What the GDPR means for B2B salespeople

UPDATED: 06/03/2018

By now most of us in the B2B marketing world have heard of the GDPR. Yet, many of us still don’t know exactly what the GDPR means. So we wanted to just recap on some of the most common questions we’ve been asked and have the answers you need.


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Since we penned the content below, there has been a signification update to the E-Privacy Regulation and PECR, that you will want to pay attention to if your are a B2B Marketer.

If you are looking to process (sending marketing communications) using ‘consent’ then the below applies. HOWEVER, with the update/amendment to the E-Privacy Regulation/PECR in December 2017, you can now use ‘legitimate interest’ as the reason for processing (sending marketing communications) your B2B data.

Find out more in our latest blog post: https://www.communigator.co.uk/blog/legitimate-interest-saving-grace-gdpr/ and also download a copy of our latest resource which clarifies this stance: The Fog Clears on GDPR.

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The below was published Feb 2017

The GDPR: The Basics

The General Data Protection Regulation applies to any organisation that handles EU citizen’s personal data. Now this – at present – includes personal business email addresses because it can identify an individual. The new regulation says marketers have to get prior consent before they start marketing to them.

In short: someone has to confirm they’ve agreed to your marketing communications before marketing are allowed to send them any emails. Which is a tough ask. Particularly for those sales teams that rely on email marketing to drive new leads to their pipeline.

The good news?

The GDPR doesn’t effect telesales. This is still an opt-out methodology, so you can call as many prospects that land on your website as you like. Your marketing team, too, will survive. There are several tactics they can take to get contacts to double opt-in.

Running events, inbound channels such as social media, and content marketing can all draw in new leads with form fills. Contacts that double opt-in are also more likely to respond well to your marketing (and therefore sales pitch) because they are interested in what you have to say.

The bad news?

Double opt-in marketing lists are, naturally, smaller. So you’re going to have a smaller pool of prospects from marketing, though they will be higher quality. It’s the age-old debate of sales vs marketing, quality vs. quantity all over again. This time with just a GDPR title attached. As a result, you’ll have to put more effort into pulling in your own leads if you want quantity.

It’s almost as if the sales funnel we’ve all come to know and love is shifting on its head. In recent years, marketing has started to work on the lead nurturing aspect with the likes of automation while sales focus on the close. Now it appears sales might need to focus on the lead generation as well as close while marketing push prospects through the pipeline.

Of course, that’s just a theory at this stage. For now, we must all prepare for the GDPR together. Use our step by step guide to get your contacts to double opt-in to your communications to start with. It’s time to focus on quality leads rather than quantity.


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