Artesian’s on a mission to help B2B Commercial Teams leverage the GDPR Opportunity

Artesian’s on a mission to help B2B Commercial Teams leverage the GDPR Opportunity

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will have seen and heard lots about the forthcoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the largest change in data legislation in the last 20 years. GDPR, which will come into force on May 25th, is about standardising current wide ranging EU data directives, to provide a single best practice approach for data handling and compliance.

The goal is to strengthen the individual’s rights by creating better transparency and control over all personal data (i.e. any information that can be used to directly or indirectly identify them) they share with companies

As a B2B client-facing professional operating in the UK and/or Europe, you will be affected. It will certainly require you to review how you collect, store, and use customer data.

It has been estimated that over 60% of businesses have still not started preparing for GDPR compliance, a trend that could continue into 2019  according to Gartner.

For sales, marketing and business development functions the impact could be that your mailing list or CRM database shrinks by up to 60% overnight, or worse that you leave yourself exposed to vast fines for non-compliance.

The penalties under the GDPR could be up to €20 million, or 4% of your organisation’s annual turnover – whichever is greater.

There is so much out there about GDPR, so many varying opinions on the threats and opportunities. I know that when I started reading I felt like I was going round in circles, and that instead of becoming more informed I started feeling intimidated and it appears I am not alone.

Remarkably, as many as 41% of sales and marketing professionals don’t fully understand GDPR regulations and the importance of getting it right when it comes to the use of customer data.

Four key things B2B Commercial Teams need to know about GDPR:

Permission Sales and Marketing – Opt-in rather than Opt-Out

It will no longer be acceptable to assume that any customer that has previously welcomed sales or marketing communications still wishes to remain on your mailing list.

Under GDPR customers and prospects need to express consent in a ‘freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous’ way. In essence, they must opt-in rather than opt-out, and you must be able to provide proof that every customer has actively consented to receive communications.

The key to consent is trust. Sales and marketing nurture campaigns must be respectful of customer data, they must demonstrate that you’re not being self-serving in your request for consent, but that you have a legitimate interest in helping them achieve their aims.

They must demonstrate that you’re informed about their needs, and that you’re contacting them in a manner and via a channel that is best suited to them. Only then will you encourage them to consciously consent to sharing their data with you, and earn their trust that you’re doing so in a GDPR compliant way.

Get your permission strategy straight and then, and only then ask customers to check an ‘opt-in’ box on any form. It is important to note as well that ‘double opt-in’ is best practice.

Even if a customer hits yes, confirm opt-in with a follow up email and get them to confirm again otherwise you may not be compliant – tough on sales and marketing activities but better for long term relationships and engagement.

Permission to invite – Events and Conferences
In the same way as permission sales and marketing, when compiling a list of potential event/conference attendees you will need to obtain opt-in consent.

Even if they attended the stand at your last conference and handed you their business card, came to your last networking lunch, or logged into a recent webinar, you will need to prove that they actively consented to be informed of future events.

After every trade show or event, follow up every lead with an opt-in request so you have documented evidence not just a business card and verbal consent.

Permission to monitor: Customer Relationship Management
The many complex GDPR requirements will have a significant impact on your CRM tools and systems, as well as the capability of your business to manage information correctly.

You will need to have clear visibility of ‘op-in’ consent in your CRM tools alongside any customer data held. GDPR also includes rules limiting the extent and type of data you can hold and the length of time you can reasonably hold it – again this will be need to be supported and managed through your CRM.

Most CRM providers such as Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce have invested heavily in enhancements to their software to help you meet the regulations, but it is vital you speak to your account manager to understand what they have done, and undertake any training necessary to ensure you are using CRM software correctly.  The same is true of any CRM integration such as Artesian or LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Audit any CRM suppliers and CRM stack integrations to ensure that they too are GDPR-ready, and have the appropriate measures in place pre-25th May to store, process, and integrate data with your business appropriately.

Additionally, check that you can tailor permissions, and that data and customer intelligence feeds can be removed or filtered.

Having read all of the above, you may be thinking the way you do business will never be the same again. Perhaps it might help to think in these simple terms instead – don’t contact someone unless they specifically ask you to. Don’t assume a customer or prospect wants to hear from you. Don’t cold contact anyone. Don’t send customers or prospects irrelevant information that they didn’t request.

GDPR is an opportunity
GDPR offers golden opportunity to get back to what you actually do best – create targeted, relevant and timely strategies and campaigns for customers and prospects who are genuinely engaged with your brand.

Realise the opportunity to build a deeper understanding. Instead of a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ option when asking customers about data, provide them with a range of options (such as product updates, newsletters, deals, education) to really identify and understand what they’re interested in, and gain deeper insight into their preferences.

Build deeper relationships by using business intelligence and predictive analytics in ways that demonstrate legitimate interest in addressing customer needs and solving customer problems. If you can demonstrate this you’ll strengthen engagement and deepen relationships and the result will be more successful engagements.

You’ll have cleaner, richer data upon which to build more targeted and personalised sales and marketing campaigns. This will result in higher open rates and click throughs, higher levels of engagement, and ultimately more valuable opportunities.

The best and most resourceful business leaders are looking at the opportunity and seeing the bigger picture in terms of delving deeper into the needs of their prospects and customers.

Top 10 tips on how using intelligence and insight can help you realise the GDPR Opportunity:

  1. Ensure your business has a constant supply of relevant and validated insights from both structured and unstructured data sources across the internet, news and social media and use it to deliver greater personalisation, improved engagement, enhanced demonstration of value
  2. Build a 360° view of the customer world and demonstrate legitimate interest. Understand your customers and prospects immediate and future needs, the problems they need to solve, and the wider internal and market influences affecting them
  3. Hone in the type of insights you want to receive in order to prospect with more confidence such as expansion news, management changes, legislative, regulatory, compliance and risk management changes and triggers, acquisitions etc
  4. Improve inbound marketing 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
  5. Build value into engagements by having contextual reasons to reach out – ready made research, door openers and engagement topics. The result will be higher open rates, click throughs, opt-ins and improved levels of engagement
  6. Reduce the risk of out-of-date or inaccurate data, by using tools that deliver a constant supply of real-time intelligence and insight
  7. Build value into icebreakers by harnessing a ready-made stream of insight and contextual anecdotes
  8. Harness the power of predictive analytics, and machine learning to determine in advance what a customer needs, and what product or service will have the greatest impact. Likewise utilise behavioural analytics and natural language processing to predict a customer’s likely response to an approach for improved opt-in
  9. Keep that loyal band of customers happy. Build more value into engagements and nurture campaigns and keep customers consistently opting-in by using insight to ensure you’re making the right approach, for the right customer, at the right time – whether that be solving a problem or delivering boosted success for their business
  10. Augment real world activities by having real-time intelligence delivered to your fingertips. Marshal exactly the right facts at the right time (up-to-the minute insights about everyone in a meeting, their sentiments and expectations)to capture and hold the attention of the room and ensure that when they leave they tick that opt-in box

Artesian’s on a mission to help B2B Commercial Teams leverage the GDPR Opportunity

If you’re a B2B seller, relationship manager, or business development professional and you’re finding it hard to see the wood for the trees when it comes to GDPR, and how to realise the golden opportunity it presents to transform your customer strategies for the better, forever. Let Artesian help.

Our new guide to delivering personalised B2B customer strategies post-GDPR, highlights the key ways in which GDPR will impact sales, relationship management and marketing functions.

Sales Prospecting Post GDPR - Maximising the opportunities

It delivers useful guidance on what you need to do to prepare in the short term, explores what the post-GDPR world looks like and demonstrates how Artesian can assist you in embracing GDPR and maximising the opportunities it presents.

The best and most resourceful business leaders are looking at the GDPR opportunity and seeing the bigger picture in terms of delving deeper into the needs of their prospects and customers.

Download our guide and you will learn how to not just be compliant, but go beyond compliance and tackle the data challenge in ways that strengthen relationships, improve engagement and communications, and build trust.

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