When it comes to the bottom line, few business functions are more important than sales and marketing. However, from the perspective of anti-corruption experts, sales and marketing activities can present a significant risk.
With prosecuting authorities routinely holding companies to account for the corrupt practices of their sales and marketing agents, it is becoming clear that these risks cannot be outsourced. And yet, 29% of bribery and corruption controls in the area of sales and marketing were found to be inadequate last year, according to data collated by anti-corruption experts GoodCorporation in their on-site assessment work.
This data also shows worrying trends in the adequacy of basic sales and marketing controls. Systems to ensure payments were not made to influence sales, for example, became less adequate in the period between 2014 and last year.
Nevertheless, the data also shows significant improvements. Companies are now more routinely requiring their sales agents to follow their anti-bribery and corruption procedures, for example. They are also more likely to ensure that fees paid to sales agents are justifiable. In this highly sensitive area, some companies are leading the way, while others fall behind.
From this data, we will identify those areas where companies are evidently improving, as well as those difficult areas where companies still fall dangerously below best practice standards.
The following areas will be discussed in detail:
- How to assess bribery and corruption controls
- How sales and marketing are addressed in international corruption legislation
- Data from over 100 on-site assessments, showing how well companies are meeting their requirements
- Examples of where sales and marketing controls most often fail - Examples of companies exhibiting best practice in their sales and marketing controls