Sales and GDPR – How to Remain Compliant


Sales and GDPR is becoming an issue across many geographies. For many companies, selling is not easy. Even the thought of cold calling, consistent following up, and rejections can ruin a sales team’s day. Top it with the necessity to remain compliant with GDPR, nightmares are inevitable.

For sales teams, GDPR is unavoidable. Prospecting has evolved, and sales practices must now comply with the GDPR or face fines. Due to the EU data privacy regulation known as GDPR, which went into effect in May 2018, the manner you used to sell has changed dramatically. GDPR is causing businesses to react in one of two ways: open distress or hidden disdain.

Although the law is wide and broad, it lacks precision in terms of what vendors can and cannot do. Sellers are feeling the sting of severe and unduly cautious directives generated by acute sales and GDPR concerns. There’s already so much pressure to satisfy often-outdated marketing and conversion KPIs.

In this article, we will give you five tips that will help you remain compliant with GDPR whilst selling.

Sales and GDPR – How to Remain Compliant

Here are five tips to help you remain compliant with GDPR whilst selling. They are as follows.

  1. Ask permission when sending cold emails
  2. Ask consent for purchased leads
  3. Use social selling
  4. Leverage the benefits of cold calling
  5. Don’t underestimate your website

Read on to see how you can implement these tips in real life

1.   Ask permission when sending cold emails

You’ll need to quit sending out cold marketing emails and advertisements on autopilot. Sending automated sales emails to consumers without first acquiring their authorization is prohibited under GDPR. This includes quick catch-up emails, product demos, and ‘just reaching out’ emails, as well as any other method of interaction that your clients did not request. If you’ve never spoken with a customer before, show in your active sales email that you attempted calling them before emailing them. However, if the email has been sent to a person rather than a cluster of recipients (and includes an unsubscribe link, it’s almost certainly automated). So, if you incorporate a link to your user agreement trying to explain why you’re contacting them in the first place, you can keep sending cold sales emails to potential customers.

2.   Ask consent for purchased lead lists

Purchased lead lists can be a terrific method to fill in the gaps in your sales pipeline, whether it’s during a dry spell or to supplement your existing prospecting efforts. However, this has changed. If you buy leads from third-party ‘lead generators,’ you’ll need to receive special permission to utilize the email addresses on the list, unless they’ve agreed to be contacted by affiliated partners.

You can contact them in this situation. You must, however, obtain verification of their consent from the third-party vendor from whom you obtained the list. Moreover, you must also allow them to unsubscribe from your email messages. This sales and GDPR-related adjustment has an impact on previously acquired leads as well. If you’ve already acquired leads for your mailing list but haven’t contacted them, you’ll need to get written permission from the third-party vendor before sending marketing communications.

3.   Use social selling

Many salespeople are unfamiliar with the term ‘social selling.’ Despite this, only one out of every four salespeople uses social selling. It’s quickly becoming a popular technique to prospect for those who do use it. The good news is that GDPR does not preclude you from using social media to find and communicate with potential consumers. Whether you communicate with clients online and ask for advice or reach out to new consumers directly, you can keep using social media as part of your overall sales strategy. You may contact these folks and seek approval to create and market to them once they’ve approved your connection request. Keep in mind that in the social media realm, the notion of delivering value before asking for something still applies. Spamming your social media contacts will produce the same results as spamming prospects through any other route.

If the conversation moves away from social media, you’ll need to show that you have a legitimate reason to contact them by email or phone. Obtaining their consent is the best way to achieve this. However, you cannot use this consent to send them promotional emails.


4.   Sales and GDPR – Leverage the benefits of cold calling

One of the most efficient ways to develop new connections with prospective customers is by cold calling.

Is cold calling, however, permitted under the GDPR?

The good news is that cold calling is exempt from the GDPR’s regulations, giving it a new lease on life, which is great news for cold callers. It’s worth mentioning that you’ll require their approval before you can start delivering them promotional deals whenever you add a new customer to your CRM system. So, while you’re on the phone with a potential customer, simply ask whether they’d want to get newsletters. If they approve, send them a link to a website where they can modify their subscriptions and select which headlines, blogs, and alerts they wish to receive. Unless you record a call with a prospect, cold contacting can be tough to document their consent. Send an email detailing what you discussed on the phone conversation to get across this.

5.   Don’t underestimate your website

Your site is a fantastic way to get new prospects.

If you gather contact information from site visitors using a web form, now is the time to examine the type of data you collect. This is due to GDPR’s need that you provide legal justifications for the personal information you acquire. This means that in the future, you will only be able to request information that you require rather than information that you want. When requesting personal information such as salary and date of birth can help you identify and prioritize prospects, you must be able to substantiate your request. If you can’t explain the extra information, stick to asking for the person’s name, firm, and business email address. You must also be transparent and upfront about how and why you utilize their data, as well as provide them with the option to opt-in or opt-out.

This means that just because someone provided you their email to register for a webinar does not really mean they’ve subscribed to all of your email lists.

Wrapping Up

That’s a wrap for this article. Hopefully, these tips will help you remain compliant with GDPR whilst selling and prevent you from landing in legal feuds. Remember, sales and GDPR enforcement has changed the way you sell, and you must tailor your sales strategy keeping that in mind. If you still have any questions related to the same, don’t forget to reach out to us via the comments.




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