Sales cycles tend to run pretty smoothly for many SaaS organizations until they hit the security section. Even though cloud-based vendor security has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade or so, many organizations are still relying on one-off questionnaires and assessments when it comes time to partner with a new client or vendor.
The old process
For years, when InfoSec teams were still the gatekeepers of all security control information, all new security questionnaires and assessments were required for every single partnership. InfoSec resources were required to manually fill out these questionnaires, even though many were repetitive from vendor to vendor.
After these questionnaires were complete, the back-and-forth between InfoSec teams either via email or through meetings would extend the sales cycle as well. For as much preparation and proactiveness went into this process, sales cycles would be impacted as teams on both sides scrambled to gather information, respond promptly, and keep everything secure in transit.
Expedite the sales cycle
Today, however, modern InfoSec teams and sales departments are working together to expedite the sales cycle and not let security questionnaires become a roadblock in the process. As threats have become more sophisticated, vendor risk management has become even more critical over the last few years.
Here are a few ways your team can take your security questionnaire response process to the next level to avoid slowing down the sales process:
- Eliminate spreadsheets and static data sources:
If you are storing data in spreadsheets during the vendor risk management process, every single update will result in a new file with a new name, which can become confusing and lead to manual error. By housing your security questionnaire data online in a secure, cloud-based portal, anyone can access the most updated version at any time without having to re-name spreadsheets.
- Build once and share:
One of the biggest reasons the security overview becomes such a bottleneck in the sales process is that InfoSec members are asked to re-build and re-answer the same questionnaires over and over. Instead, InfoSec teams can answer all relevant questions once and easily share with vendors and prospects at the click of a button – eliminating these bottlenecks.
- Give your sales team the tools to succeed:
For too long, sales teams were utterly inept at discussing anything InfoSec or security control related because they didn’t have access to the information necessary to give informed responses. By educating your sales team, training them on your security controls, and prepping them to answer preliminary questions, your team can avoid being brought in to answer one-off security questions. Plus, as your larger team becomes more comfortable talking about your security controls your organization will start to garner a reputation in your industry as an InfoSec leader.
Want to learn more?
Whistic is the ultimate tool for InfoSec teams looking for new ways to streamline the vendor security questionnaire response process. You can learn more about the Whistic Security Profile and see how your team can eliminate security questionnaires here.