Executives at a major manufacturing company are huddled in a boardroom discussing how to fix their internal compliance processes after receiving a multi-million dollar fine for failing to properly vet a new customer who later turned out to be a denied party.

The buyer in question had cleared an initial global sanctions check, but, unbeknownst to the company, the entity was added to a new government watchlist between initial engagement and contract signing. “How can we maintain compliance when the requirements keep changing?” one executive lamented. “The people, technical and infrastructure resources needed for effective compliance would be enormous!”

Compliance Landscape is Complex and Continually Changing

The question is a good one. Consider the following scenario. There are hundreds of denied party screening lists with the names of individuals and organizations constantly being added. New regulations are being promulgated all the time. Take, for example, the updated Military End User rule in the U.S as well as the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions regime in the UK just in the past year alone. Same for government trade advisories such as the recent U.S. State Department decree about the “heightened risks for businesses with supply chain investment links to Xinjiang” in China.

And there is the added complexity stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic which made remote working more the norm for many rather than something special for a few. From this perspective, another dilemma emerges – how do organizations know their compliance programs and processes are effective in a workforce-distributed setting?

Given this situation, we can see that risk management in the compliance realm for any business would be challenging. But let’s reword the executive’s question so that it encourages us to think of a solution. What if we asked: What can we do as an organization to effectively comply with global sanctions regulations without having to expend vast amounts of resources?

Why CRM Systems, Especially Salesforce, are on the Denied Parties Screening Front Lines

The goal of most organizations is to generate revenue for the well-being of the corporation, employees, shareholders, and the communities in which they operate.

In striving for this objective, the function encountering the greatest risk with respect to sanctions violations is Sales. For some companies, the daily volume of interactions could be staggering. And it makes sense for global sanctions checks and screenings to be focused on that interface.

The best place to effectively manage risk, therefore, is through customer relationship management (CRM) systems, because that is where the majority of commercial business activities are recorded. This is especially true with Salesforce because its ubiquitous prevalence in the market means that third party solutions for all sorts of use cases are common, including denied party screening applications delivered via managed packages. (See also the article on Top Three Reasons Salesforce CRM Platform is Key for 3rd Party Compliance)

Once implemented, suspicious entities are flagged at the lead, contact and account levels, helping to ensure that time and effort is used to chase only legitimate deals. For those salespeople working remotely or in the traditional office setting, this would be of great benefit to them to speed up their deal-making. (Also read the article on Screening for Denied Parties in Salesforce is an Investment that Elevates Compliance and Accelerates Sales Velocity).

Charting a Course for Success on the Compliance Front Lines

Going back to the question posed earlier – What can I do as an organization to effectively comply with global sanctions screening requirements in order to maintain my business’ vitality without having to expend vast amounts of resources?

Given that governments won’t tolerate violations of any kind, there is a strong need to get the risk management part of the compliance equation right the first time. For the answer, organizations need to consider the following three points:

  • Leverage technology: The tipping point in wars has almost always come down to who deployed better technology first. It’s the same in business. Since you are already using Salesforce, you can inexpensively and easily integrate denied party screening software into the CRM, with the ultimate benefit being shorter sales cycles.
  • Make sure your third-party screening solution is robust: The better solution provider can have you up and running quickly, with advanced research and analysis tools and an automated audit trail that can be accessed from Salesforce. They will also help ensure that you are compliant with major denied and restricted party rules, including daily screening watchlist updates and new regulations so that you can focus more time on selling your goods and services.
  • Look for automated rescreening: When selecting a vendor ask if they can automatically rescreen against changes made to government and international denied party lists. This is vitally important, because there are no buttons to manually click or switches to flick. Every entity within the CRM just gets automatically rescreened so that the salespeople know instantly who to pursue.

How Descartes Can Help

Descartes is a provider of an industry-leading suite of denied party screening and 3rd-party risk management solutions, including integration with Salesforce with minimal disruption, sometimes as fast as under an hour.

Descartes solutions are flexible and modular, allowing organizations to pick the specific and exact functionality and content they need for their particular compliance needs and scale up later as and when necessary.

Read our white paper to get more detailed information about performing Effective and Comprehensive Denied Party Screening Within the Salesforce CRM.

Written by Jackson Wood

Director, Industry Strategy, Global Trade Intelligence, Descartes