Companies still have the opportunity until May 25, 2018. This date signals the end of the two-year transitional period granted by EU lawmakers for implementing the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In practice, however, many companies are still a long way from applying this complex set of rules. For most companies, implementing all the provisions of the GDPR requires a considerable amount of effort. After all, not only do they have to design their data processing procedures in a manner compliant with the data protection regulations, they also have to document them accordingly.
There is also a great deal of uncertainty about how exactly the regulations should be interpreted in practice to ensure you remain on the safe side. This is because thus far, the case law that would bring clarity to certain issues is lacking. This uncertainty means that legal departments at larger companies in particular are being advised to err on the side of caution when it comes to processing personal data for sales and marketing purposes. This often still places the procurement of company and address data from external sources in a critical light, although purchasing data from external sources and using it does not present a problem in and of itself. If sales managers were to follow this advice, they would basically have to postpone or at least restrict all activities aimed at actively cultivating their markets. Since there are alternatives, this approach is neither useful nor necessary.
How to remain on the safe side with external databases
An option worth investigating in this regard is ama Sales View. This web-based sales tool developed by ama provides all companies whose legal departments are highly critical and want to circumnavigate restrictions in sales and marketing with a legally compliant source of marketing information. The information breadth and functions of ama SalesView are tailored to the specific needs of the ICT sector.
The central feature of this tool allows sales staff to obtain the information they require to work over the web directly from the ama database, which is constantly updated or enriched using information gleaned from interviews. This reduces the time needed to perform time-consuming research to a minimum. It also provides sales departments with new sales impulses, for instance by supplying information on license agreements that are due to expire or plans for up-and-coming projects. The CRM functions integrated into the tool, such as alerts, monitoring and resubmissions, make sure that sales opportunities are never overlooked.
ama SalesView guarantees that companies that need and purchase ad-hoc company information to conduct sales or marketing campaigns always remain on the safe side. This is because it ensures that data is used in a GDPR-compliant manner. The reason for this is that although you get full access to 41,000 company profiles when you use ama SalesView for the first time, you do not initially have the opportunity to link these profiles to the personal data available, e.g. contact persons. Thanks to its clear and hence easy-to-use UI, you can integrate ama SalesView into your sales processes quickly and use it effectively.
Despite the GDPR, your sales and marketing departments can still take action
Your sales and marketing departments remain fully operational even without access to explicit contact data. This is because the company profiles that can be directly retrieved from the ama database and the information contained in them allow detailed market analyses and focussed target group searches to be performed. This means that companies or company profiles that match your defined target group criteria can be analysed and evaluated right down to the last detail without having to worry about data protection. The personal data associated with a company profile, such as name, function and contact details for contact persons, can only be unlocked when actual contact takes place. And the duty to inform in compliance with the GDPR only comes into force at that moment. This means that companies only need to inform the contact person that the company is processing their personal data after actual contact has been made.
How ama SalesView works in practice
ama SalesView provides you with deep insights into the groups you wish to target. Some 41,000 company locations are available so that Key Account Management can prepare sales campaigns or make individual calls. Selections can be made by postal code, sector, company size and ICT-specific characteristics. Selection by project is also possible. Once the companies you consider to be generally suitable to a campaign have been located, you can perform detailed analyses to find the especially attractive target customers. Information about the potential customer’s existing corporate networks or the IT applications/solutions the prospect currently uses suits this purpose.
In the next phase, the contact persons are examined more closely by identifying the most relevant person in the purchasing department from a sales perspective. Only their functions can be seen at first, however. Specific contact persons can only be displayed and exported (and that individually!) once a company profile has been activated. Using ama SalesView in this way contributes to data economy in terms of the GDPR, because only the personal data (names) that are really needed is “processed”.