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DCL Connects with…

Gideon Wilkins, VP of Sales & Marketing at Secure CloudLink

What was your first sales job?

I started out at Mercury Communications (part of cable & Wireless Group) back in the duopoly days.  I was an account manager in London covering WC2.  As a result, I had a lot of legal and media/modelling company’s in my patch.  Elite Premier (a model agency) was I believe my first good sale.

What technological advancements make your job easier now than it did when you first started?

Mobile phones.  My first one had a 12v battery the size of a motor bike one.  But I felt very cool at the time!

What makes your company better than your competitors?

Well for me it is that Secure Cloudlink Ltd took an existing problem (Identity Access Management) and rather than build on the previous (like everyone else), they came at the problem from a totally different approach.  Our patent is proof that we have a unique solution that removes the need to ever share a password (or even have one) ever again.

What will be the biggest challenges you will face in your job over the next 6 months?

We are a relatively new British software security company taking on the US based giants.  Building brand awareness is key. But we also would prefer to have British investors rather than go to the US.  But the UK investment market is rather risk adverse. So it is difficult.  But will try for a bit.

What are the biggest recruitment issues you are facing in your sector?

Just attracting the right talent and obviously being able to attract them away from the 800lb gorillas of the industry.  We also want people with flare, drive and can be winners regardless.  Those people are tough to find.

Which part of a CV do you like to look at first?

Last 3 roles.  What I want to see is ‘proof’ of what they did, how they made a difference.  How they drove an agenda to conclusion.  Too many people crumble in interviews when you dig into a ‘deal they one’ and you find out they were just a cog in an account team.  It the Captain I want.

What is the strangest question a candidate has asked you in an interview?

I can’t answer that one here.  But the second one was ‘are there free Doughnuts here?’

Top 3 excuses you have heard from sales people who fail to deliver?

1. It’s not my fault, the client changed his mind.
2. I didn’t know they needed that as well.
3. They would have signed, but he has no budget!

Are people leaving education equipped to succeed within this industry?

No.  we still have tradition subjects and exams.  My youngest child could type at 110 words/minute at 99.5% accuracy at the age of 10 according to his junior school certificate (he also hacked the school network and firewalls at 12).  But he was never taught programming or IT security skills in senior school.  He is going to University in September to do Media.

How is the skill shortage affecting your industry?

Cyber Security is going to explode.  We can’t benefit from the IoT and all these connected devises, applications and platforms without bad people wanting to ruin your day.  Keeping up with the bad guys a race OEM’s will struggle to do.  But 

What are you doing differently to ensure you attract the best talent?

We are small currently, we talk to a lot of people and seek referrals.  We believe in using our known contacts to help us identify talent we can engage now, or in the near future.

Why do you think people like to work for you?

It is a challenge.  It is also fun.  I have close to 28 years’ sales experience and I have worked for some great people and a few shockers!  I remembered the things I liked and wrote down the things I hated!  So I am honest, to the point and supportive.  

What do you think your customers say about you?

1. As a company, exciting, different, talented and sometimes challenging.
2. As an individual, lots of people have said nice things about me on LinkedIn over many years.  I appreciate every one of them.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

I get up at 05:30 every day.  Excitement of succeeding/fear of losing is what drives me in equal measure.

How do you switch off from work?

I am a sports junkie.  So I send to relax with a G&T and tune into the rugby, or golf or cricket.  

What was the last book you read?

The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly.  I read a lot of business related books looking for nuggets of wisdom.

What was your proudest achievement outside of work?

Corny, but I have a wife and 3 lovely children, who are all doing well.  I also put myself on the Board of Association of Alliance Professionals (UK&I) when I moved in Alliance and Strategic Partnerships a few years ago.  If you’re going to do something, do as well as you possible can!

What technology could you not live without?

The Internet I guess, but Sky TV is mighty close!

If you were prime minister for a day what law would you pass?

You must secure your digital identity.

Which 5 people would you invite to your “ultimate dinner party”?

Really tough as they would probably fall out. Assuming they need to be alive today:

1. Nelson Mandela
2. Bill gates
3. AlanTuring
4. Marilyn Monroe
5. Kylie

Who would you like to star in the film version of your life?

Leonardo DiCaprio

What talent do you posses that no one else knew until now?

I used to be a senior chorister in the Royal School of Church Music, but that was a very long time ago!