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:
Increased due diligence: Compliance regulations may require companies to conduct more extensive due diligence on potential customers, which can lengthen the sales cycle.
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.
Contract negotiations: Compliance regulations may require specific language or clauses in contracts, which can prolong negotiations and impact the sales cycle.
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.
One of the most effective ways to ensure regulatory compliance and accelerate sales cycles is to invest in automation. At Findings.co, 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.