selling to the government

Relationship-building for success in the government contracting world

Relationship-building for success in the government contracting world

By | selling to the government | No Comments

Building relationships and getting face time with customers that you wish to do business with is still a critical piece of being successful in the government contracting world.

Contracting Officers (CO/KO’s)

Take the CO/KO’s, for example. They aren’t your customer, but they are the people who sign off on the deal. You always want to include them in the conversation. Many changes to the RFP can be made by working with the CO/KO and showing them different options that might help them (and of course, be better for your company as well).

Funding Sources

Where the money is coming from can also impact your eventual success. Is the contract for a federal, state or local government agency? Which agency has ultimate oversight on spending for this contract? The agency funding the contract may have some guidelines specific to their contractors.

By contacting the funding source, you may glean information about prospective start dates and payment schedules. The more information you have, the more you can shape the deal to balance your company’s needs with the needs of the customer.

Educational Meetings & Industry

Days During the capture process, many agencies will set up meetings and industry days to explain the opportunity. During these events, agency representatives detail what they expect out of the contract and what they are looking for.

These meetings are important because they’re an opportunity to see the competition, begin lining up teammates and meet the customer face-to-face. You’ll typically have a laundry list of questions, and some of them might be answered at one of these events.

Build a Relationship

Take every opportunity to meet with all of the different segments and personnel of the Government. You can never overestimate the importance of face time. The better you get to know the customer, the more you can anticipate their needs. If they know you, they might be more likely to reach out with questions on their end.

Ultimately, building a relationship allows you to improve your odds of landing the contract. Remember, people enjoy doing business with people they like, if they get the chance.

Selling to the Government: Which Proposals Are Worth Your B&P?

By | proposal management, selling to the government | No Comments

When it comes to selling to the government, many times there are so many opportunities available to you and your team that you may just have to stop and evaluate your options before you get too far down the road of spending your money. After all, just because the possibilities are attractive does not mean that you should bid them, and it certainly does not mean that you will win them. So why should you waste all your resources trying?

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What Is a “Power Map” and How Do I Use One?

By | capture management process, selling to the government | No Comments

When is the last time you looked at a map? A real, paper, takes-up-the-whole-front-seat-of-the-car type of map? It’s probably been a while. Who needs a map when GPS is a function of nearly every device in your repertoire? But before you shrug off the need for a map, think, for a moment, about the true purpose of a map. Generically speaking, it’s a method for finding a path from Point A to Point B, and being able to visually see obstacles along the way.

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Have You Outgrown Microsoft Excel as a Sales Management Tool?

By | sales process management, selling to the government | No Comments

Of the 58 percent of companies that track their company’s wins and losses, the majority use Microsoft Excel as their Pipeline solution. Why might that be?

Well, for those companies that really want to track the basics about each opportunity AND only have one or two sales people, then Microsoft Excel as a CRM solution serves its purpose. You can easily create a running total of wins, and a running total of losses; and each can be easily stored, organized and understood. But once your sales team begins to grow and find more opportunities, now  your Capture Executive (Capture Management) team is ready for a more advanced solution that can handle more strategic capabilities; perhaps Microsoft Excel should no longer be your Pipeline system.

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Selling to the Government: Why Do I Need to Bid an IDIQ Contract?

By | selling to the government | No Comments

Of the thousands of acronyms utilized throughout the federal government, the intent behind this one is quite autonomous, regardless of agency. Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts have been a federal procurement option since the early 1990’s, but the last ten years have really experienced a significant increase in IDIQ contract strategies. The legal origin of IDIQ contracts is the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) section 16.504(a) (48 C.F.R. 16.504(a)).  Historically, these contracts provide federal buyers with more options when procuring services, allowing them to issue delivery or task orders to a vetted group of contract awardees.

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How to Bypass the Government Gate Keeper (with your Gold Card)

By | selling to the government | No Comments

Securing a face-to-face meeting with the government, while critical to the success of your Capture Management process can often be incredibly challenging. Often, these hurdles originate from the Gate Keeper. While, as we mentioned in our last blog, impressing the Gate Keeper is always the easiest and most obvious solution, this can sometimes be impossible. If that’s the case, do you have any other options?


Bypass the Government Gate Keeper

Let’s say you are working a 2-Star Command and need to meet with all the Program Managers to make certain they know who you are.  Each time you call, the Gate Keeper tells you they have a calendar opening in 5 months (Yikes)!  So, now comes your best option: Figurative stalking. Read More

How Do I Shape Government Opportunities?

By | selling to the government | No Comments

As a Capture Executive (Capture Manager) or Business Development Manager (Account Manager), does it ever seem like some companies appear to have an inside track to shaping opportunities specifically for them? Not necessarily in a blatant, sole-source kind of way, but crafted just enough to seem like it was written for them. It happens, and it isn’t luck or a fluke, it’s strategy.

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The Most Common Types of Government Contracts

By | government contracts, selling to the government | No Comments

When you first delve in to the world of Government contracting, it can be overwhelming. Rarely is it as easy as, say, having new carpet installed in your home. In that case, the seller provides a quote, you agree to the terms, new carpet is installed, and you pay the invoice. Done.

There is a reason the Capture Management process and procurement process aren’t that simple. Often times the government customer wants high-end, super plush carpet for an economy carpet price. They also want it in four different colors, and in rooms with fourteen closets. And to top it all off, it needs to be completed over the holiday weekend, only using two security-cleared installers with ten years of experience.

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Top 3 Critical Capabilities in CRMs for Government Contractors

By | CRM, government contractors, selling to the government | No Comments

As you review the various types of CRM capabilities that exist across many of your potential solutions, it can be a challenge to define the types of capabilities that are most important to your organization. Elaborate branding may have you focused on specific capabilities that are not necessarily aligned with what adds the most value to your organization, especially since the pipeline of a government contractor can be incredibly different from other organizations’ pipelines.

Is there a true need for your organization to access the CRM via an app, if the information captured doesn’t specifically address the strategic direction and processes of your organization?

Probably not.

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Top 5 Questions Your Capture Executive Should Ask the Government

By | capture management process, selling to the government | No Comments

Let’s say you’ve successfully tackled the significant hurdle of getting in front of the Government customer. Now what? At that moment you move from elation to dread… albeit, short-lived, hopefully. Relax, this is the easy part, and addressing these five questions can help any Capture Executive (Capture Manager) make it even easier.                           

Status of the Project

First, it is essential to ask how the current project is going. You can learn a lot about the customer’s pain points and business challenges simply by asking this question. Expand on it if you are given the opportunity. For example, how are they doing in terms of personnel? Why is (or isn’t) the expertise being provided aligning with what they need? Don’t set yourself up for a simple one-word answer. And if you do end up with one, however, take the opportunity to expand on the original question and ask related follow-ups.  Read More