With the evolving sales and marketing techniques, the need for consumer data has increased, and so does the concern about data privacy. Businesses gather different types of information that aid in their operations and growth. Hence, the digital space began to expand, and new regulations and laws emerged to address the data concerns. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a prime example of legislation that protects customers' data privacy and gives them a choice over how their data is used.
This blog will examine how GDPR and other data privacy legislation affect business-to-business (B2B) partnerships and the regulations' obligations for collecting and processing personal data.
What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data protection regulation that the European Union (EU) introduced in 2018. It supersedes the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive and reinforces individuals' rights to personal data while establishing a framework for enterprises to follow when collecting, utilizing, and storing it.
GDPR applies to every organization that processes the personal data of persons in the EU, regardless of location. This implies that even if a corporation is not headquartered in the EU, it must comply with GDPR if it handles the personal data of EU individuals.
GDPR also imposes additional obligations on businesses that collect and manage personal data. Companies, for example, must seek express consent from individuals before collecting personal data and offer clear and straightforward information about how the data will be used. Furthermore, firms must establish suitable technological and organizational safeguards to maintain personal data security and prevent unauthorized access or abuse.
What does it mean to be GDPR Compliant, and who needs to Comply with It?
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance refers to the adherence to laws and rules for acquiring, using, and storing personal data. It applies to any organization that processes the personal data of persons in the European Economic Area (EEA) or the United Kingdom (UK), regardless of location. Even if a firm is headquartered outside of the EEA/UK, it must comply with GDPR if it handles the personal data of persons in the EEA/UK.
To determine if your business complies with GDPR, you must look at the following questions. The answers will help you discover if you need to comply or not.
· Is your company well-established in the European Economic Area (EEA) or the United Kingdom (UK)?
If your company has a physical presence in the EEA/UK (for example, an office, retail, or warehouse), you are most certainly liable to GDPR.
· Is your personal data processing connected to providing goods or services to individuals in the EEA/UK?
Regardless of where your organization is located, if you sell products or services to persons in the EEA/UK, you are likely subject to GDPR.
· Are you monitoring the behavior of EEA/UK individuals?
If you track individuals' online activity in the EEA/UK (for example, via cookies or other tracking technology), you are most certainly liable to GDPR.
It is essential to understand the objectives of GDPR in detail to discover its compliance with organizations that provide products and services to individuals rather than customers. If your B2B company does not sell products or services to people (e.g., you sell to other companies), you may not be subject to GDPR.
Impact of GDPR on B2B Sales
The GDPR has significantly impacted business-to-business (B2B) sales. It is helpful to divide the sales process into outbound and inbound sales to analyze the impact of GDPR on B2B sales.
GDPR has had little influence on inbound B2B sales. Inbound B2B sales often involve individuals who have freely submitted their information, such as by filling out a contact form on a company's website or signing up for a newsletter. As long as a company's data-gathering practices are GDPR compliant, inbound sales activities should remain unaffected.
For example, consider a B2B firm that provides advisory services. Through its website, this firm may get queries from potential clients. Before the implementation of GDPR, the corporation may have acquired and utilized these persons' personal data, such as their name, email address, and phone number, to follow up on the request. The corporation can still collect and use this personal data under GDPR if it obtains explicit agreement from the individual and provides clear and simple information about how the data will be used.
Companies must ensure they have a legal right to contact parties in their outbound sales activities under GDPR. This can be established under Article 6 of the law, which provides for contact based on permission, contract, legal duty, critical interests, public job, or legitimate interest.
Legitimate interest is the most important for B2B sales. A legitimate interest can be established when a prospect exhibits an interest in a company's products or services. For example, if a prospect views a firm's website and downloads a whitepaper, the company may consider this proof of real interest and contact the prospect for sales reasons.
B2B organizations may need to adjust how they gather data when reaching out to potential sales leads to guarantee compliance with the GDPR. They need to obtain explicit consent from individuals before collecting their personal information.
For example, a B2B company that sells software to other businesses may have a list of possible sales leads. Before GDPR, the organization may have contacted these leads without seeking express authorization or providing clear notice about how the data will be used. Under GDPR, the organization must obtain explicit consent from each lead before contacting them and offer clear and straightforward information about how the data will be used.
Impact of GDPR on B2B Marketing
Just like Sales, GDPR also impacts B2B marketing. Three points to consider to ensure B2B marketing efforts are GDPR compliant.
Under GDPR, organizations must get explicit approval from individuals before collecting and utilizing their personal data for marketing. Failure to acquire consent or being confused about personal data usage can result in penalties and reputation harm for a corporation.
Right to be forgotten
GDPR lets people ask companies to delete their personal data. Companies must handle such requests and keep personal data accurate and up to date. Companies should constantly examine and destroy outdated data to comply with this right.
GDPR compels companies to treat personal data legally and for a defined purpose. Companies should carefully analyze the data they acquire and guarantee it is needed for company operations. Unnecessary data acquisition might violate GDPR.
The Impact of other Data Privacy Regulations on B2B
Besides GDPR, a number of additional data privacy legislation may affect B2B businesses, depending on their location and the countries in which they operate. They must be aware of these and other data privacy requirements and maintain compliance to secure their customers' personal data and prevent potential penalties and reputational harm.
Among these restrictions are the following:
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA): This Canadian law applies to businesses that collect, use, or disclose personal information during their operations. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) requires businesses to consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information. It offers individuals the right to view and update their personal information.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): This regulation, which applies to businesses that accept credit card transactions, establishes security rules for sensitive financial information. Companies that handle credit card transactions must maintain PCI DSS compliance.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): This healthcare-specific legislation establishes rules for protecting personal health information. Companies that handle protected health information, such as medical records, must comply with HIPAA.
The Consumer Privacy Act of California (CCPA): This Act, which goes into effect in 2020, allows California individuals to request that firms reveal and remove any personal data they have gathered about them. Companies that conduct business with California people must follow this rule regardless of location.
Strategies for Complying with Data Privacy Regulations in B2B
Compliance with data privacy standards is essential for an organization, especially B2B operations. Here are a few compliance measures that firms may employ.
Conduct a Data Audit
A data audit reviews your company's personal data and how it is utilized. It can assist you in identifying areas of noncompliance and taking action to correct them. To begin a data audit, list all the personal data, including names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and any other personal information your company has gathered. Consider how this data is used and if it is gathered, kept, and processed following data privacy standards.
Review and Update Your Data Collection Practices
For data privacy compliance, businesses must assess and update their data-gathering procedures. Evaluate your data-collecting techniques to modernize them. Consider how what, and why you gather personal data. Make sure these processes comply with data privacy laws and that you only gather personal data needed for commercial operations. Update your consent protocols to seek explicit consent before collecting personal data. It is also important to clarify your data collecting and processing policies in your privacy statement.
Implement Data Protection Measures
Reviewing your data collection measures isn't enough. You need to ensure that the data collected remains protected. Implementing secure passwords for your systems and frequently updating them is a critical data protection practice. It is also critical to develop safe data storage techniques for personal information. This might mean storing data on secure servers or utilizing encrypted storage devices. Consider implementing a backup plan that includes both onsite and offsite backups to ensure the safety of your data.
Keep Privacy Statement Up-to-date
Your privacy statement should define individuals' rights to their personal data and give clear and concise information about your data collection and processing methods. Begin by assessing your present privacy statement before reviewing and updating it. You also need to evaluate who will be reading your privacy statement. If you have not updated your privacy statement since data privacy requirements were implemented, it is possible that it has to be changed.
Train your Team
Since almost everyone in your team, including sales, marketing, and customer support, will require data acquisition and use for B2B operations, they must have sufficient knowledge about data privacy regulations. They must know about the policies like gaining explicit consent before collecting and processing personal data, being upfront about how it will be used and giving users a choice to opt-out or request that their data be erased. Training your employees on these issues helps guarantee that your company complies with data privacy requirements and protects the personal data of your customers and partners.
Is Nymblr GDPR Compliant, and should you Use it?
If you run a B2B company, you must verify that your marketing and sales operations comply with data protection rules such as the GDPR. These regulations ensure your data collection efforts are effective and rightly used. One tool that can help your business navigate these restrictions is Nymblr.
At Nymblr, we emphasize data security and have ensured that our platform adheres to GDPR rules. Our constant effort is to provide customers with accurate and verified B2B data under GDPR's compliance and is okay to use.
On our platform, you can filter contacts and organizations by location, such as excluding individuals identified as EEA/UK residents, to assist you in satisfying these responsibilities. You must ensure that you are satisfying your own GDPR compliance responsibilities regarding the data you collect and process. For further queries, you can visit contact us through our website.
Data privacy requirements have a substantial influence on B2B sales and marketing. It is critical for businesses to understand their duties under these rules and to make efforts to assure compliance. Conducting a data audit, evaluating and updating data collecting processes, adopting data protection measures, and reviewing and updating privacy declarations may all be part of this. Businesses may secure their customers' personal data, avoid potential penalties and reputational harm, and continue to operate effectively in the B2B arena by adopting these strategies.