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Forrester Predicts: Privacy Regulations Necessitate Targeted, Authentic Connection With Customers

5 min read
Updated Aug. 3, 2021
Published Dec. 27, 2019

This is part three of a three-part series on what Forrester Predictions 2020 means for sellers in the upcoming year. 

Part 1: Forrester Predicts: Seller Engagement to Increase by 10% in 2020

Part 2: Forrester Predicts: Top 10% of CMOs Will Increase Focus on Customer Value

Calling all cold callers: your days are numbered. 

With GDPR firmly in place, cold prospecting has become much more complicated in the EU. In the US, we’re not that far behind.

California signed its Consumer Protection Act into law in 2018. New York attempted a similar bill that failed. But the privacy movement is gaining traction here and other states will follow suit.

It’s not surprising then that Forrester predicts regulation will have a devastating impact on third-party data and adtech: 

“Marketers will no longer be able to rely on aggregated third-party data to target consumers. In 2020, we predict that some marketers will get ahead of the curve by curbing their reliance on third-party data…Marketers will move away from laborious and often unwanted personalization efforts. Instead, they’ll seek to authentically connect with customers through targeted experiences.” – Forrester Predictions 2020

Fine, fine, everywhere a fine

GDPR has already had a chilling effect on companies like British Airways and Marriott, fined $230 million and $123 million for data breaches, respectively.

As GDPR regulations state, “For especially severe violations…the fine framework can be up to 20 million euros, or in the case of an undertaking, up to 4% of their total global turnover of the preceding fiscal year, whichever is higher.”

In its report, Forrester explains that GDPR is forcing companies to examine their data supply chains:

“…20% of enterprise customers will prohibit the use of their data for AI in 2020. Regulators such as the UK’s ICO and the Federal Trade Commission will also take action against firms using dark patterns. These dark patterns will earn several brands fines, remediation, and bad press.”

Lest you think this unfounded, technology is rising to meet regulatory demand.

Again, Forrester says, “The need for compliance will spur investment in regulatory tech (regtech). In the first three quarters of 2019, regtech scored $4.6 billion in funding at a year-over-year growth rate of 103% — with no signs of slowing down.”

Account-based plays foster customer connection (and protect you from fines)

Rather than casting a wide net with marketing automation and generic personalization strategies, collaborate with your sales team to reach targeted accounts

Account-based marketing yields the most effective connections with buyers. In fact, TOPO found that high-growth companies are 2.5x more likely to pursue account-based strategies.

Work with sales like you’re on the same team (because you are)

In our second post in the series, we shared a real-life example of an account-based strategy executed with tight marketing and sales alignment. That effort generated more than 3000% ROI on pipeline value and a 450% return on closed revenue!

If you’d like more of the same, here’s how you can support your sales team to make authentic customer connections.

Create personalized content for sales

Arm sales reps with clear, consistent messaging that they can use when they’re reaching out to their target accounts. For example, create team cadences that are targeted for each persona involved in the buyer’s journey.

Through personalized email, phone, and social media touches, your reps will create more meaningful conversations and convert more prospects into sales qualified appointments.

Beyond that, custom landing pages, ads, and personalized videos bring unique and creative touches to your cadences. And these assets grab buyers’ attention.

At Salesloft, we’ve seen success by delivering all of these tactics to our top tier accounts. In our testing, relevant messaging can double the rate of engagement with your prospects.

And speaking of results, when you tailor content to a customer’s needs, they’re 40 percent more likely to buy from you than a competitor who doesn’t personalize.

Regularly educate sales on the content you create

If you create content for sales and never share it, does it even matter?

Randy Frisch, CMO and Co-Founder at Uberflip sees this issue as one of the greatest disconnects between marketing and sales today.

Randy says, “Invest your time in educating Sales on the content available to them. That way they can grab it, personalize it, and go (rather than wasting precious minutes on searching Google for your content or, worse, creating their own from scratch…To make sure sales reps are pulling the right content to create personalized experiences, you can utilize a content hub or create experiences for different personas using templates or snippets.”

Convert marketing reps into sales development reps

As we’ve said before, there’s a gap between marketing and sales. And sales development is elbowing its way into the middle. 

Many companies aren’t fully investing in an SDR team, but one way you can build one up is to convert growth-hacking marketers to sales development reps.

We’re not suggesting losing marketing altogether. But many of your marketing reps are currently doing what sales development would and could do better.

This reorganization helps a growth-hacking marketer go all the way with prospects rather than stopping short. 

Picture this: a marketer makes several connections at an event. They hand off these prospects to sales, interrupting the momentum. But if that marketing resource is instead a part of sales, those prospects receive a seamless experience. And future prospect communication is more easily trackable within sales organization processes.

Want to learn how the Salesloft team forges authentic connections with customers? Check out our ebook, Everything You Need to Know About Implementing the Best Sales Cadences.