Employed during the capture management phase, Black Hat review processes may vary in implementation between companies and people, but the overall goal remains the same: to find the top competition for a government contract and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of those businesses, so you better understand how they will bid against you.
A government contract can be an incredible revenue stream; however, actually landing the deal can be a long and arduous process. That’s where customer relationship management (CRM) software can help. CRM technology is useful in managing and analyzing customer interactions. In the era of “the customer experience”, it’s increasingly vital to solve your client’s needs quickly and effectively. As a contractor, the government is your client.
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?
Recently I have seen many different people make comments about how software technology is not very helpful within the worlds of capture management and procurement. And while that may help to explain why so many contractors still rely on Excel spreadsheets and emails for NDA’s, TA’s and SubK’s, avoiding government-focused technological solutions is only committing a disservice to yourself.
It’s indisputable that the capture management process is long, multi-faceted and complicated. As discussed in our last blog – even preparation for a capture should begin years in advance. But sometimes it seems that there are not enough hours in the day, week or month to get all necessary steps accomplished. Sometimes it does become necessary to cut some corners and prioritize. And to prioritize effectively, you must understand exactly which steps of capture management are completely crucial to success:
Understanding Your Customer’s Requirements
Understanding the requirements of your customers can be accomplished in a few different ways. However it is imperative that you recognize that none are mutually exclusive; in fact, you should do all in your power to touch on each of the following points so that you have the most thorough understanding of exactly what your customers are looking for.
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.
In the coming years, there will be lots of opportunities for businesses that depend on government contracts. But how do you find the ones you can successfully capture?
Second only to projecting sales, your capture management tool of choice is a key indicator of your capture management team’s performance and is also what keeps accumulated data about each prospect in one place. Its active monitoring begins the day your Capture Executive (also known as a Capture Manager or Capture Executive Manager) starts work. At that moment you with understand that your capture management team will change over time, and thus you may be faced with extreme difficulties when your Capture Executive leaves for other opportunities.
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.
Take a look at the habits of successful leaders in your industry or your company’s area of expertise. By cultivating these same habits or by looking for them in your employees and consultants, you can identify employees most likely to lead your business through a successful capture management strategy.
Everyday, regular tasks become habits because they are recognizably and predictably essential for success, and you should always stock up your company’s cupboard with everything you need to improve your capture success rate. Read More