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Team Member Spotlight: Andrea Swaney


Team Member Spotlight: Andrea Swaney

Andrea Swaney, Director of Sales, has been at the helm of Signal Sciences’ sales team since before its public launch. Swaney has played a crucial role taking the company from stealth mode to a widely expanding brand. Under her leadership, the sales team has grown exponentially and the company has attracted customers from large enterprises to mid-market companies, including Under Armour, Yelp, Taser, Duo, etc., spanning several vertical industries.

Andrea is now on to the next step at Signal Sciences as she builds out inside sales and customer success programs. We sat down with Andrea to talk about her vision for the growth and development of the sales team at Signal Sciences.

SS: How do you plan to expand Signal Sciences’ customer reach with the development of your team?

AS: Web security at the speed of development is a message that’s resonating well with our target audience. Our sales team has excelled at finding relevant business initiatives to reference with security, development, and operations professionals so we can discuss opportunities. The inside team we’re building will increase the scale of whom we’re able to reach. This helps fill the pipeline of prospects for our sales executives, both in enterprise and mid-market, to focus on proving the value during the evaluation phase.

Customer success is the source of “seed” referrals, or prospects who come in by word of mouth. The customer success organization is the cornerstone for ongoing growth of any SaaS business, and for us, is responsible for making the product valuable within broader departments who are hungry for web application security data so they can find and remediate issues faster. Our customers are leaders in embracing devops and managing hybrid infrastructures, making them the go-to source for new technology and security measures for their peers. Happy customers — and we’ve had a number of vocal advocates on social media — also give us valuable ideas on product improvement. We’ll be growing this team and visiting more customers to better understand their use of the platform, and working with our product team based on the feedback we get to continue improving Signal Sciences.

SS: Everyone needs security. Are there any new markets you plan to target with the inside sales team?

AS: We’ve done well in industries where fears of latency have been forcing the hand of security professionals to dial down (or turn off) controls. The trade-off between performance and security at the web layer isn’t one that we believe companies need to take. We’ll continue building on our successes in the media, financial services, enterprise software (including security) and Internet sectors, in addition to e-commerce and travel.

SS: What “wins” have you experienced in your time at Signal Sciences?

AS: The overarching win that makes coming into work every day is the team we’ve built and the talent we continue to attract. Building the processes and equipping our sales team with the skills and tools to demonstrate value to our customers have resulted in repeatable success that has enabled us to grow as quickly as we have, with some of the largest and most respected brands out there. The culture of our sales team is one of collaboration and team learning, which allows each individual to constantly hone and develop his or her skills no matter how much experience they bring to Signal Sciences.

In addition to a positive and collaborative sales culture, we’ve maintained a strong partnership with the technology (product and engineering) team, which has been critical to our ability to ramp quickly. We meet regularly to prioritize customer-impacting issues and enhancements, which ensures we’re aligned on both short term and long term strategies.

Finally, a good team culture has been reflected in stories I hear from our customers about how they really appreciate and enjoy working with our sales team in the pre-sales process, not something you hear every day from security and devops folks. One customer told me, “You’re the only vendor I actually look forward to talking to.” This assures me we’re on the right path.

SS: What do you think Signal Sciences’ role is in bringing application security to the modern era? And how will that grow as we target new companies?

AS: It is hardly a new message that web security must scale with the speed of development as businesses continue shifting more to devops and cloud. There are some great companies delivering products to provide “security at devops speed” in the pre-production SDLC, but there’s been a huge gap in production coverage — I mentioned the latency problem as one reason above. We’ve seen that ability to scale coverage in production (this means any cloud, any platform, any app language) speeds up the ability for security and engineering teams to identify attacks and fix targeted vulnerabilities not just in traditional web attack vectors, but also application DoS, bots and sensitive business logic. Just as enterprises rely on their application performance monitoring tools to ensure production speed and reliability, they need to understand the security profile of their web applications at any given time. Rather than spending time retrofitting legacy solutions to a job they weren’t designed for, our pragmatic approach and democratization of production web data is helping to fuel modern enterprises’ defensive measures on their ever-growing web footprints.

The Signal Sciences WPP protects modern applications, microservices and APIs from real attack and threat scenarios, and can be deployed in any infrastructure and technology stack.

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