Case Study

Cyber Security Company Learns to Prospect Better and Sell More

A picture of a man and a woman representing a cybersecurity company.


Company: Proofpoint is an enterprise security company that provides Software as a Service.
Vertical: Security software.

Challenge: Sales reps were not being able to generate enough opportunities due to not knowing how to properly find, connect and engage with IT leaders who seek new cybersecurity solutions to emerging threats.

Solution: Selling with LinkedIn® for Teams.

Results: Their sellers experienced an immediate impact on ARR which resulted in $1.4M in attributable closed-won deals vs. the costs and $7.3M in attributable sales pipeline in the first year alone.

Clients: Proofpoint serves more than half of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as top global banks, retailers, pharmaceutical companies, and research universities.


Proofpoint engages IT leaders and business leaders who perform extensive research on security software before engaging a sales rep and who expect personalized communication from sellers. Their sales team was still using traditional selling techniques that did not produce the results their sales leaders expected. For that reason, Proofpoint engaged Vengreso to deliver the Selling with LinkedIn® for Teams, a virtual instructor-led sales training program to teach their reps how to meet the demands of their modern buyer. Proofpoint received 12-month access to Vengreso’s On-Demand platform, which includes a 15-week training and coaching program with virtual live instruction, online learning and virtual live coaching sessions designed to change the mindset and the behavior of sales teams to create more sales conversations.

Key Results



Attributable open sales pipeline vs. the cost of the training.


Above average or better LinkedIn® acumen of sales reps after training.



Attributable closed won ARR vs. the cost of the training.


Learned how to prospect using LinkedIn®.


Had an opportunity to practice skills taught in training.


Learned how to connect and engage with prospective buyers and/ or clients.


Developed skills to make them more effective at their job.


Average SSI (Social Selling Index) Score Growth.

The Company

Proofpoint is an enterprise security company that provides Software as a Service and products for inbound email security, outbound data loss prevention, social media, mobile devices, digital risk, email encryption, electronic discovery, and email archiving. Their solutions stop 99% of attachment-based attacks. And every day, they detect and block advanced threats and compliance risks in more than 5 billion emails and 10 million cloud accounts. Their solutions are built on an advanced cloud platform that blends speed and innovation. They deploy, adapt and update faster than on-premises tools to keep their clients ahead of the latest threats. For example, a 360,000-user organization recently deployed their solutions in just 48 hours.

The Challenge

The Proofpoint leadership team acknowledged that their buyers are more likely to conduct independent research and engage sales reps later in the buying process. Proofpoint’s sellers aim to become trusted resources for their clients. They seek a long-term relationship with their clients to guide them through the potential cybersecurity risks and prepare them for the future, not just sell them a solution for the present. For that reason, they needed to update their selling techniques and adopt a modern sales approach to prospecting and engaging with customers. Their account executives and sales associates needed to learn how to connect with prospects earlier in the sales process to provide value and establish a relationship built on trust. The sales leaders recognized that social selling techniques would help sellers find, engage, and connect with modern buyers on digital platforms such as LinkedIn®.

of decision makers say they’re more likely to consider a brand’s products or services if a sales professional provides personalized communications. (LinkedIn®)


of decision makers look for an informative LinkedIn® profile when deciding whether to work with a sales professional. (LinkedIn®)

CSO Insights research indicates that companies with a social selling adoption rate of 76% or greater report a win rate of 61.5%. Companies with less than a 25% adoption rate express a win rate of 41.9%.

Ongoing Coaching
The Selling with LinkedIn® for Teams training was delivered through the Vengreso On-Demand platform, supplemented by live instruction and live group coaching across the span of 15 weeks.

Vengreso’s Selling with LinkedIn® for Teams

The course features one live launch call, six live instruction sessions, six live group coaching, and a live award ceremony over the span of 15 weeks.

Module 1:

Why You Need to Change Your Digital Sales Mindset

Module 2:

Get Off to a Fast Start by Building a Strong Foundation

Module 3:

Be More “Attractive” – Your LinkedIn® Profile Makeover

Module 4:

Learning to Engage by Finding the Right People

Module 5:

Why You Need to Change Your Digital Sales Mindset

Module 6:

Best Practices for Learning to Connect (Inbound)

Module 7:

Best Practices for Learning to Connect (Outbound)

Module 8:

Feeding your Network with Curated Content

Module 9:

Feeding your Network with Created Content

Ongoing Coaching:

The Selling with LinkedIn® for Teams training was delivered through the Vengreso on-demand platform, supplemented by live instruction and live group coaching across the span of 15 weeks.
of buyers agree or strongly agree that it’s important for a seller to have an informative LinkedIn® profile, and 60% say that reaching out via LinkedIn® impacts their thought process positively. Source: LinkedIn® 2020 State of Sales Report
I recently had a customer that I connected with through LinkedIn® by seeing he recently joined that organization. We talked about him coming on board and that he had used Proofpoint at a previous company. I had an opportunity with them for one of the solutions he used at his previous organization. His recommendation and his help with my justification allowed me to secure a 25K win on the last day of the quarter.
Account Executive, Proofpoint
Sending a personalized message has helped me not only to connect with my prospects, but also to start conversations and start working with them from there. This didn’t happen when I would just send a non-personalized invitation. I would connect with them, but starting a conversation wasn’t very fluid.
Kristian G. V.
Account Executive, Proofpoint

The Solution

Proofpoint invested in the Vengreso Selling with LinkedIn® training for their sales team of 168 participants across three groups comprising one Vice President, four Directors, two Senior Account Managers, 18 Sales Managers and 143 Account Managers. The goal of the training was to provide sellers and managers with modern selling skills to increase their pipeline of new business opportunities by equipping them with the skills to find more prospective clients and engage with existing clients to earn more referrals. The Selling with LinkedIn® Teams training was delivered through the Vengreso on Demand platform, along with virtual live instruction and virtual live group coaching across the span of 15 weeks. The program is designed for sellers to experience long-term retention of the new techniques through a mix of lecture, practice, and assessment process, which helps sellers recall information after the training is complete. The training teaches specific techniques sellers can apply immediately to their job, such as trigger events, the PVC Sales MethodologyTM, and a sales cadence, to consistently connect with prospects. It also includes customizable messaging templates to send to prospects for a warm introduction and to existing clients to earn more referrals. Combined, these techniques help sellers fill their pipeline.

The Results

Selling with LinkedIn® for Teams includes On Demand Training and Live Instructor-Led Training, which are reinforced by learners’ application of the concepts, and then followed by Live Coaching. This process delivered immediate and lasting results for the Proofpoint sales team. In fact, 96% of end-of-course survey respondents said the training provided an opportunity for them to practice the skills taught during the program. This reinforcement of techniques improved their LinkedIn® acumen, as before the course, only 14% of respondents said they had an above average or better knowledge of LinkedIn®. After the training, 84% felt their LinkedIn® acumen was above average or better. Additionally, the training produced a boost in confidence and behavior change that will lead to future success, indicated by the results sales staff achieved:

More Views

68% of sellers experienced an increase in LinkedIn® profile views. This trigger event, which is a starting point for conversations, means Proofpoint sellers gained more exposure with their target audience.

More Connections

40% of sellers received a response from a client or prospect on LinkedIn® as a result of the training. These sellers are focused on turning their online connections into offline sales conversations.

More Conversations

68% of sellers engaged with prospective buyers or clients through LinkedIn®, providing the foundation for more sales conversations. The next step is to take these conversations offline.

Additionally, 10% of sellers booked an appointment during the 15-week training program using the lessons learned in the training program. And, 36% gained a commitment to receive a referral introduction, using the referral introduction techniques taught in the program. Finally, the Vengreso program was so successful that Proofpoint attributed a 3,579% ROI to open pipeline within the first year compared to the cost of the program. They also reported a 683% return on the ROI of closed won versus the cost within just the first year alone. The results of closed won and open pipeline were staggering.

Future Considerations

On-going Coaching:
The training we delivered across the span of 15 weeks is a proven approach. On-going coaching is imperative to reinforce and support new skills by providing participants an opportunity for continuous learning, confidence building and behavior change.

Selling with Video for Teams:
Vengreso’s Selling with Video training program teaches sellers how to leverage video to create even deeper relationships with prospects and existing customers. The training includes a review of sales video technology, effective recording techniques and templates

Learn more about Selling with Video for Teams.

About Vengreso

Vengreso is a sales training firm that believes the modern buyer requires a modern seller. Our digital sales training and coaching helps B2B salespeople create more sales conversations with buyers through an omni-channel digital sales approach.