Sysdig is a SaaS platform, driving the secure DevOps movement. Their solutions empower organizations to confidently secure containers, Kubernetes and cloud data. With Sysdig, teams secure the build, detect and respond to threats, continuously validate cloud posture and compliance, and monitor performance. Hundreds of companies rely on Sysdig for container and cloud security and visibility.
Sysdig has a unique challenge: they are not just a startup with a new product offering, they are operating in a new market segment altogether. Container and cloud security is an emerging category required to secure new workloads as companies move to cloud native application development. Given that many firms are in the early days of this platform shift, many of Sysdig's economic buyers are not yet aware of the visibility and security problems they will need to solve.
Selling a product that represents a new way of doing business is a constant challenge. Sysdig’s solutions provide widely unknown business value in their market. It’s a common challenge with many groundbreaking high-tech companies. The solution just isn’t a line item in most buyer budgets. It also means that the technical conversation unintentionally dominates the sales process. Sysdig’s Chief Revenue Officer Keegan Riley saw sales teams missing the value-based justification for the business purchase.
"Customers wanted to get into demos and we went right into it," he said. "But, when it came time to do the deal, our sellers would say 'they love our tech' but there was no connection back to the business. They couldn’t outline a champion or a big business problem."
As a result, Sysdig was missing out on revenue and long-term business impact. Deals would linger and end in no decision. Customer-facing teams needed a way to sell to both the economic and technical buyers in a way that drove urgency. Riley aimed to improve Sysdig’s understanding of how buyers purchase their solutions, what a high-quality lead looks like and where the sales team should prioritize most of their time. Riley notes, "We needed to win more of the at-bats they had, and win higher quality at-bats."
Changing the mindset of the company, with a focus on sales message and qualification was needed to speed up sales cycles and improve business predictability and growth.
Sysdig’s leadership team set a focus on generating company-wide alignment on buyer value and solution differentiation. "A major factor in our success was shifting our focus," said Riley. Command of the Message® and MEDDPICC helped them generate consistent, company-wide alignment with their buyer and discipline around the customer engagement process.
"We've always put the customer at the center of everything that we've thought about. I genuinely believe that that's been true for the entirety of our growth, but I think what Command of the Message forced us to do was to step back and think about the customer's experience much more diligently," he said.
Sysdig’s leaders customized the Command of the Message framework and MEDDPICC tool to align with their sales approach, buyers and industry. Their sales team uses the frameworks to ensure they’re focusing on the right opportunities, uncovering the business pains and mapping them to Sysdig’s value and differentiation. Their front-line managers were given specific training and tools that they are now using to drive consistent execution and ongoing adoption.
"There are thousands of sales methodologies out there. The main reason I went with Force Management and Command of the Message is because Force treats it like a process, not an event. We had this initial intense training at our SKO, where we were fully immersed in the customized programs, but that wasn't the end of the journey. It was the beginning of the journey."
To support adoption and reinforcement, Sysdig’s sales team leverages the Command Center® as well as ongoing training and checkpoints. The impact has been significant. "Over twelve months, it's been a process that has helped us establish new habits in how we think about our engagement with our customers, both before and after the sale. That to me is the biggest difference in this engagement and what makes Force stand out."
Newfound discipline and alignment became a differentiator for Sysdig while they maneuvered through the COVID-19 Pandemic. While it became less feasible for their sales organization to schedule forecast calls in local time zones or to have QBRs where everybody flew in to review deals in person, standardization helped Sysdig maintain focus. "We had to start relying on Salesforce, on our CRM tools and on asynchronous communication about deals — Command of the Message and MEDDPICC gave us that common language and the frameworks to execute," said Riley.
"I didn't have to have a QBR with my teams in person to understand a customer’s business. I could just go to Salesforce and read the mantra about a deal and read the MEDDPICC identifiers and talk about the PBOs. It was beautiful. It was this common language that really enabled us to not miss a beat and remain very, very productive, even though we can't get together in person and everything is shut down."
Sysdig’s effort brought results throughout the entire organization, including:
Their refined customer engagement approach draws significant benefits for cross-functional departments. Putting the Customer Success team through the program has been key to improving post-initial-sale metrics, "Our net retention revenue and our gross retention revenue have skyrocketed over the last 12 months because we're better at making our customers successful at their projects because we understand their actual pain. It's not just, 'Hey, we've got this cool widget, you bought it. Good luck with that.'"
With reps closing better business, faster, and improving customer knowledge — their success is felt around the company. "The ROI is very clear," Riley said.