The Ever-Changing Landscape of the IT Sales Market

When the IT sales market is ever-changing how can you stay ahead?

Senior IT sales recruiter, Tony Boyle, discusses his thoughts on the IT sales market

Are you still malleable? Are you stuck in your ways? Do you still have the thirst for knowledge? Are you still hungry to both earn and learn?

These traits are innate and difficult to overcome or counter act, yet these are some of the vital traits that are still questioned and asked for by Sales Leaders in our industry every single day.

Changes in the IT Sales Market

Five years ago, the majority of businesses in the IT infrastructure space were consistently recruiting. – from large players, like Computacenter and SCC, to fast-growing organisations who were gaining market share due to their agility and ability to execute, like ANS Group and Block Solutions.

We even specialised purely in infrastructure candidates in the North of England and every time a new job in that space came up we capitalised.

This was followed by the cloud boom. Everyone wanted to sell cloud. In the beginning it appeared nobody was really quite sure what that meant but very quickly this was broken down into different sectors; hosted applications, managed services, on-premise cloud, private cloud, data centre hosting, Saas, Iaas, Paas and so it started to become a bit clearer.

Businesses would have to have a larger initial outlay followed by a subscription model or a multi-year contract and their company would morph into something a bit more modern. No longer would they have to look after expensive on-site kit but they would change to a managed service by a technology company able to take the pain out of looking after business critical hardware and infrastructure. Clever sales people got their heads around this new way of selling and capitalised.

The Importance of IT Security and Application Software

If you were to ask what the two most buoyant areas were for ESP in 2015, they were two sectors that were seldom even mentioned back 5 years ago;

  • IT security (including cyber security) and
  • application software (analytics, BI, data management/warehousing)

These areas now reign supreme.

It was predicted by the industry and the results followed suit; security, cloud and analytics.

Two well-published security breeches during the last year had very different, yet sometimes comparable, consequences on people’s lives;

  • Back in November Talk Talk’s records were compromised. 157,000 records were made public and I for one received numerous calls from sales people at Talk Talk following that breach asking to discuss new roles as their credibility with customers, both as Account Managers and even worse New Business Developers, had been severely dented.
  • In July 2015 the Ashley Madison records were hacked and released to public. This breech severely affected people’s credibility with both their partners and their group of peers. Albeit to some people’s amusement.

Nearly every business you come across these days has some form of analytics or business intelligence. Anyone who has done a bit of online shopping or internet browsing will be greeted on webpages for weeks afterwards with click-through adverts reminding you of products you have previously viewed or sites wanting you to come back and buy.

I guess the point I’m making is that in an ever changing IT landscape people need to both be aware and have an open mind of how technology will evolve and develop. I have helped people over the years to transition from telecoms to infrastructure, infrastructure to software, telecoms to security, public sector to private sector, pre-sales to sales seamlessly and successfully.

The future of the IT Sales Market

A big movement now is towards the internet of things (IoT), what can our technology do for us and how can it improve our lives and make things easier. This could be the start of a new wave for recruitment over the coming years as businesses develop new products and services in that space.

As the recruitment industry evolves year by year, the most successful and easy to place candidates are the ones who are still willing to learn, try something new, look at varying opportunities with an open mind and still carry the enthusiasm for selling that they had at the start of their careers.

Hiring managers nowadays are a little more liberal than in the past when it comes to someone’s background and what they have sold. The crucial characteristics are someone’s attitude and their willingness to succeed and continue to learn & develop.

Continuing to advance yourself through personal learning, market awareness and new methods of selling is a valuable commodity. Articulate these as some of your core values during your career search and it will make you stand out massively from the competition.

About Tony Boyle 

Tony Boyle has worked at Enterprise Sales Personnel Ltd for over 4 years. He recruits senior IT sales professionals across both the software and services sectors.

Tony has recently also spearheaded the opening of a Pre-Sales division at ESP.

If you are looking for your next IT sales career move or would like Tony to help your business find an exceptional IT sales professional, contact him through LinkedIn or call 0161 446 4160.