Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:

  • 65% of businesses experience sales delays due to data privacy issues. – Cisco, 2018.
  • Businesses without privacy concerns experience 80% shorter sales delays. – Cisco, 2018.

A majority of businesses say customer data privacy issues cause delays in sales cycles, new Cisco research found.

Globally, 65% of businesses report experiencing delays due to privacy concerns, with an average delay time of two months. However, privacy-mature businesses that have stronger security protections tend to experience 80% shorter sales delays, Cisco said. The findings suggest strong privacy protections could mean a stronger business.

Using American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) privacy maturity definitions, businesses with ad hoc maturity faced average sales delays of 16.8 weeks, while those with the highest level of maturity reported an average of 3.3 weeks.

SEE: Guidelines for building security policies (Tech Pro Research)

More mature data protections can also lead to less monetary loss due to data breaches, Cisco found. Around three-fourths of companies with fewer protections-the privacy immature-faced losses over $500,000 due to security issues last year. Only 39% of privacy-mature companies dealt with that level of loss, Cisco said.

By geography, Chinese and Russian companies see the shortest delays at an average of three weeks. Latin American and Mexican companies experience the longest at an average of 14 weeks.

The government and healthcare industries see the longest sales delays by sector, at 19 and 10.2 weeks, respectively. Utilities, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing businesses all had average delays at or under three weeks.

The upcoming May 2018 enforcement of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe may be causing some of the delays, Cisco noted, as consumers have a growing awareness and concern about the security of their data. While GDPR doesn’t directly impact companies in the US, international companies that do business in the European Union will need to comply and may be facing some of these delays.

Companies should review their protections to increase security and potentially decrease consumer concerns and loss of time and money.