For many businesses, landing the next government contract is the ultimate goal. Many times, they are lucrative, long-lasting, and are well worth the extra effort in writing a winning proposal. Landing those contracts, however, requires more than a great proposal, you have to be “in” with the customer way before the RFP is released. That’s where “Government Sales Training” comes in. At Asher, we strive to simplify the customer relationship process with some simple business development techniques proven to work in both government and commercial businesses.
From Asher’s own work in government business consulting, we have identified some key areas you should be certain to train your representatives on to increase your chances of success. We focus on the “Top 10 Skills” needed for great business development. When we work with a team from a single company, we also want to cover some of these other “product knowledge” topics below.
Virtually every government department has its own internal vocabulary which its employees are expecting to hear. The more time spent learning department-specific jargon, the better your chances of having them pay attention.
If a government rep is being bombarded with sales offers, one of the questions they’ll want answered is “What makes you different?” Your reps should always be able to answer it accurately. In technical sales, your business development reps need to be able to speak with some authority on the technical aspects of your products and services. When deep product technical details or theoretical expertise is needed, you can always take in a properly trained engineer.
Trying to be “all things to all people” is a poor strategy for government sales. Your reps should know what your product can do and what it cannot. Don’t oversell.
Successful government sales representatives know their competition nearly as well as their own product. This dovetails with items product differentiation and core competencies above. They should be able to discuss not just what your product or service does, but what the competition cannot do. We call these “ghosting discriminators”
Having representatives who can accurately identify key decision-makers and those with purchasing power are crucial. If possible, have real-life examples on-hand of how past sales were made by locating the right people.
What techniques worked in your own government sales training? Tell us below!