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Compliance and Sales: two sides of the same coin

If I’m being honest, one of the reasons—perhaps subconsciously—that I got into the compliance field is because it was about as far away from sales as I could possibly get.

After a mediocre run hustling Thin Mints, I learned an important lesson: leave sales to the professionals!

I have a feeling most of you, my dear compliance friends, feel the same way. 

Hollywood lied to me.

Despite my aversion, selling was something I found that I needed to do quite a bit of. It just manifested itself as selling my compliance program to my organization. And that responsibility grew as a core job function as I climbed up the ranks from compliance coordinator, to manager, to director, and ultimately to chief compliance officer. Fortunately for me, I really love compliance work (yeah!)! So, even though I don’t love sales, selling compliance is something I’ve come to love doing.

Loving what you’re doing is super helpful, but it still doesn’t make the process or task any easier. And making the business case for a compliance program can be challenging, but it’s essential and worth it.

Let’s break it down.

First, the good news: Someone somewhere at some time in your organization decided that a compliance program was necessary. And by working in this compliance program, you’re helping ensure continued success and relevance for your company. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise!

Now, the more challenging news: It’s up to you to produce results that continually convince those in control of the budget and direction of the company that you and your program are worth the investment.

Figuring out how to accomplish that can seem like a daunting task.

Lots has been written over the years on selecting metrics to measure compliance effectiveness. (just Google “compliance effectiveness”). 🙄

That’s why I want to circle back to the one writing that challenged me not just to think about metrics differently, but also to think critically about the educational direction of and my communications about my entire program.  

Enter Broadcat. 🥳


Here was a small company that was doing the same type of work and struggling with the same sort of questions. But the suggestions for solutions were completely different from anything else anyone was talking about. Most compliance folks and vendors were pushing modules and quizzes based on high-level theoretical analyses of big-ticket risks.

Broadcat asked us to stop and think: Are these modules and quizzes getting us the results we’re looking for? And if not, why not?


Broadcat’s founder—Ricardo Pellafone—wrote a treatise titled, “Why most compliance training fails, and how to fix it,” and it signaled a sea-change for me. I needed to stop and think about:

  1. real and meaningful goals,
  2. how best to track the results, and 
  3. how to tell the story succinctly.

There’s a lot to take away from this seminal work, but for now I’d like to point you to the section on making the business case for your program and give you a little gift.

We’ve created a one-pager that outlines the inputs, formulas and calculations (yes, your third-grade teacher was right – you will use math every day) that will help you tell your story. Focusing on problems, solutions and outcomes gives you a wealth of opportunities to show effectiveness. And that’s the goal! 

Download it!

I also want to hear from you, so let me know what questions you have and how we can help! This next step in my journey is all about supporting and educating the next generation to push our grand profession forward.

You can connect with me by sending an email to jennifer[at] or on LinkedIn.