Cybersecurity Sales Jobs: 8 Skills to Help Sell Yourself as a Candidate

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field with a need for new professionals across all areas, including the sales of products and services. Sell yourself as a candidate for cybersecurity sales jobs with these eight skills.

[Featured Image] A professional meets and shakes hands with potential customers as part of her cybersecurity sales job.

In an increasingly technology-dependent world, it's no secret that cybersecurity jobs are on the rise. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that between 2022 and 2032, the need for cybersecurity professionals will grow at a rate of 32 percent, which is much faster than other industries [1].

This increase in technology and cyber crimes creates new demand for professionals who can help protect that technology, including cybersecurity sales. As a cybersecurity sales professional, you'll build relationships with organizations, get to know their needs and help match them with the products and services they require to continue secure operations. 

These jobs tend to be lucrative, too. According to ZipRecruiter, cybersecurity sales professionals specifically make an average annual salary of $122,890, and Glassdoor reports a base pay between $77,000 and $141,000 [2, 3]. To qualify for one of these jobs, you'll likely need to demonstrate a few skills that are useful in the profession. Take a closer look at some of these skills.

Essential skills needed for cybersecurity sales jobs

In many cybersecurity sales jobs, you may need a certain set of technical skills to succeed. Still, as with many sales jobs, your human skills can be as—if not more important—so that you can engage with clients and help keep your organization competitive with others in the cybersecurity market. Focusing on the following skills may help you get a job in the field.

1. Communication

Communication skills, including written, verbal, and presentation, are valuable for practically any industry involving human interaction, including sales and cybersecurity. In this role, you'll communicate with both colleagues and clients, but you may find that your clients don't share the same technical knowledge that you and your colleagues do. For this reason, you must learn how to communicate why someone needs your product or service in terms that they do understand.

2. Relationship building

One mistake many salespeople make is assuming that the work is just about selling products, but building relationships with clients is usually a much bigger part of the job. It would be best if you gained a client's trust before convincing them to buy your products and services, and that means asking questions, fully understanding their needs, taking an interest in them, and approaching clients as fellow human beings rather than statistics. Allow your personality to shine through when interacting with a client rather than focusing only on the product or service. It's also helpful to practice active listening. 

3. Time management and organization 

As a sales professional, you'll likely work with multiple clients at a time, so you'll want to learn how to manage your time so that you aren't working extra hours every week trying to fit them all into your schedule. This can also help you establish a positive work-life balance to avoid issues like burnout. One way to ensure you have good time management skills is to focus on being organized. Write important dates and information down on a planner, calendar, or app, and learn how to prioritize your tasks. 

4. Creative thinking

All sales jobs typically require some creative thinking. Each interaction you have with a client will be unique, so you'll have to devise ways to approach them individually. Working in cybersecurity also often means using your creative thinking skills to find ways to combat cyber threats and attacks. Sharpening your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills may help improve your creativity. When you run into an obstacle, you can think of new ways to handle it and successfully sell the right solution to the right client to meet their needs. 

5. Adaptability 

Adaptability is an important skill for cybersecurity professionals and sales professionals because both fields can be fast-paced. Your company will likely develop new products and services to sell, and you'll have to figure out the best way to sell them. You'll also encounter new clients with unique needs requiring you to change your approach. On top of this, your current clients' cybersecurity needs will change over time. Being prepared for a variety of possible situations and how to handle them can help you be successful.

6. Ability to target and manage a sales pipeline

Your sales pipeline represents the steps you make during the sales process, from generating leads to turning those leads into clients and closing the sale. As a sales professional, mastering this process is essential. Doing so can help you close sales quicker, perfect your ability to find leads, increase your overall productivity, and build a set of data that you can use to educate yourself for future sales. 

7. Resilience

In any sales job, you'll often hear the word "no." Not everyone needs or wants your products and services, so you must find a way to overcome rejection. Rather than take no for an answer, you may need to find a new way to engage with a client. If that doesn't work, you can learn how to move past a negative interaction by viewing the experience as a learning opportunity to develop your skills as a sales professional.  

8. Understanding of cybersecurity industry

The cybersecurity industry is vast and always evolving, so be prepared for a lifetime of research and learning. Understanding the industry can help you better understand your company's products and services, which, in turn, helps you sell them. It can also help you get to know your competition. Reading, networking, attending seminars and conferences, and taking courses can help you stay on top of the cybersecurity industry.  

How to launch your cybersecurity sales career  

Launching your cybersecurity sales career often requires more than developing your skills—you may need to pursue education and job experience. In fact, many employers look for candidates with specific education and experience before hiring a salesperson. Here are a few options to consider.  

Education and work experience 

Educational requirements for this role will vary by organization. Sometimes, you can qualify for a job without postsecondary education, especially if you have a year or more of sales experience. However, many organizations want someone with a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity or another area of tech, information technology, or network administration. Sometimes, a degree in business administration or related subjects, like finance, will suffice.  


Earning certifications in both cybersecurity and sales may help you demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers. Some common cybersecurity certifications include:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

  • CompTIA Security+

  • GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

Some common sales certifications include:  

  • Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)

  • Certified Professional Sales Associate (CPSA)

  • Certified Sales Development Representative (CSDR)

Getting started with Coursera 

As the need for cybersecurity grows, so does the demand for professionals like cybersecurity salespeople. Online courses can help you build and improve the skills you need for the job. On Coursera, you'll find many options offered by some of the leaders in these fields. Consider courses in cybersecurity, like Foundations of Cybersecurity offered by Google and Cybersecurity for Everyone offered by the University of Maryland, or courses in sales, like Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills offered by the University of Michigan and Sales Training for High Performing Teams Specialization offered by HubSpot Academy.  

Article sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Outlook Handbook: Information Security Analysts," Accessed March 14, 2024

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