With the pandemic impacting organizations everywhere, it is safe to say that the majority of businesses must work even harder to grow their customer base, accelerate sales cycles and increase revenue to get back on track. Unfortunately, many vendors (also known as third parties) face unforeseen obstacles selling new products and services. That’s because customers must assess the cybersecurity risk of working with a new vendor to ensure they comply with the company’s security policies, regulations and risk appetite. This often results in continuous back-and-forth with the vendor in order to sort out questionnaires and remediation requests, which can delay the entire sales process.
Luckily, there are now solutions available to automate third-party security risk evaluation and management, dramatically speed up third-party evaluation processes for companies evaluating new vendors, and decrease the sales cycle for vendors.
Sales cycles can either make or break business growth; the longer the sale cycle, the less likely a deal will close, with dire consequences on pipeline and revenue. When sales cycles are dragged out as a direct result of complicated cybersecurity risk assessments, business can be lost. That is why sales cycles need to be kept as short and efficient as possible. The best way to do this is to have an efficient cybersecurity assessment process in place.
Generally, vendors will experience several key challenges when undergoing security assessments. Security assessments can be a long and tedious process, take time and resources, lengthen the sales cycle and complicate business growth. For example, a vendor’s security team can tire of answering similar security questions and follow-up emails. They can lose track of the process. They are also likely to face pressure from their sales team to complete assessments as quickly as possible, which can have a negative impact on internal relationships in the organization. They also must respond to remediation requests from evaluators along with having to address inaccuracies. All of this takes a toll on security teams and their ability to protect the organization.
How can this be resolved?
Technology from third-party security management providers can simplify the sales processes and accelerate the business growth of vendors being evaluated by their customers. For example, by providing vendors with the ability to sign up to a platform, they can gain full visibility into their own security profile, allowing them to monitor for any security gaps and have complete control over their cybersecurity even prior to being assessed by potential customers.
In addition, some third-party security risk platforms provide vendors with the ability to build a security overview of their company and share it with potential clients early in the sales cycle. They can choose to include any security-related information, including self-assessment questions, certifications and compliance indicators. Becoming proactive and sharing the security overview even before being asked to complete a security questionnaire saves time and resources, helping companies speed up their sales process.
More importantly, vendors signing up to third-party security risk platforms are also able to view and manage all of their customers’ security remediation requests and questionnaires and oversee their security profile under one platform, enabling streamlined collaboration and communication as well as making it easy to prove their security posture.
Ultimately, security assessments no longer need to be a business blocker now that there are solutions available that put the power in vendors’ hands. The bottom line? Companies taking a proactive role in their customers’ security assessment process can speed up their sales cycle and accelerate business growth.