Is Your Sales Proposal Process Putting Your Company at Risk?

Solid Strategies to Ensure Compliance to GDPR for Your Sales Proposal Process

In our post-GDPR reality, compliance has become the watchword for companies of all sizes and industries across the globe. Each entity must ensure that every bit of content it produces adheres to both internal and external standards – and Marketing and Sales content has not escaped this scrutiny.

According to this Upland Qvidian survey, pulling together a winning Sales proposal or response to an RFP typically involves at least five people, as well as dozens of pieces of content, pulled from various sources within the organization. If there isn’t a reliable system in place for ensuring that every piece of content is compliant with the most up-to-date standards, companies are exposing themselves to serious risk. Essentially, the very process of building a robust customer base may open up companies to noncompliance vulnerabilities – an anxiety-producing thought.

So how can you ensure that your Sales proposal initiatives don’t put your company at risk for GDPR noncompliance? You should be asking the following four questions:

Can Your Teams Easily Access the Most Up-To-Date Content?

Tracking edits to content is important, but if those edited versions aren’t stored in a central, easy-to-navigate library, the chances that your proposal teams will be able to locate and use that content might be slim to none. Creating a library with all approved key messages, assets, and alternate responses will help your teams locate the important content they need with a minimum amount of effort—and minimal risk that they will use noncompliant or outdated information. 

Are You Using Manual Methods to Track the Content in Proposals?

Some organizations still track all their content manually, often in Excel spreadsheets or other internal databases. In addition to being a very time-consuming, labor-intensive process, this practice increases the chance of human error. Proposal and Sales teams can unknowingly use outdated or non-compliant information or may uncover old content that no longer fits current brand guidelines. Not only does this introduce opportunities for potential fines, it hurts the brand image by creating inconsistencies in tone, as well as a reputation for mishandling information during the Sales process.

Does Your Workflow Enable Sales Teams to Work Efficiently?

Be sure that the tools you’re using enable efficient workflows. All changes should be tracked and logged even after they’re approved, and changes should sync automatically to ensure that every update is reflected in the version of the content that is available to the whole team. Streamlined review cycles and detailed reports on content performance and usage help teams stay both compliant and effective. 

Are You Creating Audit Trails for Transparency, Future Tracking, and Compliance?

This is especially important in highly regulated industries, such as financial services. Compliance and audit teams will need to see who reviewed the approved content, and when and what changes they made. Time spent manually gathering that information after the fact is the time that your teams could be using it to complete new RFPs and proactive proposals.

Clear audit trails also help to ensure that all required parties have approved the content in question. Trails created in tracked changes disappear once those changes have been accepted, so it’s important to ensure that the tracking system you use can maintain records of changes and authors – even after the content has been finalized.

In an increasingly data-driven world, adherence to GDPR and other data privacy regulations is critical to keep pace and ensure consumer confidence. For Proposal and Sales teams on the front lines, putting the right controls in place to ensure compliance is being met will not only help avoid fines and damage to your company’s reputation, but it’s will also help them to put their best foot forward and deliver compelling proposals to score the next big win.

Read more: GDPR Anniversary: Consent and Data Transfer Still Concern Marketers

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