Amy Abatangle-Why relationships matter in the sales process.


Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Amy Abatangle. Here’s that interview

About the interviewee

Amy Abatangle, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, at Untangle, Inc. A perpetual early adopter, Amy Abatangle taught herself HTML, web server administration and Unix in her “spare time” as a doctoral fellow in English and Comparative Literature and Theory at Columbia University in the early 1990s. Her website, “Life in a Beck Age”, was named as one of the Top 5 Music Websites by MTV Yahoo! unfURLed Best of the Music Web 1996. She parlayed her web development skills into pioneering roles in web marketing, e-commerce and sales operations at companies including Apple, Oracle, and VeriSign. Amy leads sales and marketing at Untangle, overseeing corporate marketing, product marketing and demand generation as well as driving sales through direct B2B e-commerce and 800 channel partners worldwide. She was recently named to CRN’s 2014 Women of the Channel.

Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.). 

Untangle makes an integrated suite of security software and appliances with enterprise-grade capabilities and consumer-oriented simplicity.

Untangle’s award-winning software is trusted by over 400,000 customers, protecting nearly 5 million people, their computers and networks.

Untangle is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California with 60 employees.

What type and size of companies do you have as clients?

Untangle began with a focus on the small-and-medium business segment that was often underserved by network and security companies focused either on the enterprise or consumer markets. Its NG Firewall product has been a leader in SMB for ten years.

Untangle has since extended its reach into larger organizations with its enterprise-ready Internet Content Control platform. IC Control brings a more focused feature set to larger customers who need a highly scalable solution.

Lastly, Untangle has merged with Total Defense to also address the consumer market. Total Defense offers endpoint security solutions to consumers to protect every device in the home, from PC to mobile devices.

What comes to mind when you see this topic?

In an age of mobile purchases and next-day delivery, buyers are more informed than ever before about what they want and can dictate how and when they want it delivered.

Sophisticated buyers won’t be swayed by the personal touch if the product itself doesn’t delight. No amount of relationship selling can overcome a poor product, especially in today’s world where every market is a buyer’s market. Relationships are made or broken based on first impressions; quality is the biggest driver.

What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?

Now more than ever, buyers are bombarded with offers, regardless of whether they are individual consumers or decision makers for business purchases. An unsolicited call or email is seen as an unwelcome intrusion rather than a personal touch.

Untangle recognized these market shifts early and changed the way it
created relationships with its customers. Rather than cold calls and email blasts, Untangle created a value-added “freemium” product that was unique in the marketplace.

While it may not be intuitive to offer “something for nothing”, Untangle’s decision to offer its free software firewall product made it unique in the security market and hit a sweet spot for IT buyers. It created a relationship in the most organic way possible – by providing value.

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