Your Sales Team is Impacted by GDPR. Here’s How –
It’s still difficult to process all the ways in which the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) is affecting the work of businesses. From database creation to maintaining an online presence, companies have had to introduce an array of procedural changes for the purpose of ensuring GDPR compliance.
The work of sales teams isn’t spared from such changes. If you’re managing sales teams or you’re member of this department, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with the important new provisions that will affect your work.
Is There a Data Protection Agreement in Place?
One of the important documents that will be needed by the sales team is a data protection agreement (DPA).
The DPA is a legal document that outlines the procedural and administrative ways in which the organization is going to protect the personal information it processes. Such a document should be readily available for customers that ask for it.
Even if a client doesn’t ask for a DPA, it will still have to be introduced in the sales cycle at a certain point in time. Selecting the right moment is of paramount importance because the ill-timed introduction of DPAs can contribute to significant slowdowns.
Most US companies may not need to have a DPA in place but in the event of such a document being required, it will have to be prepared and available in advance. Otherwise, chaos will ensue.
Evaluation of Data Being Gathered
GDPR has forced many companies to reevaluate their data collection policies. A general rule of thumb is to gather only the information needed to continue providing customers with a high quality, tailored service.
Individuals managing sales teams will need to carry out a personal data collection audit. According to GDPR provisions, there is a limited list of acceptable reasons for the collection of personal information from clients. The fact that such information could potentially be utilized for company growth in the future isn’t a sufficient reason for the collection of personal information.
A new process should be developed by the sales team that will enable the collection of the least possible amount of data for successful interactions with clients. While the audit itself could require time and resources to complete, a new process that’s based on minimum data collection could make the life of sales professionals easier in the future.
Changes in Sales Prospecting
Apart from having to be informed about their personal information being collected, individuals are also entitled to being made aware of what purposes the information is going to be used for. The amount of time during which personal information is going to be stored will also have to be shared with leads and clients. More information about these provisions is available in Article 13 and Article 14 of the EU GDPR.
If consent has not been obtained at the time when information was collected, the sales team will have to revisit the process.
As per GDPR regulations, sales professionals and other company representatives have to inform individuals that their data has been obtained (and why) within 30 days of the process being completed. If such a message is sent and an individual responds by saying they do not want their information to be stored and used for sales purposes, the entry will have to be removed from the database.
For most companies, GDPR will indicate a change in which the sales team is doing its job. To ensure compliance, these professionals will have to stop sending automatically-generated prospecting emails, they will need to get consent for data processing and storage and they will need to get consent for the purpose of sending sales materials to clients. Once these issues are cleared, chances are that the work process will become much more streamlined and effective.