Every day, the Gungho team has the awesome opportunity to talk to the world’s community of Compliance Officers. They are diligent professionals with a demanding list of responsibilities. To reach them requires an understanding of who they are, their goals, and the challenges they face.
We’ve become experts at opening up conversations with Compliance Officers, Money Laundering Report Officers, Bank Secrecy Act Officers, Heads of Third Party Risk and heaps of professionals with similar job titles. Our mission is always the same: to have unscripted, intelligent conversations that lead to well-qualified appointments for our clients. We succeed in having these conversations and booking appointments because we’ve gotten to know the role of the Compliance Officer, their worries, and what makes them tick. Here we’ll share what we’ve learned and how you can improve your outbound sales and cold calling efforts to reach people in this complex role.
Getting to Know the Compliance Persona
Compliance Officers are responsible for ensuring a company complies with its outside regulatory requirements and internal policies. In short, they are responsible for making sure that the company plays by the rules.
In the financial sector, the Compliance Officer is responsible for keeping up to date with domestic and international regulations; preventing money laundering; and identifying suspicious activity, insider trading threats, fraud or illicit activity. In other sectors, the compliance function identifies threats and risks across third parties and suppliers, monitors for bribery and corruption, and keeps up to date with laws, regulations and best practices.
Whatever the industry, the commitment from this function is to conduct business that adheres to all applicable national and international laws and regulations, put in place monitoring mechanisms, keep abreast of the constant changes that could impact the business, identify threats and alert the board to take necessary action. By doing so, they help the business avoid missteps that could result in hefty fines, legal ramifications and reputational damage.
Identifiers, Goals, and Challenges
There are certain traits required to succeed as a Compliance Officer. The people we speak to are highly analytical — their job requires them to assess all parts of a regulation or guidance to determine and implement best practices. They think through the information before them and do not make hasty judgements or decisions.
Though they are thorough, compliance officers have strong decision-making skills. Once they have assessed all relevant information and are confident in the best way forward, they act. Protecting an organization from the risks of money laundering or bribery and corruption and ensuring all regulatory requirements are met and can be accounted for, requires decisiveness and resolve.
Compliance Officers in both corporate and financial organizations are tasked with raising awareness of risk and getting cross departmental buy-in for the policies established by their compliance programs. They are focused on implementing programs that clearly establish the steps necessary for proper onboarding and ongoing monitoring of customers and their transactions in the case of financials, and suppliers and third party vendors in a corporate setting.
Compliance Officers face many challenges in their role, both internal and external. Getting buy-in and support from leadership and other core departments within an organization is difficult. It requires convincing leadership of the reputational and financial threats associated with compliance missteps, and ensuring necessary compliance functions are being carried out consistently across different geographies and departments. In the case of large financial institutions, compliance teams are spread across the globe. We find that Compliance Officers are often dealing with limited budgets, limited resources, and time-consuming clunky processes.
Regulatory demands don’t slow down, creating the constant challenge of interpreting new regulations and adjusting policies and documentation processes to ensure compliance programs are keeping up. Global organizations are responsible for adhering to country and region-specific regulations, which requires a stringent eye and changes to processes to take into account the evolving nature of the regulatory environment.
Tips for Connecting with Compliance Officers
Having a broad understanding of who a Compliance Officer is and what they’re working towards helps to establish a foundation for meaningful conversation. From there, successful appointment setting requires digging into regulatory requirements and compliance challenges specific to an officer’s industry, location, third parties, and customers.
Ask questions that speak to a Compliance Officer’s responsibilities. These will of course vary by industry, and should be tailored to the regulatory requirements for the business you’re calling into.
– What kinds of new compliance challenges are emerging with respect to their country or region?
– What obstacles make it difficult to demonstrate compliance to regulators?
– How can technology help them perform core compliance functions such as onboarding and remediation?
How do they systematically identify risk in their customer base, their supply chain or vendor network?
Take advantage of the opportunity to share valuable content and insights that help compliance officers perform their job better. Follow industry publications to keep regulatory news and enforcement actions top of mind and keep a pulse on key industry events. Assess the content your company is producing, like blogs, webinars, white papers, studies and reports, and be ready to share pieces that would resonate based on your conversations.
Below are some publications and events that Compliance Officers read and frequent:
Gungho speaks to hundreds of Compliance Officers across the globe, from Shanghai to Sacramento, on a daily basis. Nearly all of the Gungho team holds a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Certification from ACAMS, allowing us to hold confident conversations about the role of protecting financial institutions from the risk of money laundering. Our ability to have meaningful conversations with this audience drives more booked appointments and more revenue for our clients. (In fact, 65% of our appointments make it to our client’s revenue pipeline!).
Interested in learning more about our approach to cold calling risk and compliance professionals? Read our case study about our success with Regulatory Data Corporation, Inc., a leading diligence solution for AML, sanctions compliance, and anti-bribery and corruption prevention.