Unless you’ve been somewhere very remote, you’ll know that the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into force next month.
When it comes into effect on 25 May, the new regulation will impact your sales processes, as well as your marketing and client management.
Here we look at how your Compliance team can help to make sure you get your approach right.
GDPR success – why is it so important?
The new regulation aims to improve the way firms use individuals’ data. It sets out new, more prescriptive rules, which mean that firms need to upgrade the ways they process data.
In terms of its impact, articles have suggested that the regulation will be a bigger compliance challenge than MiFID II.
So it’s vital that your Sales approach is compliant.
GDPR and Sales teams
In many ways, the main impact for business developers is not the regulation’s effect on sales itself (though this is also relevant).
One of the biggest implications will be the fact that you rely on your Marketing team to deliver a pipeline of qualified leads. And if that marketing activity includes emails, the new regulation may have a significant impact.
Our blog on how to avoid some potential GDPR pitfalls in your marketing has already looked at some of the ways that marketing activity will be affected.
Here, we look at the impact of the new rules on Sales – and share tips on how you can work with your Compliance team to ensure you don’t just comply, but flourish under the new rules.
Content is the key
Under GDPR, people – whether clients or prospects – will need to proactively opt in to receive your emails. This means that the pool of people you communicate with will be smaller than previously.
There’s an upside to this, of course – in that the people who remain on your mailing list should be warmer leads.
They’ve agreed to receive your mailings, so should be interested in your products and services. They’re likely to be far more responsive than a wider list of unqualified names.
Key to getting this initial opt-in, and building on it in future, will be delivering relevant content.
You and your Marketing colleagues need to:
- Create effective and compliant marketing emails. These need to be compelling – to maximise open and click-through rates and, before 25 May, encourage opt-in. At the same time, they need to meet FCA requirements on wording and approach. For instance, they need the correct disclaimers, displayed in a way that meets rules on prominence. Read more about how you can write copy that your Compliance colleagues can approve first time.
- Maximise engagement and conversions via better content. This will make sure you interact with as large a group of prospects as possible
- Optimise social media by creating posts that meet FCA standards. Our social media winning ways for sales teams have more advice and best practice tips
In the past, you may have relied on Marketing to deliver your pipeline of qualified leads.
The new regulation might shift this responsibility slightly, with more onus on Sales teams to keep their own funnels topped up.
If you want to become more active in sharing content with your contacts, read more about why content marketing is important to Sales teams and find out how you can get the content you need to engage with clients.
But it’s not all about consent
The GDPR’s requirements around consent – the need to get contacts to opt in so you can continue marketing and selling to them – tend to grab all the headlines.
But under the new rules, there are five other ways of processing data, one of which may be more appropriate for your sales activities. You need to understand the ‘lawful bases’ for processing data that underpin the GDPR.
If your contacts are already clients, ‘legitimate interest’ may be a more appropriate basis for you to use than consent. Make sure you understand the myths around GDPR opt-ins and data processing.
How your Compliance team can help you
Your Compliance colleagues have a good feel for all the regulation that covers marketing, whether via email, social media, your website or other channels.
We’ve explored previously why regulatory compliance is so important to Sales teams. Working closely with your Compliance team can help to ensure your approach meets the FCA’s standards.
They will have a full understanding, not just of GDPR and its implications, but the rules governing any activity you undertake to connect with clients and prospects.
They will be able to help you ensure that any social selling, PR, online or email activity you carry out meets regulatory requirements.
Best practice social media for Sales teams
If you decide to increase social media activity as a result of the GDPR, you can find out how to take a compliant approach with our free Twitter for financial promotions guide. It includes tips on writing compelling posts that also measure up to FCA standards. You can download a copy of the free guide here.
Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.