As GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) goes into effect on May 25th, 2018, your sales and marketing teams could potentially experience a drastic pipeline drought. Most likely your contacts marketing list will be significantly reduced. Below are some ways to prepare your sales and marketing team for GDPR.

As the GDPR goes into effect it will be crucial to keep your contact list up to date with the demanding regulations. This will mean the standards of achieving approval on your marketing list will become higher. You will see a huge section of companies email lists be reviewed as non-compliant with GDPR.

In essence, you are placing your pipeline at risk of being cut in half with fewer meetings and qualified opportunities.

If you’re reading this and your business is a sales organization that depends on your marketing list for pipeline generation, keep reading.

Ways to prepare your sales and marketing team for GDPR

  1. Derive from pipeline management to deal execution
  2. Make your marketing intrinsically valuable
  3. Emphasize effectiveness over efficiency
  4. Get new hires up to date faster
  5. Look upon sales meetings as valuable assets

1) Derive from “pipeline management” to “deal execution”

Looking at your pipeline as one big unit disguises the distinction of its individual deals. These deals and the sales meeting within these deals are valuable opportunities.

pipeline management/deal execution

Each deal has multiple moving parts. These parts could include buying criteria, their own cast of characters, time horizons, etc.

This means each deal requires its own strategy.

You can not recognize all of the moving parts when you look at the aggregate pipeline. This results in the neglect of those parts. This is the part where the deal breaks down right in front of you.

What’s the flip side?

Zoom in on deals that compose your pipeline. “Deal storming” has become a familiar practice with prosperous B2B sales organizations.

In your next 1:1 with a rep on your team, be sure to pick a valuable deal in their pipeline. Examine it. Knock the bottom out of it. Then map a strategy to close it. It’s important to remember that your Sales reps aren’t the only people who can think of innovative ways to hit sales targets. If it’s a big account, bring aboard diverse and unusual perspectives into that conversation.

2) Make your marketing intrinsically valuable

intrinsic marketing


Marketing is just as an important problem as sales when it comes to the GDPR pipeline.

Most Marketing is tactical and transactional. Instead of cluttering your database and releasing irrelevant eBooks behind landing pages, your marketing efforts should be beneficial to your buyers in and of themselves.

Marketing is more than just a short-term transaction. This can help you obtain a larger, strategic objective.

Prioritize your decisions. Exploiting opportunities and helping buyers solve problems are all part of what your marketing should be focused on. Receiving and abusing leads in your database is never a good practice.

You may be in the position where you have to hire new “marketers” to pull that off. It might be better not hiring “professional marketers” if that is their only qualification. Having people who have a lot of domain expertise and valuable knowledge in your area in my opinion, are the people you need to bring in and train to be marketers. These kind of people are worth a king’s ransom.

With nothing valuable to add to the market, a professional marketer is a dead weight.

3) Emphasize effectiveness over efficiency

We live in a world that is dedicated to efficiency gains, a world where it’s simpler to improve efficiency than it is to improve effectiveness.

Looking at this sales tech landscape we can see the design to promote efficiency in the sales process:

promote efficiency in the sales process

Click here to see the full image.

Despite all the efficiency tools, companies are left with results like this:

dropping quota graph due to inefficiency

When your pipeline becomes smaller, efficiency is not going to solve your problems, especially if it did not solve your problems before.

Doubling activity does not double sales.

If being at risk of your contactable marketing list being significantly decreased, your marketing and sales teams must together increase their effectiveness. Whether your pipeline is large or small, effectiveness has greater leverage than efficiency.

Reviewing calls and demos with your team, whether its shadowing calls live, using raw call recordings, or using conversation intelligence technology, it’s important to find out what’s going well and what’s not. Find out what you need to improve on and eliminate disorganization.

4) Get new hires up to date faster

get new hires up to speed
Say a smaller pipeline results in fewer sales meetings. You can not afford to give those calls away to new hires who are not up to speed.

ROI is tremendously high when bringing new hires up to speed quickly.

Before you throw your new hires out in the water, give them plenty of examples of successful sales calls and demos to utilize and learn from.

Take notes and record your demos, discovery calls, and other sales meetings. Getting your new hires equipped with call recordings from an entire cycle will certainly help them get up to speed and produce revenue much faster.

5) Look upon sales meetings as valuable assets

As the GDPR kicks in on May 25th, sales meetings will be harder to come across.

What is your plan of action?

  • Have Increased sales conversations.
  • Have Superior sales conversations.

You can choose one or both of these options, however since option #1 is decreasing because of GDPR, it’s time to step up your game on option #2.

sales meetings are valuable assets

Going into sales meetings unprepared is not an option. It’s time to get rid of the box-style discovery calls and vanilla demos.

No more flat-footed objection handling. You’ll have to boost your game on objection handling techniques.

It’s time to conquer the art and science of sales conversations and treat them as the most crucial moments in the sales process. Capturing visibility into meetings and sales conversations are the key.

It is important to shine a light on what is happening at your sales meetings. Most sales meetings are a “black box”. You will throw away one good meeting after another if you are not careful. You must gain visibility within your sales meetings.

How to get visibility

Raw call recordings and shadowing calls is an option but your best choice of action is conversation intelligence technology. With its profitable ROI, you’ll take advantage of your pipeline. GDPR is right around the corner and this is more important than ever.