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CISOs Value Peer Advice Most on Cybersecurity Vendor Solutions

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CISOs in remote working

A research from Merritt Group stated that most CISOs value advice from their peers more than any source when shopping for cybersecurity vendor solutions.

The research report “Marketing & Selling To The CISO” revealed that 64% of CISOs admitted that their colleagues   are the primary source for information related to security products and vendors. 13% said they rely on the sources from conferences and events, 9% rely on industry analyst reports, and 8%  depend on vendor content including webcasts and podcasts.

Expectations from Vendors

The research also explained how vendors make a good business relationship or leave a bad impression on security leaders. Around 28% of CISOs surveyed said calls from uninformed sales  personnel minimize the chance of building a business deal. Around 34% CISOs said vendors that understand a company’s security requirements will succeed in making a deal.

Image Source: Merritt Group

CISOs expect vendors to research and understand the company’s unique security needs before making a sales/marketing call.   Around 34% of respondents admitted that they prefer product demos than marketing calls. 24% of CISOs said virtual and digital meetings are their preferred follow-up methods, 22% stated in-person meetings, and 13% of CISOs said emails and phone calls as preferred follow-ups.

“Today’s CISOs don’t want to be passive recipients of sales pitches. They want to discuss, evaluate, and continue to educate themselves. Among our survey respondents in 2020, the most popular settings for evaluating cybersecurity vendor solutions were roundtable events and dinners, which 38 percent of respondents ranked as their top choice. Much has changed since these results came in,” the report stated.

“COVID-19 has put a pause on most in-person events, requiring CISOs to find new ways to meet face-to-face. Roundtables and conferences have gone virtual. Webinar/s, which 15% of CISOs named as preferred ways of evaluating vendor solutions, have also become more widespread. However, if you’re going to plan a virtual event you need to make sure it will be worthwhile for the CISO. Organizations are planning more events than ever before and the quality is being impacted,” the report added.