Sales teams communicate with customers on multiple different channels and use various tools and software throughout the sales process. While these tools can help teams close deals faster, they also pose challenges for businesses when it comes to sales compliance.
Sales teams also rely heavily on tools that help them automate their sales processes. These include email marketing tools, CRM, and marketing automation software. These tools may be absolutely necessary for businesses that are trying to grow, but they too often come with privacy risks.
For example, a sales team may be collecting personal and sensitive information from customers. Common examples include email addresses, phone numbers, and names. Your company must collect and store this type of data securely. If that information ends up in the wrong hands, it could risk exposing the company to privacy violations and breaches.
Furthermore, as customers give consent, businesses must ensure that they will only use their information for the agreed purposes. If customers give consent to a sales team to use their information for marketing purposes, they must make sure that the information is used properly.
What is sales compliance?
Sales compliance is the process of ensuring that all of your organization’s sales communications adhere to the regulations established by the government.
Many of these requirements are in place to safeguard customers from being misled or tricked by corporations.
In practice, sales compliance entails ensuring that communications are in accordance with the applicable legislation at all touchpoints when you connect directly with a consumer.
Organizations are responsible for ensuring that messages by their sales personnel are accurate, true, and comply with all relevant requirements. This is true whether the communication is by email, social media, phone, or text messages.
Why is sales compliance important?
When it comes to compliance monitoring, sales communications are an extension of marketing communications. However, the main difference is that in sales communications, a sales agent often speaks directly to one or a few people rather than a wider audience.
These messages are not immune to regulatory examination.
Likewise, they are subject to the same laws and regulations as any other marketing materials. Failure to satisfy these regulatory duties may result in regulatory scrutiny and enforcement proceedings being brought against your organization.
Sales compliance is important for a sales organization from a liability standpoint. If the business’s sales practices are inconsistent, the business needs to be able to show that its policies, practices, and procedures are consistent. Otherwise, the business can face liability lawsuits for violations of certain sales practices.
Ensure that all employees, from C-suite executives to entry-level salespeople, follow relevant legal requirements. As a result, businesses can ensure that they fully comply with the regulations and policies.
Sales compliance is especially critical for sales organizations that operate in highly-regulated industries, such as finance or healthcare organizations. The consequences of non-compliance are steep, including fines, remediation costs, and loss of customers.
How can you ensure compliance?
Sales compliance is the responsibility of business leaders. They must ensure that the organization abides by important regulations that govern sales practices.
By ensuring that sales practices adhere to these regulations, businesses can reduce the risk of facing regulatory scrutiny, fines, and customer loss.
The best way to avoid legal liabilities and sales compliance issues is to employ a proven, fully-compliant sales training program. This should include educational modules to help sales professionals obtain an understanding of the laws that apply to their sales activities as well as individually crafted training plans.
Another thing to keep in mind is that sales teams often use multiple channels to communicate with customers. These channels must be monitored and tracked to ensure that they do not inadvertently violate any sales compliance regulations.
These are some of the most common channels. Many sales teams use them frequently. As a result, make sure they comply with sales compliance regulations!
- Sales and Support Center Calls: What agents or sales personnel say to customers over the phone must comply with rules. They should also follow scripts and handle complaints in accordance with business policies.
- Emails and Text Messages: When it comes to compliance, one-on-one email interactions or text messaging between salespeople and customers might be a blind spot. These emails often contain sensitive information. Retain them for the prescribed retention period. This is why it’s essential to have a good data archiving strategy that clearly outlines how long sensitive data should be kept.
- Social Media and Website: Most web or social media interactions can be classified as requiring marketing compliance. Social accounts or web pages may also be classified as sales compliance. After all, they connect directly with customers. Monitor them carefully for compliance violations.
It may appear like ensuring sales compliance is a daunting task, but it does not have to be.
Technology can automate the monitoring and compliance of your company’s consumer sales communications. You will want to automatically find, track, and remediate potential compliance concerns across all of these sources. Do this through the use of compliance tools and the implementation of proper compliance policies.