In a matter of days, the way you prospect will change for the better. GDPR will go a long way to putting a lid on the average 227 emails a day that we receive. From 25th May 2018, the end of the unsolicited email blast will hopefully herald a new era of more creative and helpful sales strategies.
There are many articles on GDPR detailing the do’s and don’ts, but many small businesses are yet to feel prepared for the new regulation. This is why I have set out a few simple tips on how to win at new business in the post GDPR world.
Collecting data and seeking permission
Personal data is at the heart of how we prospect, and the upcoming regulation will change how we collect, store and process it and even how long it is retained for. Data comes in a variety of forms such as name, interests and phone numbers, all the kind of information that a sales team will store in their CRM system. It’s important that an audit of all data is undertaken, as it will help identify precisely what data is held. Seeking permission is also crucial, as sales people cannot hold customer or prospect data unless the customer has opted in and has shown ‘legitimate interest’.
Relationship building is key
GDPR offers a unique opportunity to forge new and lasting relationships rather than attempting to entice and move people, often reluctantly, down the next stage in the sales funnel. Your database will undoubtedly get smaller and it will constrict the top of the funnel, but GDPR will ensure that you are reaching the people who want to be engaged with and most importantly, are ready to buy – switching the demand generation process and pipeline from push to pull for more sales-qualified leads (SQLs). People do business with people they can trust, so being able to show that you are data compliant will build buy-in and enhance your reputation.
Increase your use of social media
With GDPR rapidly approaching, social media offers plenty of opportunities to make every conversation count. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn provide a ready-made audience – people who have already chosen to connect with you. This is crucial as businesses will still want to reach as many people as possible especially as your sales data will become more refined. So, ensuring that you have a bullet proof social media strategy in place as well as content that is constantly reviewed, refined and amplified will build trust, awareness and customer loyalty.
Give your prospects what they want
The new legislation makes sure that businesses undertake sales, marketing and business development activities in the right way. As GDPR requires opt-ins, this creates a clearer understanding of what the prospect wants, so businesses will know exactly what their customer is truly interested in receiving – gaining deeper insight into their preferences.
Personalisation may no longer be an option for even small businesses especially with top-funnel demand generation, as the regulation will transform your prospect’s or customer’s data into a greater number of specific personas. Gone are the days of repurposing or using one piece of engagement for all.
Prospects will naturally be more open to engagement since they have agreed to the contact in advance. So, businesses will have to form more varied engagement tactics, a greater selection of content for personas depending on the form of communication preferred and deploy a broader variety of channels to reach new-found audiences, to directly hit leads and goals to close new business.
The new regulation can prove daunting to some but remember: GDPR should not be viewed as a restriction to sales, it’s a huge opportunity to win new business. By complying with GDPR you will generate better quality leads and further qualify, nurture and convert prospects into opportunities. Remember, the key result of GDPR is that we must now truly put the customer first – it’s now time to focus on quality leads than quantity.
By Stephen Sacks, Founder, Funding Nav
Join our free-to-attend digital event, Last Thursday in Privacy, addressing data protection, privacy and security challenges including working from home, COVID-19, global regulations and more. Visit https://digital.privsec.info/.
We have been awarded the number 1 GDPR Blog in 2019 by Feedspot.