How Pax8 can help you sell cybersecurity better

David Powell, VP of Sales Strategy, Pax8

There are a few typical responses that small- to medium-size business (SMB) clients give to their managed service provider (MSP) partners when MSPs try to sell cybersecurity solutions to them. Clients often think their businesses are “too small” to be the victim of an attack or are so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of threats and solutions that they freeze at the prospect of a conversation. All of these notions are compounded by SMBs’ limited budgets and resources, leaving some 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 trying to bring an end customer into the cybersecurity fold. As many service providers already know, SMBs are no 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 you overcome these challenges and sell cybersecurity solutions to your SMB clients effectively? There are several best practices to take into 2024 across education, customization, and improved operations.

Educate your clients about the importance and benefits of cybersecurity

One of the first steps to successfully selling cybersecurity is to educate your clients. This might seem obvious, but many SMBs are still in the dark about the importance of cybersecurity and the potential legal and financial consequences of their businesses being at risk.

  • Use your quarterly business review (QBR) to start the cybersecurity conversation by talking about what’s going on in the space, what the best practices are, and the common gaps and vulnerabilities you see in your clients’ environments.
  • Find relevant examples of cybercrime to share with your clients to illustrate the real-world impact of a cyberattack.
  • Explain that cybercrime is a matter of “when,” not “if.” It’s 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 your existing clients or industry peers who have implemented cybersecurity solutions and achieved positive results. Show your clients how cybersecurity solutions can help them improve their productivity, efficiency, reputation, customer satisfaction, and profitability.

Customize to fit your clients’ goals, and remember the basics

Another key step to selling cybersecurity solutions to your SMB clients is to customize your solutions to fit their needs and goals. Cybersecurity is not 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. Say you have a home, and after a string of recent burglaries in the neighborhood, you decide to buy a home security system with high-tech cameras and alarms. Sounds great, right? Sure, but now imagine that you still leave your front door unlocked or your windows wide open. All of that high-tech equipment can’t protect against the most basic of human errors; cybersecurity solutions offered by MSPs work in the same way. Ask your clients the value of what they are 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. But cybercriminals may have different motives and methods, and they may target SMBs for various reasons, such as ransom, data resale, identity theft, or sabotage.
  • Ask your 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 that they perceive as a low priority or a negative outcome. Therefore, you need to help your clients understand the return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) of cybersecurity solutions. Then, you can 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 their policies are 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.

Use the right tools and resources to support your sales process and deliver your solutions

A final step to sell cybersecurity solutions to your SMB clients is to use the right tools and resources to support your sales process and deliver your solutions. Cybersecurity is a dynamic and evolving field, and you need to stay on top of the latest trends and developments.

Some of the tools and resources you can use are:

  • A cloud commerce marketplace that can provide you with a comprehensive and integrated portfolio of cybersecurity solutions from leading vendors, and that can help you manage and optimize your cybersecurity business. A marketplace like Pax8 can help you access the best and most innovative cybersecurity solutions and provide you with the support and services you need to sell and deliver them to your clients.
  • A Center for Internet Security (CIS) control mapping tool that can help you assess your clients’ cybersecurity posture, identify their gaps and needs, and help you map your solutions to the best practices and standards in the industry. A CIS control mapping tool can help you provide your 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.
  • An invoice tool that can split IT from cybersecurity services and costs, helping you communicate and justify your value and pricing to your clients. This can help you show your clients the difference between your IT and cybersecurity offerings, and how each one contributes to their business success and satisfaction.


Cybersecurity is a vital and valuable solution for your SMB clients, and as an MSP, you have a unique opportunity and responsibility to help them protect their business and achieve their goals. By following these tips and best practices, you can sell cybersecurity solutions to your SMB clients more effectively and efficiently, and grow your cybersecurity business and reputation.

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