Selling an additional email service to the C-Suite

Paul Vallely

So, your executive has decided on Office 365 for their office productivity solution. They obviously see the benefits of cloud-based services. As a technical expert, however, you understand that Microsoft cannot guarantee complete reliability or security with its popular SaaS solution. Neither can the company commit to a fully compliant archive solution.

Smart technology strategists know that complementary email services can help to alleviate the risks involved with using a single service provider. Your job is to translate the technical issues into language that your business customers will understand. 

Long journeyDepending on your role, you may be selling to an external customer such as a user of managed services, or an internal customer such as a line manager or a senior executive. Here is how you can get them on board and help them to understand the need for a complementary email security solution for Office 365 that will make their business communications more reliable and secure.

Highlight the risks of a single point of failure

Your customer may need some education around the risks involved with a single point of failure. 

The reliability risk

Begin by directing them to some real-world examples of Office 365 outages. Sadly, there are many such instances to choose from

Then, ask them what it would mean for the entire organization to lose access to their email. How much potential business might slip away? How many customer communications could go unnoticed? How much productivity would employees stand to lose, as they reverted to telephone calls?

The security risk

Your customer signed off on an Office 365 solution with the understanding that it would help to prevent spam and viruses. What they may not realize is that a single solution will only go so far in stopping email-borne threats. Office 365’s main selling point is the simplicity of a fully managed, hosted Exchange service with other tools for group collaboration. Microsoft has never been known for its security, either for its operating system or for Exchange, and while it has improved its email security with Office 365, the threat environment is more dangerous than ever. There is great value in the addition of a specialized security solution.

The compliance risk

Your customer will often answer to other people responsible for meeting regulatory requirements. They should be prepared to admit to their compliance executive that circumstances may arise in which messages are not properly archived.  This could occur in the event of a problem with the email infrastructure, or even when a user leaves the company – since within Office 365, messages may simply be removed from the archive when an email account is removed.  Your customer may find that unacceptable, which leaves them in need of an alternative solution.

Sell a best-of-breed solution

Now is your chance to capitalize on that need. Fear is a great motivator, but highlighting the risk is not enough. You must also explain how a complementary best-of-breed service can help solve these issues. Convince the customer of the benefits inherent in a specialized complementary solution, such as LOGICnow’s MAX Mail service. These fall into a couple of key areas:

Anti-spam

A robust cloud-based email security service provides an additional layer of spam protection, with available message digests and other features to maximize the effectiveness of fine tuning the email filtering.

Security

Office 365 uses multiple antivirus engines, but history has shown that many viruses are able to escape the native detection within the service. Indeed, virus writers often test their malicious software against systems like Office 365 to try to circumvent them. By using a specialized add-on email security solution, your customer/company will improve their chances of detecting and neutralizing malware, minimizing the risk of a costly infection and security compromise.

Archiving

Help your customer understand the importance of truly redundant data storage. An independent, compliant email archiving solution allows companies to retain a record of their email communications using a separate infrastructure from their primary mail service, reducing the potential for a single point of failure in their email and archiving ecosystem.

Minimize the barrier to entry

You’ve highlighted the risks, and shown your customer a clear way to avoid them. Their next question will no doubt revolve around cost. Luckily, this is an easy sell because the long-term benefits of a complementary email service outweigh the short-term costs. 

Highlight the financial benefits of a cloud-based add-on, namely:

No capital expenditure

Spending more moneyCapex is a bitter pill for most business managers. By avoiding an investment in expensive hardware and software licenses, they can solidify their email service for a nominal increase in their monthly cloud service fees.

Easy implementation

You can implement this solution for your customer with little more than a simple change to some configuration files, meaning that there won’t be a learning curve for their employees. And there are little or no ongoing maintenance requirements or costs.

Reduced risks

The potential costs of email downtime, or of a security breach due to email-borne malware, are high.  For a very modest investment, you can significantly mitigate these risks and associated costs.

Just like any proficient salesperson, you’re listening to your customer, explaining the potential problems that they may face and how to resolve them, and then removing their objections. This is what effective but responsible sales looks like. Ultimately, you’re not just selling your customer additional reliability and security for their Office 365 service; you’re selling them peace of mind.