Q&A with Giovanni Gallo, Co-CEO and Chief Development Officer at ComplianceLine

Media 7 | December 21, 2020

Giovanni Gallo, Co-CEO and Chief Development Officer at ComplianceLine, has built his career helping growing businesses with values of hard work, partnership, and stewardship. He loves to see people thrive in the workplace by developing solutions that enable compliance professionals to be more effective in their jobs so they can successfully protect their teams and meaningfully serve their missions. He looks forward each day to serve his team through exciting growth as he aims to create a better life for each of their clients.

MEDIA 7: Please take us through your career journey of becoming the Co-CEO and Chief Development Officer at ComplianceLine.
GIOVANI GALLO:
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and saw, once my parents started their business, what a transformative impact we can have as leaders when we treat people right: customers, employees, vendors…our whole community. As first-generation sons of a Cuban immigrant, my brother and I were made aware of the unique and compelling opportunities of American capitalism, and imbued with a deep moral sense of the responsibility of being a manager and boss. We went to college for business, began our careers in finance, transitioned to investing, then struck out on our journey to lead a company. Inspired by the transformative impact a culture of integrity can have on a company, we explored the GRC industry and found a great fit with ComplianceLine. The founding owners were ready for a new challenge, and we transitioned to pick up the baton and lead this great team of caring changemakers through our next stages of growth. We’ve met challenges well and had some great early successes, but we’re just getting started on our mission to make the world a better workplace.


The entrepreneurial journey is not a frictionless path, but a great diamond or a sharp blade are not made without heat, pressure, and some chipping away. Make sure the dream you’re running after is worth the inevitable pain.



M7: Since North Carolina hosts a vibrant entrepreneurial community, what short and long-term survival strategies do you focus on?
GG:
Seeing as we’re in the GRC and risk-management industry, we always take a measured look at existential risks to our company, as well as our contributions to our clients’ success. That said, we’re much more focused on thriving than on surviving. We figured that if we’re passionately focused on being servants to our clients’ most pressing needs, and make smart investments in our culture, people, and technology we’ll be able to continue growing our impact on the world. In the short term we’re focused on delivering on every promise made to a customer, continuous improvement to our quality processes, and making sure that each employee has a professional growth plan and a path to advancement as much as possible.

Over the long term, we’re looking to bring the right new people on our team (even throughout the 2020 pandemic), investing in new technology and capabilities, and making sure we’re ready to help and guide positive progress for the most advanced and demanding of our clients.

M7: Could you throw some light on a few upcoming product and growth marketing trends that you are looking forward to?
GG:
On the product front, we’re focused on data and productivity. We’re making big advances in the analytics baked into our software platforms as well as doubling down on our commitment to being the leader in GRC data enhancement. Clients need risk and employee data across different platforms, in different formats, and compiled in myriad different ways. We’re here to give them as much of what they need as we can (not lock them into our platform) to best support the important work they take on to manage risks and provide an ethical environment for their employees. On the productivity front, we’re doing a lot to allow deeper configuration of our platform (so clients don’t have to choose between ‘making do’ with a half solution or hemorrhaging money for custom dev like they do with other software), expanding the power of our workflows, and investing in AI to improve the fluidity of intake as well as the effectiveness of workplace investigations.

On the growth marketing front, we believe we’re entering a new era of human selling and that bodes very well for us. We’re all about building relationships, actually being helpful, and figuring out how to help each prospect and client – whether it’s with thoughtful content, consultative buying guidance, or getting creative in how to meet their latest need. The years of mass-spam email and click-bait ads are ending (thankfully!) and we’re investing in our team and our MarTech stack to allow fast, fluid, and helpful interactions between our market and our thoughtful, caring, and helpful growth force.


Depending on where a buyer is in their journey and what they need, any of these can be a good starting point for a relationship.



M7: What marketing channels do you use, and which ones do you see as the most promising, given your target customers?
GG:
We’re doing at least something on all the major digital fronts: events, content, ads, SEO, social, etc. Depending on where a buyer is in their journey and what they need, any of these can be a good starting point for a relationship. In our market, no one of these is a panacea. Where I’m most excited to see growth is in the ways we are scaling thoughtful interaction through chat, leveraging our increasingly powerful library of content, and hosting intimate, quick workshops to collaborate with (instead of talk at!) a small group of buyers facing similar challenges.

M7: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work - what day to day processes have you had to re-tool to be able to pull them off remotely?
GG:
Thankfully, the chaos of this pandemic has awakened a lot of people to the importance of the work our customers do and allowed us to support them in new ways. Other than changes in buying behavior (e.g., budget freezes) and more remote work (to keep our team safe), we’re largely doing the same things, other than maybe not going to conferences.

That said, I think this pandemic has accelerated the need to lead with value and be more empathetic with your buyer since everyone is dealing with so little normalcy. We see that as a positive development and one we hope remains a stalwart of marketing and sales interactions long after we achieve some new sense of normalcy.


Build your team. Even if you’re a solopreneur, you’ll be stronger with a spouse, mastermind group, mentor, or other forms of support around you.



M7: What is your secret to maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life?
GG:
Here’s the secret: give up! To assume you can strike a balance is to pit these two spheres of life against each other. You may have to do that if you’re only ‘working for the weekend’ in a dead-end, lifeless job with no impact that you hate. I’m fortunate to work in an industry, at a company, and with a team, I love so I very much see work and life as integrated and I love it.

Of course, you can’t usually do both at once, but when you realize that a good job allows you to care for and be present with your family, and strong family life gives you energy and motivation to work well – you see how these things can complement each other. When you have that, you don’t have to feel guilty when you have to work late because you’re not doing with regret, or doing it despite your family. And you also don’t have to stress when you take or need, time off. We each have one life, and each sphere should complement rather than steal from the other. You can extend this to exercise, mental self-care, faith, charity, and the rest!

M7: Your advice to the budding entrepreneurs?
GG
: Ask for advice, and keep what fits. Not everyone has the vision, values, or desires you have so collect wise input and build the wisdom to know when to ignore it.
Make sure you count the cost. The entrepreneurial journey is not a frictionless path, but a great diamond or a sharp blade are not made without heat, pressure, and some chipping away. Make sure the dream you’re running after (hint: it should not just be a retirement account number!) is worth the inevitable pain.

Build your team. Even if you’re a solopreneur, you’ll be stronger with a spouse, mastermind group, mentor, or other forms of support around you. As you build your team within your business, make sure every person fits with your values and your culture, even if it means moving slower and taking longer to fill a role. As you do it, build complementarity with your work style, technical strengths, personality, and passions because diversity really is a source of strength.

ABOUT COMPLIANCELINE

ComplianceLine is on a mission to make the world a better workplace by giving leaders who care actionable insight, tools, and services to mitigate risks, engage employees, and build strong cultures.
We believe people matter most of all, and the workplace must be a place where employees thrive, are protected, and make a difference in the community regardless of their background.

As conscious members of our local and the global community, we improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of people through service to all our stakeholders by improving the justice of workplace environments and reducing pollution to the environment.

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ComplianceLine is a people based company. Hotline and online reporting, case management, and sanction screening provide awareness and clarity to do compliance right. We serve our customers and employees so our clients can do the same for their people. We are the industry leader in integrated hotline...

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