The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is changing how enterprise outbound sales is executed, one fine at a time. What is the cost of not investing in data pertaining to your outbound approach?

The Mistakes You’re Making — and How to Fix Them:

Mistake #1: Not Setting Apart from Spam

Mass email is a surefire way for your content to be flagged. Instead, for content-driven campaigns, rely on social networks (such as LinkedIn) or other outsourced methods to drive target accounts inbound. Getting content onto a prospect’s feed rather than their inbox is the best alternative to mass email. Sharing to social platforms is, now, more profitable.

Mistake #2: Failing to Protect Against Data Leaks

Data leakage is the easiest and most costly fine that can be given by the ICO. Have protocols in effect to catch these threats before they can see the light of day. Best-in-Class companies will always have checks and balances in place to consistently maintain control. It obviously starts with the hiring process where background checks are important — especially to companies who have a lot to lose.

It also has to do with where you are sending your data. Vendors and others that interact with vulnerable information should have to leave a footprint whenever accessing personal information. There are technologies to do tracking on this front. What is the cost of not having checks and balances? This is the question companies should be constantly asking themselves.

Mistake #3: Unfamiliarity with the Laws

Make sure Sales/Marketing are familiar with and understand the laws per country / state. GDPR has shifted the way that sales and marketing have to think about their outbound approach. In the automation space, regulations are marking companies as “spammers” more than ever before. In Europe, one email received poorly can create an unwanted microscope for your sales organization going forward.

With California’s laws changing in the coming months, it is essential to take a new approach when reaching out to Silicon Valley. All of these issues can be mitigated by going the extra mile and investing time as well as dollars into data that can help you understand who is truly in-market for your services.

Mistake #4: Assigning sales reps to vague categories

Assign sales reps to specific territories and have them grow within. Speaking to the previous point, if a rep is able to grow within a territory, they should learn the laws rather quickly. They inherently pick up on the culture of certain territories and start to adapt selling tactics to what external factors are affecting an area of the country/world.

So far, we have learned that the two inevitable things in terms of selling heading into the 2020’s: You must be educated and invest across the board. The opportunity cost of a data leak or being flagged by the ICO are far too high to ignore the details. Additionally, we all know the way that an individual sales rep is trained and onboarded is crucial to the success of the overall company. Invest time and buy technology that makes the selling process easier for the rep that is representing your brand. Smart companies will do these things and others will risk blind trust in all employees.

How to Win (Within the Guidelines)

You can still win business in regions with strict GDPR guidelines. First, it’s crucial to maintain an open mind and keep an eye out for an out-of-the-box approach to outbound. When researching prospects, be at the forefront of innovative methods.

Free Coffee Mentality

We stand in an age where the buyer thinks about purchase differently. Having the sales rep call the account over and over can only take the company so far. People want free things, or a benefit, when engaging with your company. There’s a need for fulfillment in this area. So, give it to them!

It doesn’t have to be complicated: A coupon for Starbucks or an Amazon gift card is an easy way to start the conversation or get your foot in the door. Often times, prospects will ask themselves what personal benefits they’re receiving from the vendor. Give them an easy answer.


Another GDPR tip? Ensure that Sales and Marketing are more attached at the hip than ever. The goals for marketing and sales should always align. Keep consistent tabs on what each department needs to succeed in order to hit each other’s benchmarks. Always answer the question: How can outbound efforts be most consistently turned into revenue? Then, check to make sure it’s compliant!


Create programs to get opted-in contacts. Sales folks want to talk to hand raisers anyway. Investing some spend in programs that qualify contacts is an easy way to get people to become bottom of the funnel contacts rather rapidly. Intent data, content syndication, LinkedIn, and events are the easiest avenues to start conversations without worrying about a “spammer” label.

Invest in Intent

To properly maneuver around GDPR, your company must maintain an approach that is data-driven and further calculated. Seriously, no more mass emailing (sorry!).

This is where intent data comes into the picture — intent data helps hyper-target prospects, providing companies with the ability to identify precisely which companies are in-market and ultimately, close more deals.

Time, money and thought. Three things that are more imperative to a company who cares about its reputation when doing outbound sales to close out 2019. If the processes remain as is, the long-term problems companies could face will pale in comparison to what has already happened. A shift to conscious outbound is underway, what side will you be on?