buyers should use these to evaluate sellers.  Here’s a quick example:


Security Market Validation for the Buyer and Seller


If we stay aligned on the “Why” and “How”, we move on to the final stage, the “What”.  What is the value?  Sellers need to realize customers buy Value, meaning their solutions have to provide Better Value in solving the Problem than their Competition.  And values must be Measurable.  This is one of the hardest areas for buyers and sellers to stay aligned.  Articulating value is difficult, but important.  This requires the last two core elements: Value and Power Position.  Here’s a quick example of how these core elements all come together:


Security Market Validation for the Buyer and Seller


If the seller can clearly articulate these elements, then the buyer can use them to evaluate the solution.  Security Market Validation happens when the both the buyer and seller agree on the Value offered by the Solution to solve a Problem.  Now you know why we spend so much time on helping our sponsors articulate and our audience understand Problem, Solution, and Value.

Happy conferencing in 2020!

Matt Alderman

Chief Product Officer at CyberSaint, start-up advisor, and wizard of entrepreneurship.

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