Governance, Risk and Compliance Services (GRC Services) is a strategy used in managing an organization’s overall governance, enterprise risk management, and compliance with regulations. To present a better image, think of GRC as a structured approach in aligning IT with business objectives all while effectively managing risk and meeting compliance requirements.
By having a well-planned GRC strategy provides numerous benefits. Here is to name a few:
- Improved decision-making
- More optimal IT investments
- Elimination of silos
- Reduced fragmentation among divisions and departments
With GRC being a highly technical service, it can get quite tricky to sell. One of the greatest challenges for risk compliance teams nowadays is the lack of engagement with their businesses which has been under the increasing scrutiny in relation to recent events that involve misconduct and unethical behavior in the financial services industry.
A strong indicator of the struggle it’s facing lies often in the lack of collaboration and cohesion between the risk and compliance team and the rest of the business.
With that in mind, let’s talk about a step-by-step guide on how to sell not just the GRC service but also its value to any organization.
The “Why” Behind the “What”
Selling IT GRC services is more than just telling your buyers that it is a great service to have. You have to make them understand why GRC is important to their organization. By answering that question you also define the very benefit that you are going to provide to the organization. This is going to be the start of your sales pitch as you educate them on your service.
Understand your Customer
There are many times risk and compliance teams overlook this step in their GRC program. This is one of the most important ingredients to ensure your success. In order to be able to sell the value of risk and compliance, one must first and foremost understand who the customers are. Ask these questions to gain a better understanding of your customers.
- What is their geographical location?
- What are the informal structures within the organization?
- Who are the most influential decision-makers in their company?
- What expectations do you have for the company and people involved in regards to GRC?
- What roles does GRC play in their regular day-to-day interactions?
By asking these questions not only will you be able to formulate a concrete plan to close the gap of grief, but also be able to give these companies a good idea of where they currently stand as well. In turn, their answers will provide you a better picture of where the power centers are within your organization and your level of operation maturity.
Know their Challenges
If you want to be able to sell anything, you must also master the skill of listening. So, when you’re trying to solve a deeply embedded and complex problem, you have to understand the challenges your customers are facing before you present them with a solution.
Just a couple of simple queries will already give you a great advantage in understanding the struggles from the business perspective.
- What do you find the most challenging about the activities the risk and compliance team regularly expects of you?
- Can you tell us which activities are the most time-consuming? Do some of these activities seem ineffective to you?
- What do these activities mean for you and your organization?
- What is working well in your interactions with the risk and compliance team?
- Would you change anything about how we currently run these processes?
You have to always remember that you will be talking to people who may have been doing things a certain way for a long time already that they may not initially realize that their system has a problem. In order to help them discover this, you may want to tailor your questions to the specific customer you’re talking to.
Present your Plan
This phase of your sales process is where you have the opportunity to be creative. Whether you’re going to develop a 10-step plan to close the GRC gap or a three-step plan for improving business engagement, this phase is the most important in order to move from an abstract idea to a concrete plan.
When you’re meeting with the key executives, be sure that you’re going to answer all their questions and meet their concerns. The next step is to target the other key groups within the organization and present your plan and address the high-level objectives of your solution as well as the benefits it will provide for each group.
Execute your Plan
Now that you’ve made your case crystal clear it’s time to execute your plan. Remember that the GRC framework doesn’t have an end date. You increase the organization’s profitability and drive operational excellence by solving problems on an ongoing basis. If you measure the progress along the maturity scale is a good indicator to the business of the success of your initiative as well as the value that the risk and compliance team is providing them.
Risk management is just like a map or a compass. It exists to help organizations to steer them in the right direction. It’s all about striking the balance between profitability and doing right by your customers, shareholders, partners, and employees.