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Sales Compliance: What Is It & Why Is It Important?

Sales compliance is ensuring that all of your organization’s sales communications follow the rules set by the government. Many of these standards are put in place to protect consumers from being misled or deceived by businesses, especially financial institutions. In practice, sales compliance is making sure that communications are in line with the appropriate regulations across all touchpoints in which you communicate directly with a consumer. Whether it be through email, social media, on the phone or via messaging, organizations are responsible for making sure that messaging by their sales representatives is accurate, truthful and abides by all applicable regulations.  

Why Is Sales Compliance Important?

Sales communications are an extension of your marketing communications but there are two main differences when it comes to compliance monitoring. First is that, with sales communications, a sales rep is typically speaking directly to only one or a few people, rather than a larger audience. Second, monitoring involves reviewing communications by many individual sales professionals as opposed to one central hub for marketing content. These communications are not immune to regulatory scrutiny, as they still fall under the same rules and regulations as any marketing materials would. Failure to meet these regulatory obligations could result in regulatory scrutiny and enforcement actions against your company.

For those in consumer lending, sales compliance is especially important. Mortgage loan officers and wealth advisors, for example, often work with consumers directly. It’s important that consumers are given accurate information. Under the Truth In Lending Act (TILA), this includes information like the amount financed, finance charges, payment schedules, a total of payments, annual percentage rates (APRs) and security interest disclosures. If any of these are not disclosed properly, the creditor is liable and will likely hear from the regulators.

Where Should You Look For Sales Compliance?

There are several places in which your sales team might be communicating with consumers:

Call Centers and Messaging

What agents or sales reps are telling consumers either over the phone or via messaging must be within regulations. They should also be adhering to scripts and handling objections properly according to company guidelines. 

Emails and Texts

One-on-one email communications or text messages between salespeople and consumers can be a blind spot when it comes to compliance. Although these are more personal and private communications compared to a marketing email campaign, these consumers still must be given accurate information and the content must comply with regulations.

Web and Social Media

While most communications on the web or Social Media can be considered marketing compliance, social accounts or web pages for individual contributors could be categorized under sales compliance since they are communicating directly with consumers. An example of this would be a mortgage loan officer or a wealth advisor that has their own practice in conjunction with a larger organization.

 

Sales Compliance Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult

Ensuring sales compliance can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Technology can automate the monitoring and remediation of your organization’s sales communications with consumers. With the help of an automated multi-channel platform, potential compliance issues can be automatically discovered, tracked and remediated across all of these sources.

PerformLine helps organizations of all sizes monitor their sales communications and content across the web, email, messaging, calls and social media for regulatory and brand compliance to mitigate risk and ensure brand safety.

If you’d like to learn more about monitoring your sales communications for compliance, our experts are ready to help.

 

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Tags: Regulatory Compliance, Thought Leadership, Risk Management

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