In the past the sales industry has battled with the reputation of being a nuisance, untrustworthy with a focus on money, but could that be about to change with new GDPRs (General Data Protection Regulations) coming into force in May 2018?
Previously, companies relied on large marketing and telemarketing campaigns to reach prospects, often involving cold calling and with no control over the lists and data they produced often perceived as dirty data.
However, the approach to sales seems to have evolved over time in line with the increased use of social media, which in it’s own right has raised questions about data protection. With serious data breaches such as that with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in March 2018, the new GDPRs couldn’t come sooner as companies must be held accountable for the data they hold.
How GDPR will affect your approach to sales
The approach to customers in the past meant that sales teams would have to trail through large amounts of data, approaching a lot of contacts before a sale was made, often having to deal with irritated and sceptical customers who had no interest in their product.
GDPR will make older sales methods more difficult as the new regulations will enforce a more targeted approach to lead generation and will encourage companies to clear up their data systems, not a bad thing right?
In order for targeted lead generation to work, it is imperative that your data systems are clean. Compliance with GDPR means that all your CRM systems that hold your data must be protected/encrypted so as to avoid outside sources from gaining access to sensitive data stored within.
In terms of clean versus dirty data, this refers to data that is used to contact prospects, it must be fit for purpose not just plucked from thin air, with no thought and must only hold data that is necessary.
CRM systems are required to be continuously updated, clients’ needs and wishes change over time and systems must be altered to reflect these changes an opt-in/out option can help to highlight those wishing not to be contacted.
Targeted data can be formed by creating client personas, building up a picture of your prospects, drawing in contacts that are profitable for your business. It will avoid wasting time searching for dead leads, resulting in more proactive lead generation, a higher rate of achievement and increased pipelines. Understanding your prospects will allow for a smoother customer journey and increase chances of client retention. Your database should be filled to the brim with a pool of contacts that want to do business with you.
MD of Research Runner Julian Haste realised that the sales industry needed to be disrupted in order to change the mind-set of ineffective sales methods and to gain the trust of clients who had a bad experience of sales. Julian recognised that the approach to clients needed to be targeted, in order to benefit not only the sales professional, but also for the customer.
From years of experience, Julian understood that by targeting the right people at the right time in the right place and in the right way was going to increase his sales pipelines, not only immediately, but in the long run. Solid relationships with Research Runners clients’ were formed because Julian knew his clients’ needs, his company’s offerings and his vision for transparency in order to form relationships built on trust.
Knowing that companies must comply with the new regulations, will install confidence in the consumer. It is important that we see the GDPRs as a step in the right direction, a way of improving customer relationships and a step towards building trust within the sales industry.
Research Runner is a global sales consultancy, specialising in targeted lead generation. If you would like to discuss your sales requirements with us please visit www.research-runner.com or call us on +44 (0)1279 260 031.