A Day in the Life of Optiv Cyber Security Superheroes: Ben Walcker

Using His Teaching Skills to Break Down Siloes for Clients

 

Ben Walcker, Client Director

Upon graduating from college with a double major in education and history, Ben Walcker never imagined one day he would lead a team of sales professionals at a global cyber security solutions company. Shortly into his teaching career, his friend and mentor persuaded him to join the IT industry, arguing, “If you can explain the importance of education to a bunch of boisterous six graders, you can sell to anyone.” Inspired by the challenge, Ben accepted the dare and has managed to translate his teaching skills into an exciting sales career. Now, as client director for Optiv’s Mountain Midwest region in Minnesota, Ben guides and coaches his team to build successful security strategies that break down barriers within his client organizations. 

Be Proud of Your Contribution

Ben takes pride in his work at Optiv. He likes that he can help organizations stay out of the news for security reasons such as breaches or insider threats. “It’s just a phenomenal time to be in security,” he notes. His barometer for success is that he can tell his family and friends about what he does; they get excited about it and truly believe that he’s helping organizations protect themselves against ever changing threats in the world. “At the end of the day,” says Ben, “We give clients peace of mind that their organizations are safe.”

Be Proud of Your Team

What inspires Ben about his role at Optiv is his team and the work they do to build confidence for a more connected world. According to Ben, “We have our goals, we’ve got things we need to achieve on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. But we also know how to have fun.” Whether it’s just catching up after work, decompressing or attending client-facing events, Ben’s team enjoys these team-building activities. One annual event, fondly called “Phish-a-palooza,” finds the team along with 200 of their clients and vendor partners on the middle of a frozen lake in Minnesota in a 60x40 tent, listening to live music, fishing and networking. This year will mark the 10th year for the gathering, which has morphed into a widely popular networking and vendor charity event.  

Be Proud of Our Growth

As an Optiv sales professional, Ben likes the diverse nature of the challenges he faces, and the ability to build his knowledge base and immediately share it with a client. Ben noted, he could work for a vendor, but it would really just be that one product that he’d be selling. The exposure to clients at all levels, and manufacturers and vendors across the entire nation enables him to better understand what’s coming next. “At Optiv, we’ve got everything at our disposal. Services, product, advisory. So, it’s really helped me round out as a person, as well as a sales professional.”

Be Proud of Our Impact

According to Ben, there are not many organizations where sales reps become true trusted advisors to their clients. Ben tells us about a relationship with a large manufacturing company where his team established these bonds with their client right from the start. The company had a fractured internal relationship; security didn’t want to talk to networking, and vice versa, so it was a very uncomfortable situation. Using a dynamic approach, Ben and members of his team sat down with the client and didn’t try to sell them anything. They wanted to have a conversation and understand the client’s needs and the makeup of the entire organization. Through that collaborative process, they brought the two teams together to a point of mutual collaboration, and Ben says, “In a world where silos need to be broken down, it was very refreshing to see these teams start working together and understanding that they truly need to work closely together.”