Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In Federal Sales, Don't Follow the Herd

Our government contractor clients who are implementing Dynamics CRM for Government Contractors want to know how to increase their sales to the federal government.

For small companies and newcomers to the federal marketing, the challenges are quite daunting.  You need to have a government contract vehicle such as a GSA contract, but the best way to get a vehicle is to have past government contracts. 

The sheer volume of contracts makes it seem it wouldn't be that hard to win a few million out of the billions that are spent each year, but this ignores the nature of competition in government contracts.  If you are new to government contracts, perhaps you should be selling to the prime contractors rather than trying to establish your company as a prime contractor.

Although you can learn from large government contractors, their sales model simply will not work for small business.  You can't spend a year or two and teams of lawyers and contract specialists to win a contract which is essentially a hunting license within a federal agency or two. You probably do not want to have a 90 step process for evaluating opportunities and writing a proposal. 

Using only the most widely available information will not give you a competitive edge.  You need to analyze deeper than reviewing FedBizOps and GovWin IQ to really understand what your customers need.  If all you do is look for contracts to expire and try to beat incumbents at renewal, your company may create far more sales activity than sales success. 

Ask yourself how you create value for your customers.  Find ways to surpass the ordinary and go beyond the typical herd mentality in government contracting.

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