5 creative strategies for dealing with post-GDPR disruption to sales practices

5 creative strategies for dealing with post-GDPR disruption to sales practices

It’s a month since the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into force, and the fallout has been a recurring theme in meetings I’ve had with Artesian users and sales leaders ever since, most of whom are concerned with how to overcome the GDPR disruption to sales practices.

In the immediate aftermath of 25th May 2018 dozens of websites blocked EU users, choosing to block audiences rather than comply with the strict new privacy regulations.

Others of course took an opposite stance (flying directly in the face of GDPR) by flooding inboxes begging customers to remain on marketing lists.

Although I have to say, I was pretty impressed at the creativity displayed. Restaurant chain Wahaca asked users if they were still ‘taco about your data and your emails’, and the Content Marketing Association opted for the subject line ‘GDPRen’t you glad you’re on our mailing list’.

Of course our own marketing team were on fire as well, coming up with ‘GDPRmaggedon’, and our sales team delivered a compelling new take on the GDPR definition for sales professionals everywhere – Generating Deeper Profitable Relationships.

It’s exactly this kind of creativity that sales teams need to overcome the post-GDPR impact. Ultimately GDPR offers the chance for sellers to do what they actually do best – create targeted, relevant and timely strategies and campaigns for customers and prospects.

So let’s get creative and look at strategies for dealing with post-GDPR disruption to your sales practices

Get creative with prospecting

GDPR may seem intimidating on the surface, and it certainly prevents you from hanging on to old prospecting lists containing data that ‘might be useful at a later date’, or collecting ‘nice to have’ data that might be useful in the future.

In reality though, it hasn’t been designed to prevent you harnessing data to identify and reach out to prospects. Instead GDPR-complaint sales prospecting places a greater emphasis on you to think outside the box, put aside one-size fits all approaches, and start by putting the prospect first.

When it comes to GDPR prospecting activities, whatever form of outreach you use, it’s even more important than ever to demonstrate that you have a genuine reason – such as a commercial trigger or business insight – for contacting someone.  This is known as GDPR legitimate interest.

Getting creative with prospecting means taking the time to truly understand what’s important to each prospect, the challenges they face, and their goals and expectations.

Harnessing rich, real-time insights will ensure that when you reach out, and however you reach out, you’re doing it with pin-point relevance, timing, contextual awareness, and the certainty that you’re delivering value and products and services tailored to real needs.

Do this and you’ll quickly find prospecting disruption isn’t all that hard to overcome after all.

Get creative with customer engagement

Data is valuable customer engagement currency, and it may feel that post-GDPR that currency has been somewhat devalued. Likewise with the threat of significant fines for non-compliance, you can be forgiven for thinking that you can no longer engage with customers without their explicit permission.

GDPR wasn’t designed to damage or limit your ability to engage with customers, it was designed to ensure that personal data is better protected and better managed. The result is not negative, in fact as a result of GDPR you should have cleaner, richer and more valuable sales data.

However, relying on your own data, whilst it may be clean and compliant, hampers creativity by limiting the depth and range of insight you need at a time when customer intimacy and the delivery of top-notch customer experiences are very high on the agenda. We still work in an age where customer experience and hyper-personalisation rule – this hasn’t changed post-GDPR.

Successful creative post-GDPR customer engagement requires you to look further than your own backyard. Getting creative means harnessing the vast amount of valuable insight out there on the wider unstructured internet.

Enhance your ability to deliver personalised and creative customer engagements by constantly gathering and acting on insights from news reports, public financial and corporate information, social media and so on.

Those vital nuggets of insight that improve your real-time understanding of the customer and what’s driving them at any given moment for improved engagements i.e. those that are most relevant, most timely, and therefore those that will most well received.

Get creative with inbound strategies

When your database has shrunk and you’re grappling with consent, now is the time to get more creative with your inbound strategies as well as your outreach techniques.

You need to be creating content of value that will convince your customers and prospects to stay a little longer on your site or opt-in to continued marketing and sales efforts.

Improve GDPR inbound strategies and make yourself more attractive by harnessing the golden nuggets of insight to ensure you always having something new to talk about, that you’re sharing relevant content, and publishing thought-leadership posts.

Building campaigns based on richer data, gathered from a wide variety of sources, will result in improved performance – higher open rates, click-throughs, and high levels of engagement.

Get creative with improving sales behaviours

Measuring sales effectiveness is more important than ever post-GDPR.

You have a legitimate interest in examining the effectiveness of sales strategies and campaigns in order to understand what was successful, or what should be avoided in the future.

Tools such as data analytics and Machine Learning (MBL) offer the ability to analyse and model the actions and outcomes of campaigns and sales strategies, in order to pinpoint those which are most successful with minimal impact on the individuals involved.

Likewise, the same approach can identify the opposite actions or inactions that typically correlate with failure. This information can be used to improve your sales behaviours going forward and will mean that you don’t need to bombard customers with constant feedback requests – something they will certainly appreciate.

Get creative with building relationships

Selling doesn’t stop at the point of sale. The best salespeople deliver on their promises, always aim to exceed expectations, work hard to build long-term relationships, strive to constantly deliver value, solve problems, unearth new opportunities, and keep their finger on the pulse of market trends and emerging risks that could affect their customers further down the line. Let’s face it, post-GDPR when prospecting is a little tougher you need to work harder on nurturing the relationships you already have.

Get more creative with relationship building and keep that loyal band of customers happy by harnessing a constant supply of relevant insights about customers from both structured and unstructured data sources from across the internet, news and social media.

And then use it to build value into nurture campaigns, up-selling and cross-selling opportunities, and customer success strategies.

Likewise grab hold of the opportunities afforded by advanced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to predict customer needs and understand where your partnership journey could go next.

Analyse and model patterns of event types, market challenges or problems that customers might not have realised will impact them in the short and long-term, and use this information to demonstrate your ongoing legitimate interest in solving their problems, mitigating issues in their path and delivering added value to the relationship at every opportunity.

Artesian’s on a mission to help B2B sellers get more creative and overcome the GDPR disruption to sales practices

To realise the golden opportunity GDPR presents to transform your sales strategies for the better, forever, then let Artesian help.

We are working with over 30,000 sales leaders to help them realise the GDPR sales opportunity and see the bigger picture in terms of delving deeper into the needs of their prospects and customers, and we would love to help you too.

Explore what the post-GDPR world looks like for sales prospecting and customer engagement by downloading our essential GDPR guide, or talk to one of our experts:

Email: gdpr@artesian.co

Call: 0330 321 0101