Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are available in an assortment of platforms, serving a variety of needs for government contractors. The process of Capture Management – both planning and management – requires a complex mix of data collecting, customer intimacy and understanding of their requirements, teaming, competitive analysis, pricing, communication, reminders and continuous internal management reporting and updates.
Depending on the software you use, you should be able to gather and measure valuable information and intelligence about upcoming opportunities, points of contract, potential partners, and potential competitors. This information can fuel call plans, tasking, areas of customer focus, and business development.
Know What System You Need
Your needs will depend on the size of your company and the importance your Capture team places on finding the right opportunities to spend your resources chasing.
You Should Use a CRM System if…
If you are normally bidding deals that you first see as a pop-up on a bid board, then a CRM tool, that simply collects name, address and serial number type information, is probably best suited for your needs because they require little time and input to keep track of the deals you are working on.
But is that really what you want? After all, the information collected by the sales team is vital to your continued sustainment and growth.
Some typical CRM systems include:
Many of these are hardcoded systems, which means that you collect the information that’s allotted for in the system – and, unless you’re willing to pay more – that’s all you collect.
Use a Capture Executive System If…
If you usually track deals for a year or more before they are released, spend time meeting with the Government to shape the deal, work hard to build a team that specifically adds value to the Customer and analyze the competition – then you really need software that is specific for your business, and can be used by many within your business.
For example, some Capture Executive systems actually allow for collaboration between:
Here are some flexible Capture Executive systems that don’t need expensive customizations to accomplish some of these collaborations:
Which Solution Is for You?
Unfortunately, there is no simple right or wrong answer. In fact, there are many questions that you should be asking yourself (and of the CRMs and Capture Executive Systems you are considering), but a general rule of thumb revolves around the amount of customization and integration that benefits your organization.
If you need to track opportunities for a longer period of time and need more flexibility in a system to collect all that information, then you probably want to lean towards a Capture Executive system.
Regardless of the platform selected, there will be some level of cost incurred. The overall worth, and return on investment is an important business decision. Determining the level at which your company will utilize the sales system, the detail of the information you are interested in capturing, and the ability of the system to expand as your company grows are all important points of consideration. CRMs require work, especially on the front end, to provide value. The determination of that commitment lays with you.