How a cybersecurity firm crafted their POV to challenge the status quo and teach for differentiation

Loyal listeners of the ABM Done Right Podcast know that Personal ABM believes that ABM and the Challenger Sale go hand-in-hand as ABM is not about sourcing the pipeline. It’s about how we are going to win with those tier 1 accounts that do not respond to campaigns. It’s about accelerating stuck accounts to revenue and how we are going to get a higher deal size and then expand accounts. This requires sales, marketing, and customer success teams to tailor for relevance, teach for differentiation and come to each interaction with a point of view about our future and existing customers’ businesses so we can reframe them. This is especially important in industries like cybersecurity, employee engagement, and others where enterprises have already invested – and have used their platforms for 10+ years.

However, as we mentioned in previous podcasts, sales and marketing teams are unable to come to a POV about their prospects’ businesses as they do not have a strong POV about their business.  How these teams are positioning themselves and differentiating themselves — and the positions they take are off.  This is why Eric Gruber (Personal ABM) CEO and branding expert David Brier talks about the foundation that companies need to build before they can effectively execute ABM. David has been branding tech companies for 44+ years. He created the branding for KnowB4 and has generated an excess of $7B in revenue for tech clients around the world.

Along with providing their insights, you’ll hear how a cybersecurity firm recrafted their POV and story to challenge the status quo and to teach to differentiate against all of the other competitors in this crowded space. You’ll see why the rebranding won — and how the cybersecurity company is taking market share from competitors.

Here Are the Key Takeaways From This ABM Done Right Podcast Conversation Between Eric Gruber and David Brier:

  • Even marketing experts are not getting the POV right. For example, Sangram Vajre posted on LinkedIn that your Point of View is your strategy. He mentioned how he met with the founders of Cooleaf and how they asked him to help them think of a PoV to help them succinctly tell their purpose more than what they do as a product. He talked about how they anchored on a problem/enemy – “The Great Recession.” They knew the product created more excited, loyal employees. They created a PoV calling it “The Great Retention” So there they go: now they have a website, manifesto, podcast, and even awards for companies that want to have great retention. But, they don’t have a POV. They have what Bruce Scheer calls a “big idea” theme that they also needed. A POV is your position, your stance that challenges competitors and the status quo. The “Great Retention” doesn’t help create a category, as Christopher Lochhead advises. It doesn’t help you challenge status quo accounts to think differently and make them want to move forward. It doesn’t guide messaging and Challenger conversations that are focused on “teaching for differentiation.


  • Especially in the tech space, companies are differentiating by their specs. This is not a narrative that’s relevant and not a narrative that will help you compete against the status quo or your competitors.


  • Companies need to take a pulse and inventory of the white noise that they are going up against. Companies every day are solving their needs using some type of technology or platform. We need to understand the dialogue that everyone’s having and look for gaps and impacts otherwise, and we will inherit what the industry has already been talking about for 5,10, 15, and 20+ years. So, teams are inheriting the baggage.


  • GTM teams are not owning the narrative and take a stance. You’ll hear how a digital asset management company wanted to talk about omnichannel, but that’s not a POV. That’s a big idea theme. They weren’t owning the story on how Sitecore and Adobe’s solutions do not integrate well outside of their ecosystem and how competitors like Bynder are only solving a departmental pain point as they do not integrate the DAM into the enterprise – a key challenge as shown by Forrester and Gartner reports. They are not showing through stories how they are integrating the DAMs of their clients like Exxon and the impacts they have across the organization. They are not showing the integration gaps and impacts, and they are not aligning their stories with the strategic priorities of key accounts. They are practically inheriting the conversation that everyone else is having and just adding the buzzword of omnichannel.


  • It’s not about claims. If you are teaching to differentiate, then prospects themselves need to come to their own conclusion of how you are different – and they come to this conclusion through your POV, your narrative, and the stories you tell to restructure and recalibrate their thoughts and ideas. You’ll hear how a digital ad tech firm looking to penetrate the QSR market created deals by changing the conversation away from the “inherited baggage” of wasted ad spend that every other ad tech firm is echoing. By being redundant and using cliches, you have no choice but to compete on price.


  • We need to connect dots that others aren’t connecting. We need prospects to think differently about their situation, challenges, vision, and approach. In most cases, sales and marketing are not taking buyers and influencers to the point where they say, “wow! I didn’t think of that” or “ I didn’t think of it in that way before.” They’re not creating a-ha moments.


The Cybersecurity Case Study You Will Hear on This ABM Done Right Podcast

COMODO had a revolutionary patented technology with an unmatched track record for zero breaches, but it had “old baggage,” and it was pigeon-holed in a specific niche, one that would be hard to pivot from. They needed to reframe the entire brand from brand story to naming to messaging and the new design, and they wanted to convey a brand-new chapter not only in the company but for cybersecurity in its entirety. They wanted to distinguish the company from today’s detection and response solutions and to clearly separate the new brand from its previous category being an SSL company to being a new breed of cybersecurity.

In rebranding the company, David and the team uncovered some interesting facts:

  • Every cybersecurity company takes a detection and response approach – and if the software can’t detect the malware or ransomware, then it can’t do its job.
  • The actual money allocated for cybersecurity solutions keeps going up – and at the same time, cyber incidents are going up
  • 66% of organizations globally have had an incident (an actual threat) that has resulted in actual billions of dollars in losses.
  • In 1936, Alan Turing, the father of computing, wrote a paper that’s largely been ignored by cybersecurity companies (while being embraced by the perpetrators of malware and ransomware, a multi-billion dollar industry). Turing’s paper proved that a piece of malware would be able to lie dormant indefinitely on a system and no software could detect its presence as an algorithm cannot determine whether another algorithm has halted or not. It’s a mathematical impossibility. Today’s “detection and response” solutions ignore those facts.

It’s this information that helped COMODO’s technology separate itself from existing solutions by clearly stating what the entire industry is based on: “detection and response,” — which itself is core to the problem, not core to the solution. This insight led to creating technology capable of creating a “zero threat” environment plus one other important distinction as stated by CEO Ken Levine:

“Our founder, Melih Abdulhayoğlu, has had one simple goal of making the internet safe for everyone. This is a very different goal than the cybersecurity space, which currently seeks to ‘reduce threats.’ This is why we chose to rename, redefine, and rebrand COMODO to accurately reflect what’s possible when you challenge an existing standard that falls short of the real goal of making the internet safe for everyone.”

Comodo (not xcitium) created a new narrative that shows that every variation of today’s cybersecurity solutions that told us what was possible is based on a flawed premise. They now have a point of view and a stance that sales and marketing can come to each interaction with buyers and reframe their thoughts and ideas. They can show how their status quo detection and response approaches are impacting IT, operations, finance, and customers.

Here’s Another ABM Done Right Podcast That Will Help You Create a Stronger POV.

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