You’d be forgiven for thinking that “selling” is the last thing anyone should be doing right now. I mean, we are in the midst of a global pandemic, surely businesses are battening down the hatches and waiting for the storm to pass? Interestingly, no. The initial focus on contingency planning and disaster recovery that we saw in the first couple of weeks has subsided. Businesses have transitioned their staff to remote working and they’re into a rhythm. Dare we say it, it’s business as usual (well usual-ish).
So, we took the opportunity to speak to Gungho’s Operations Director, Chloe Bonnett, to take the temperature of the world of compliance during COVID-19.
Are people actually answering the phone right now?
Yes! Working from home still means working. We haven’t seen a huge change in calling patterns and people are responsive to talking about ways they can streamline their compliance processes. If anything, we’ve noticed that people have more time to talk because they’re not as caught up in meetings. That said, we are being sensitive to the impacts of COVID-19 and have adapted the industries that we’re targeting. We’re focussing on industries that are functioning as usual. For example, transport, telecoms, food manufacturers and supermarkets are all industries that actually need more support right now in terms of compliance.
How are you getting through to the right people now that they’re all working from home?
We have a huge, ever-evolving data set that we have developed in-house over the last 13 years. Our team of Data Researchers spend their time gathering the contact details we need to ensure that our Discovery Agents get through to decision-makers. Also, because we haven’t bought data off-the-shelf from a third party, AND we’re always updating it, we know that our information is accurate. We don’t have generic email addresses or just switchboard numbers, we have the mobile numbers and direct email addresses of the likes of Heads of Compliance, AML Officers etc in a vast array of industries and regions.
Surely people don’t want to set appointments?
What people realise is that the world is still turning, and compliance laws and regulations still exist. Sure, some of our clients have reduced their appointment setting activity but lots have increased. Where they aren’t spending money on events, they see the value of investing in cold calling. Post COVID-19, regulators will be examining business processes and with the huge increase in online transactions due to Coronavirus, organisations are open to risk. For example, supermarkets who have lost suppliers in certain areas of the world are having to expand their supply chain. If they don’t focus on due diligence, the ramifications could be disastrous, so the appetite is very much there.
How have your teams adapted their working?
We are all set up and working from home. The transition was easy for us because we already worked in a digitally focused way with a central Salesforce system. All we need is a secure internet connection and we could work from anywhere. The biggest difference is that our ACAMS accredited Discovery Agents are using their expertise to set up web demos and digital meetings for our clients. We’re finding it’s easier to get meeting slots because people don’t have the pressure of the daily commute, travel to and from meetings and the distraction of office chatter. They generally have more availability and more flexibility.
What’s the future looking like?
Hopefully, we’re over the worst and we will see life (slowly) getting back to normal. We know that as an organisation, we can carry on working from home indefinitely so we’re not in a rush to make any changes. We haven’t reduced our working hours, and everyone is working as they were before. We know what we do is valuable to our clients and we’re one of the best at what we do, so for us, the future is looking as bright as ever.
You heard it here first – compliance doesn’t stop and (spoiler alert) neither do regulators! So, pick up the phone and talk to us about how we can make sure you minimise your risk during COVID-19 and beyond. Call us on +44 (0) 203 326 8150