In earlier blog posts I have discussed how government contracting is different from other sales processes, and how to adapt your CRM system for the government capture (sales) process.
The traditional sales model which still prevails in government contracting is to target particular agencies and seek meetings with contracting officers and end customers. There is no substitute for this sales activity on the ground, but government purchasers are slowly changing their behavior, and relying on online searches to find sources for products and services.
This trend increases the importance of marketing activities by government contractors, including better websites, social marketing, and search engine optimization. Microsoft Dynamics CRM, especially combined with ClickDimensions, can help government contractors increase their visibility rapidly.
Here are some of the ways you can use CRM for marketing to government agencies:
- Create landing pages on your website and track the behavior of visitors who sign up for webinars, white papers, and other content. ClickDimensions will add registered users to your CRM.
- Use CRM marketing lists to automate outreach emails.
- Consider a blog if you have someone who can keep feeding the blog and has a voice that represents your company well.
- Start a monthly company newsletter. You can sign up for mine here. ClickDimensions will show you how many people are opening your newsletter and which articles are most popular.
- Create social media channels for your company using the channels most appropriate to what you sell.
- Cross market intensely. If you create a new video on YouTube, be sure to post about it on LinkedIn and Twitter as well as your website.
- Use CRM to track the success of your marketing campaigns all the way to opportunities that you win.
Close client relationships have allowed some government contractors to get away with sloppy or stale websites, and made them feel that they didn't need to spend time on writing whitepapers, sharing their expertise, or participating in a broader community. This is no longer the case, as government mandates to move to the cloud for computing services are raising the visibility of companies that are primarily commercial rather than dedicated government contractors.
In my experience, website traffic is growing much more slowly than social engagement. Online marketing can build momentum over the long run but persistence is required to constantly create fresh content.