E43 - How to Build The Highest-Valued CyberSecurity IPO ever with Mark Parrinello, SentinelOne

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly crucial part of any business. During the coronavirus pandemic, cybercrime shot up by 600%, and malware attacks are likely to keep increasing over the coming years. In 2021 alone, more individuals and organizations were subject to cyber attacks than any other year.

There is no perfect computer system, and each one will have its own set of vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals can find these vulnerabilities and exploit them for their own gain. Because of this, organizations need to implement robust security measures to protect their data and prevent their systems from getting compromised. Cybersecurity firms, like SentinelOne, can help individuals and businesses alike do just that.

Early this year, SentinelOne was publicly listed on the market and made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. This IPO gave the cybersecurity firm a market cap of over $10 billion, making SentinelOne the highest-valued cybersecurity firm, making the IPO one of the most successful ones to date.

On this episode of Sales Community’s Tech Sales Insights, David Nour and Randy Seidl interviewed Mark Parrinello, the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at SentinelOne to further explore how they were able to accomplish such a feat.

Mark Parrinello and SentinelOne

Parrinello started out as a door-to-door salesman back in 1992. His first sales job was selling copiers to Lanier, then he eventually made his way to EMC. He was able to secure his first sales leadership position back in 1999, and he has been a leader since. This, to him, was a special time in his life because this was what inspired him to lead and build teams.

Parrinello then worked at Kovarus, NetApp, Americas, and Cohesity. His stints at these tech companies helped him sharpen his skill as a sales leader, and he eventually made his way to SentinelOne. At the time of the IPO, he had already been with the company for over a year.

SentinelOne specializes in endpoint security. Their number one competitor is CrowdStrike, and they also have competing products with Cybereason, Symantec, Microsoft, and McAfee. Parrinello had been into storage prior to SentinelOne, but his interest in securing the digital space prompted him to go for a job in security.

At the time of Parrinello’s entry, the world was still shifting towards a more digital approach because of the pandemic. SentinelOne’s trajectory at the time was highly favorable towards digital transformation, especially because that was where it seemed the market was going. Despite some hesitation over Parrinello’s background, he was inducted into SentinelOne and has been a vital part of its scaling process over the last 18 months.

According to Parrinello, being a great leader requires a certain level of self-awareness. It also requires knowing the tech inside and out. SentinelOne, which is currently in scale mode, is focused on building its internal systems and teams and making them ready to scale. To scale, Parrinello says that there are three main things that need to be considered:

Go-to-market strategy Infrastructure Human capital, including the organizations’ sales teams and its leaders

Domain expertise is incredibly valuable in security sales, especially at the beginning stages. However, SentinelOne is now focused on looking for people who may not necessarily have a strong tech or security background but can grow into the company and have a knack for sales.

Finding the Right Talent for the Job

Parrinello says that they had to take a different approach in hiring talent during the pandemic. According to him, there is no one way that is right for recruiting talent into a company, especially since different strategies work for different people.

However, Parrinello does stress the importance of hiring e-staff who are aligned with the company, especially because cybersecurity is an expensive industry. The market is currently hot, and there are many individuals looking for a job in the field or related fields.

When bringing in managers, Parrinello points out how important that manager’s Rolodex is in getting hired. According to Parrinello, a manager is only as good as their Rolodex, especially since their organizations would want them to be responsible for hiring around 80% of the talent to grow the company.

Discovering the Right Approach and Adapting to Current Market Conditions

In a fast-scaling environment, such as SentinelOne, discipline is key. It takes discipline to effectively lead and run a company, and it takes discipline to effectively hire the right sales individuals. Sales enablement, according to Parrinello, is hugely important early on in the process, and it has been central to the way that he has been operating over the past few years.

Building an engine geared towards sales enablement and developing productivity charts that can be shown to the company board are two key functions that organizations need to establish. Through these, they discover strategies that work for them and lapses in their processes that they can then address and make better.

Apart from being excited about the tech world continuing to progress post-pandemic, Parrinello looks forward to going to movie theaters again. This activity is what he loves doing most during his downtime, which is an excellent outlet for someone who works in an incredibly fast-paced environment.

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