Key Changes in the UK Security Vendor Market 2017

Key Changes in the UK Security Vendor Market 2017

There has been a big influx of very similar solutions in the cyber security market – which is in turn confusing for customers as they struggle to understand exactly what they need and which is the best solution out of a number of seemingly indistinguishable prospects. This flooding of similar offerings from an increased number of competitors inevitably makes a product harder to sell because sales cycles are slowed down as customers want to look around at similar offerings for the best deal.

As a result, start-ups are attempting to provide something both cutting edge and new in order to try and avoid the complications above. However, bringing a new, bleeding edge product to the market is often met with its own unique problems. Even if your technology is truly innovative and effective, the market may not be ready for it. Enterprises may already have a budget for mature products such as firewalls, but they will not have a budget set aside for something they do not know about yet. It is not enough to have a revolutionary product. If you cannot spread the word about it – you will fail.

Therefore, salespeople have to evangelise and educate the market and their customers about a new product before they can think of trying to sell it. You are not just selling to anybody – you are converting the way they think about cyber security – they need to see your product as the future.

This requires a superior skillset, you don’t just need a sales person, you need someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of the ever changing security market who can educate before they begin to sell. Someone who can guide a customer through the minefield of offerings and illustrate that their product is spearheading the direction in which cyber security is going.

This combined ability to evangelise and sell is hard to come by, but increasingly in demand. The cyber security start-up landscape in the UK is booming. As a part of the Government’s strategy to support the UK as a cyber-hub, start-ups can now enter the market through early stage accelerator programmes like Cylon. This support, alongside a sevenfold increase in VC funding for cyber-security start-ups (Pitchbook), has led to digital technology becoming the fastest developing sector in the UK, growing 32 per cent faster than the rest of the UK economy.

The influx of start-ups creates higher demand for skilled salespeople with an evangelist edge – a demand that is hard to meet. People often talk about the technical skills gap, but as the market demands more of salespeople the search for start-up talent is also increasingly stretched. This limited candidate pool ‘has led to increased competition to attract new personnel to an organisation’, which in turn has driven up salaries. There has been an estimated increase of 20 per cent in start-up sales salaries within the last two years. This is particularly the case within enterprise sales positions where OTE’s have increased from an average of £160,000 to £180,000. The same is mirrored in pre-sales positions where base salaries have increased from an average of £75,000 to £90,000. This is a trend we predict will accelerate throughout 2017.

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