Category Archives: Trade Compliance

How Compliance Impacts Your Sales-Cycle Success discusses why your sales cycle success depends on compliance

From GDPR, ISO, and HIPAA to NIST, organizations must now comply with a complex patchwork of global, regional, and national laws and regulations.

Sales teams are often focused on meeting their targets and may not think about the compliance risks that can impact sales cycles and the business on the whole. Compliance refers to the laws, rules, and regulations that a company must follow to conduct business legally and ethically. 

However, compliance should be top of mind for sales teams, as regulatory compliance failures can lengthen the time it takes to close a deal, increase costs, and create new risks. The two are often interconnected because compliance regulations can impact how a company sells and how long it takes to close a sale. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal and financial consequences.

Sales Cycles: How Long Should They be?

A shorter sales cycle is important for two main reasons. With the business world being highly competitive, companies need to be able to move quickly to win new business. Second, a shorter sales cycle allows companies to optimize their marketing ROI and accelerate revenue. Above all, a shorter sales cycle enhances customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Recent trends show sales cycles are getting longer and more complex. In a survey conducted in 2021 by Korn Ferry, 52 percent of B2B buyers said the sales cycle is now longer than ever before. 

One of the major factors that can impact sales cycles is regulatory compliance.

Regulatory Compliance Risks

From hefty fines that run up to millions of dollars to damage to brand reputation, non-compliance with cybersecurity regulations can land companies in deep trouble.

Here are some statistics that show the consequences of non-compliance that in turn, can affect sales cycles:

  • In the last quarter of 2022 alone, data breaches across the world exposed 15 million records

  • According to IBM’s 2022 report, a data breach can cost companies a whopping $4.1 million

  • 279 days is the average time it takes for a company to identify the breach

  • Companies affected by a data breach lose $1.42 million worth of business

Sales cycles can be impacted by compliance in several ways:

  1. Increased due diligence: Compliance regulations may require companies to conduct more extensive due diligence on potential customers, which can lengthen the sales cycle.

  2. Documentation requirements: Compliance regulations may require companies to provide detailed documentation and information about their products or services, which can also lengthen the sales cycle.

  3. Contract negotiations: Compliance regulations may require specific language or clauses in contracts, which can prolong negotiations and impact the sales cycle.

  4. Approval processes: Compliance regulations may require approval from multiple stakeholders, such as legal or regulatory departments, which can add time to the sales cycle.

Regulations often create additional steps in the sales process, which can increase the time it takes to close a sale. Companies that prioritize compliance, however, may ultimately benefit from increased trust and confidence from customers and regulators, which can lead to longer-term business success. Above all, non-compliance with cybersecurity regulations affects business continuity, productivity, and client relationships, leading to longer sales cycles and canceled contracts.

Partners, vendors, and customers may see the affected company as an unreliable one following a breach. In some cases, they may resort to legal action, further impacting brand reputation and sales.

Ensuring Sales Cycle Success With Regulatory Compliance

It is important for organizations to be aware of the specific compliance requirements that apply to them. 

Studies show that extensive use of data loss prevention, encryption, and threat intelligence sharing can reduce data breach costs significantly, allowing a business to bounce back quickly.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure regulatory compliance and optimize the sales cycle:

  • Establish and maintain a documented privacy management system

  • Conduct regulatory risk assessments

  • Implement controls to mitigate privacy risks

  • Monitor and review the effectiveness of the privacy management system

  • Communicate information about the organization’s privacy management program to employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

Automate Compliance

One of the most effective ways to ensure regulatory compliance and accelerate sales cycles is to invest in automation. At, we offer an innovative solution that provides enterprises with 360-degree audited monitoring of the supply chain and automated control verification.

This cuts overheads and the time required to showcase your privacy and security compliance, speeding up your sales cycles, productivity, and business revenue.

Schedule a demo to learn more about our compliance solutions.

Why Should You Care About Your Compliance Posture?

Findings explains why businesses should care about their compliance postures.

In general, compliance means following rules made by an authority body. In practice, it means creating a program that has security controls in place to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data.

Your business and customer data is valuable to cybercriminals who may use it for malicious reasons or personal gain. They could be acting on behalf of the state or an aggressive competitor interested in your trade secrets, technical data or internal communications. Or they may be motivated by money, which they make by selling your customers’ data on the dark web or holding it for ransom. 

Why is Regulatory Compliance Important?

The risk of non-compliance with cybersecurity regulations is too big to take lightly. PCI DDS breaches cost companies a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $100,000 per month in fines. Fines per HIPAA violation range from $100 to $50,000. If you do business in California, the state’s data privacy law – California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – will apply to you provided you handle more than 50,000 consumers’ data or have an annual gross revenue of at least $25 million. Under the law, you could be fined up to $7,500 for sharing or processing certain types of employee information without their consent.  

Harsh punitive action apart, the bad publicity that accompanies data breaches can create a trust deficit among customers and make your competitors suddenly look a lot more attractive than you. Intentional or unintentional exposure of your employees’ information due to ineffective controls or training may also cause them distress. 

What Goes Into Maintaining a Strong Compliance Posture?

You’d have to create strong defensive measures for all the places where your data lives, such as systems, networks, smart devices, routers and the cloud. Here’s where industry standards and government regulations on cybersecurity come in. While there are many, not all may apply to your industry. So, the first step in creating a strong compliance posture is to identify the cybersecurity regulations you need to comply with and the cybersecurity frameworks you can adopt to reduce your cybersecurity risk. 

You’ll then have to appoint a person to manage your cybersecurity program and stay updated with compliance requirements. Large organizations have Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), but in a medium-sized or small company, the IT Manager, CTO or COO performs this role, usually in consultation with a cybersecurity company. 

The individual is in charge of assessing risks and vulnerabilities, and implementing technical controls based on applicable cybersecurity regulations or a cybersecurity framework (e.g NIST, ISO/IEC 27001 or PCI DSS) with added technical controls to meet those regulations. They will also be responsible for implementing, in collaboration with other leaders, non-technical controls such as cybersecurity policies, procedures, audits and training, which are equally important to compliance. 

Cybersecurity requirements change. New threats emerge. The controls you have now may not stack up against new laws and evolving threats. Regularly assessing your security controls is necessary to identify security gaps due to any new risks that have emerged and enforce changes required to continue maintaining a robust compliance posture. If things appear complicated, a cybersecurity company or attorney specializing in cybersecurity compliance will prove to be a valuable ally by providing clarity on laws and recommendations on risk management.

Russian sanctions made trade Compliance a Burning Issue – Here’s Everything You MUST Know

Trade Compliance |

You may have heard about trade compliance before, but do you know its meaning? It’s an essential part of international trade, and it’s amongst the few things that will put your company at risk if you don’t abide by it. 

Here is everything you must know about trade compliance and why it matters so much these days with everything going on with Russia.

What Does Trade Compliance Cover?

In short, trade compliance requirements can impact your ability to import or export into foreign markets and effectively operate within your territory. Trade compliance applies to any company operating across borders; even if you plan on staying stateside and selling in only one jurisdiction, there is still a good chance that a local regulator will make contact at some point in your company’s life cycle. It isn’t always apparent whether a law requires you to comply with its provisions.

Trade compliance is defined as “an aspect of corporate compliance which ensures that all import and export transactions are in conformance with the laws and regulations of the countries involved,” according to Daw Jones Risk and Compliancy glossary.

What is the U.S. Department of Commerce Rules Regarding Export Control?

The U.S. Department of Commerce maintains a set of rules regarding export control that every business should know about—even if you don’t think your company is doing any business abroad. These rules include what products can be shipped outside of our borders and how they can be traded (and sometimes not traded).

These guidelines ensure we’re not selling or sending anything to countries we have sanctions against—like Iran or North Korea—or the newly star Russia.

What might surprise you is that there are particular nuances to how trade compliance works.

Russia made trade compliance a priority.

As part of Russia’s aggression and invading Ukraine, The U.S. has issued sanctions against Russia’s banks, business people, and other financial services to disrupt these funding sources. 

U.S. sanctions don’t apply to U.S. companies or people, but they impose restrictions on non-US persons’ dealings. The broad range of U.S. sanctions programs and rules means that almost any non-US citizen or entity doing business with a person on a sanctioned list violates U.S. law. This includes foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies.

U.S. trade sanctions can have serious consequences, including fines and imprisonment. For that reason, it’s essential for firms operating internationally to make sure they have systems in place to comply with trade compliance laws. It’s also important to understand that these penalties are not just reserved for trade sanctions; sentences can be imposed against those who fail to take reasonable steps to ensure their trade partners are not violating trade compliance laws.

Businesses must understand trade compliance regulations so that they don’t run afoul of them or understand their risks to manage them appropriately.

There are four ways that trade compliance applies to you:

1) You might import goods into or export goods out of a sanctioned country

2) You might do business with someone who does

3) Your customer may purchase goods from someone who does

4) Your customer may sell goods to someone who does

Suppose you import goods into or export goods out of a sanctioned country. In that case, The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which falls under the Treasury Department, administers and enforces trade sanctions against targeted countries. 

OFAC tracks all U.S.-based financial transactions and shipments leaving and entering U.S. ports via air freight or sea freight transport services. If you import goods into or export goods out of a sanctioned country, those goods will fall under trade compliance rules administered by OFAC.

You must file a report with OFAC before importing or exporting those goods to ensure that neither you nor your customers violate trade sanctions. 

For example, suppose one of your supplier’s purchases steel from Russia and ships it to China, where it is assembled into final products. In that case, Chinese importers have to comply with trade sanctions if they want to re-export those products back into the United States. This could also apply if you have manufacturing facilities in China since any imported raw materials would still fall under trade compliance rules administered by OFAC.

Risk Management – Effective Trade Compliance And Supply Chain Management 

CAATSA, or The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, will profoundly impact global trade compliance. CAATSA was signed into law by President Trump in August 2017 and mandates sanctions against Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela. It also prohibits foreign entities from doing business with U.S. companies unless they are compliant with CAATSA. 

Many organizations also want to do business with sanctioned countries like Russia, Iran, and North Korea because they offer lower prices than other suppliers. However, before engaging in any trade activity involving these countries or individuals under U.S. sanctions laws, you must ensure that your organization has effective trade compliance programs. Otherwise, you risk facing severe penalties under CAATSA if you engage in transactions involving blocked persons without first obtaining authorization from OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control).

Effortless Trade Compliance

Cut the processing time in half and ignore “experts advisors” – When you use the findings’ platform, you can automate your entire trade compliance process.

Automate your assessments, enable best practices, and give your supply chain the advantage.

What to learn more about what findings can help you with? Start your free trial today.

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