If you are a B2B professional with clients operating in Europe or in the UK, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will certainly affect how you collect, store, and use customer data. As GDPR is still a mystery for many (41% of marketers admit that they don’t fully understand the law), you could be leaving your business vulnerable to huge fines for non-compliance.
The goal of the GDPR is to strengthen and protect the rights of individuals by improving transparency and control over the personal data individuals share with companies. For sales and marketing, that could mean a rapidly shrinking mailing list or CRM database. However, there are ways to make GDPR an opportunity to refine your B2B lead generation strategies.
Here are four key things that you need your B2B team to know when collecting, storing, and managing lead qualification materials according to the GDPR:
- Permission to opt-in
It’s no longer correct to assume that customers who have previously welcomed your sales or marketing correspondence are still willing to stay on your mailing list. Consent should be expressed and given in a specific and informed way. That means customers must actively opt-in, and you must be able to back it up with evidence.
The key to consent? Trust. Respect for personal data goes a long way, and having a legitimate interest in helping customers get what they need or want can earn their trust. Ensure that you’re communicating with them in the most suitable manner and channel, so you can encourage them to share their data in a GDPR compliant way.
2. Permission to invite
Planning an event? When compiling a list of attendees, you need to get consent from these individuals. In the same way you must obtain permission for customers to opt-in your mailing list, you must also prove that the attendees have actively consented to be informed of and invited to future events.
3. Permission to monitor
You need to have clear visibility of consent from your customers and clients when you want to monitor their data. You should also undertake necessary training to ensure that data monitoring across all levels is GDPR compliant. Note that this doesn’t only apply to your lead generation processes, but also to your customer support and support and technical support services.
GDPR is an opportunity, not an obstacle
Having read all the seemingly complex requirements of the GDPR, you may be thinking marketing and sales will never be the same again. To help you summarize GDPR in simple terms, here’s the bottomline:
- Follow every lead with an opt-in request (double opt-in is best)
- Have documented evidence of the customers’ or clients’ consent
- Don’t assume; always ask permission for whatever you’re doing with an individual’s personal data
By following the GDPR guidelines, you’ll have the golden opportunity to do what marketing and sales teams should do best: creating helpful, relevant, and timely campaigns and strategies for people who are truly engaged with your brand.