Governments spend billions on professional services and products. No longer do they procure or perform these types of services in house. Now, they look outside for the answers, often they look towards outsourcing many government funcions, especially of technical nature. If your company is a certified government contractor, your company possesses a definite advantage! Many government agencies will look to your company for help with engineering; environmental, logistics, consulting, language, and a variety of other services. How can you maximize your potential to obtain these Government customers?
How can you become the company that lends its expertise towards their complex needs? This brief guide will provide answers to these questions. While this guide is applicable generally to any government in developed countries, it will refer mostly to the examples and procedures within the U.S Federal Government. GSA (U.S. General Services Administration) oversees the business of the U.S. federal government. GSA provides workplaces for federal employees, and oversees the preservation of historic federal properties. Its policies covering travel, property and management practices promote efficient government operations.
How can you market your business to the governments? This webinar will answer this broad question by first answering the following, more detailed questions:
- How do you find Government customers?
- What is a successful marketing strategy?
- How can you partner with government certification organizations in order to be a better provider to your government customers?
- Who are your customers?
- What resources can you use to become a successful marketer?
- How can government certification organizations assist my company?
Once these integral questions are answered, we believe that you will have a better understanding on how to market to the government customers.
How do you find Government customers?
By attending conferences, trade shows and other conventions targeting government sector.
By conducting market research or contracting market research firm you can find out which government agencies are procuring what professional services. Gathering information about your governmental target market should be your first step towards increasing federal sales. Below, for example, we have listed a number of market reports that provide important data about potential government markets or markets where the government sector represents a significant part:
Electromagnetic Railgun Market
Government Cloud Computing Markets
High Energy Military Laser Market
Quantum Computing Market
U.S. Federal Cloud Computing Market
U.S. Federal Cybersecurity Market
U.S. Federal Government Mass Media Market
U.S. Federal IT Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Market
U.S. Federal IT Market Forecast
U.S. Federal Government Mobility Market
U.S.-Mexico Border Protection Market
U.S. Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Market
Worldwide Defense High Performance Computing (HPC) Market
Zika Virus Preparedness Market
Conferences, trade shows and other conventions targeting government sector:
What is a successful marketing strategy?
Just as you market your commercial business, you must market your business to government customers. Establishing a marketing strategy at the outset will help you to reach your target audience. To organize for success, consider the following: Can your company afford to hire a full-time sales person? It may take a year or more to realize results if this is your first time trying to sell to the federal government. It's best to hire someone who already has knowledge of the federal market, rather than adding the task to any existing commercial sales team. It is important to recognize that federal agencies tend to be risk adverse. They will usually make a safe choice over a superior one, which means agencies tend to stick with the companies they know or are known by other agencies/bureaus that they trust. Make time to understand your customer, their mission and learn about past procurements or procurement patterns as well as future needs. IG reports can be a useful resource in some cases. The following section will explain how to create a successful marketing strategy.
Where to Start? First understand your company's value position, i.e. what you can do to help solve an agency's problem. Consider what value your product or service brings to the customer. To get a better handle on your value position ask: What does your organization do? Who in the Government has a requirement for your product or service? How does your company help the government meet its goals and objectives? Provide examples of customers your organization has assisted in the past and the corresponding results. What appeal did your product or services have that caused customers to use you in the past?
After understanding your value position: Evaluate why the agency would buy your product or services. Get information on their budgets, and look at their mission and goals. Get the agency's organization chart and then develop a call plan. Maximize your company's Internet presence. Make sure you provide the web address that sends the customer directly to your government contract information.
Another approach is using the internet to either create social business to business or business to government connections for the purpose of meeting others with similar interest. Social networking is another way of expanding your business channels. You could create or participate in defense conferences or technology conferences that provide information or solutions to Agency problems. Some have used short 10-15 minute Podcast, and others have used various Blogs to network with others and indicate your interest in partnering with other companies, large or small. You may also want to consider creating Linkedin and/or Facebook pages to obtain information of interest or breaking news in subjects of interest.
Next, make sure your company does the following:
- Target the size and scope of agency opportunities to be pursued within the next 12-18-24 months.
- Construct a database in which to track federal opportunities, including supplemental information (i.e., names, addresses, and phone numbers of agency contacts and procurement personnel).
- Prepare additional print and online materials marketing your company.
- Contact procurement, technical and program manager personnel in order to build relationships. Attend workshops to further develop presentation skills, to better understand the federal purchasing processes and to improve your proposal preparation skills.
- Identify problems your company can solve.
- Learn about the Agency's Budget and how much money they have going into various functional areas.
- When an opportunity presents itself: Assess whether your company has an existing relationship with the agency or bureau?
- Understand your organizations value relative to the opportunity i.e. can you do it yourself, or should you team? I.e. fill gaps with partners that would help you beat other team solutions? Does your team uniquely solve the Governments problem? Is it the right job for your company? Does your past performance give the customer confidence you can do the job? Understand what risks are involved and how would they would be mitigated? Develop a competitive matrix and rank yourself against others who are bidding. Provide testimonials/success stories.
- Question your solution to ensure it is truly the best.