The SCG Blog

Are Your Field Reps Comfortable Being Uncomfortable?

August 25, 2015


Jason Swan
Managing Director


Compliance cases are not for the meek. Each case is unique and you never know how the client will react when approached about unpaid software. This is why you need a professional third party to navigate this sensitive subject. There is a large amount of preparation involved:  understanding the clients' rights, privacy law, vendor license agreement, entitlements, and more. The bar is high before you can even begin the conversation.Third party resources are imperative when building out a compliance program. Compliance settlements are not sales events. Your field sales organization is not equipped to handle a potentially contentious situation nor does it want to. 

Uncomfortable Conversations for Sales

Field Sales and Channel Sales have strong relationships in their territories. Their role is to build value, build relationships and understand client needs. The sales reps’ “champions” expect to be informed of any and all activity in their account.  This puts the sales rep at a disadvantage in a compliance case. That champion, in most cases, is the infringer or the manager of the infringer. If informed early in the process, they'll leverage their relationship with the local sales rep in an attempt to wiggle out of the situation or be forced to turn on their account manager.

The local sales team should not be put in this position. These cases bring the potential of unraveling all the goodwill and trust that’s been built up for years. If local sales is authorized to engage, and the matter does not go smoothly, they will have to choose whether to escalate the matter or simply walk away. Either decision does not leave the sales rep in an optimal light in the client’s eyes. The client will feel like they are being pressured into a purchase by the same sales rep who is selling value.

Selling Compliance, Not Products

On the other hand, third party experts are experienced in compliance engagements. Emotions and historical relationships are not present in the dialogue.  Facts are exchanged and the process is explained. Outside experts have the ability to sell the compliance case from the top down, allowing the evidence to be gathered without the user community being aware. High level visibility elicits quick action and cooperation that protects all parties.

The result is quicker settlements, higher settlements, lack of emotion and protection of your sales team that has worked so hard to position themselves in a favorable manner.

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