The world of government marketing is constantly shifting, and one thing we emphasize in our business development classes is the need to always keep up with trends. Knowing which way, the winds are blowing will often make the difference, when you’re trying to make the right contract bid at the right time.
As a starter, here are some of the trends we’ve been recently noticing from our recent training at ASHER Government Training, which will likely continue to affect Federal contracting for the rest of 2018.
Three Vital Trends In 2018 Government Marketing and Contracting
1 – The Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017
Due to laws passed in 2017, going forward, the way the government buys IT products and services will be drastically different. It provided a big influx of funding for updating software systems, with an emphasis on using software to cut costs as well as beefing up cyber-security. This is an absolute goldmine for contractors in technology fields, and they should be looking to pitch their products in terms of ROI. Cloud-based services will also likely see a lot of new contracts.
2 – Increased use of the DOD’s “Other Transaction Authority” (OTA)
In essence, OTA rules give the Department of Defense wide latitude in awarding contracts for innovative or non-traditional defense contracts that would be difficult or impossible to specify in funding bills ahead of time. Use of OTA-based contracts have been steadily on the rise for several years, and there’s absolutely no reason to think that trend will change – particularly when the recent budget bill for 2018 actively boosted funding for OTA projects.
If you think your product/service would have a unique use within the DOD, now is the time to pitch it.
3 – More opportunities for mid-tier companies.
In recent years, there has been something of a “donut hole” for contractors. The biggest players get plenty of prime contracts due to their size and scope, while funding rules encourage use of small businesses. This has left mid-level companies lagging. However, midsized companies have been increasingly able to make decision-makers aware of this issue. More contracts have been awarded to midsized operations in recent years, a trend that’s likely to continue.
Learn the Secrets of Federal Contracting from ASHER
Large, midsize, or small – we can teach your company everything you need to know about government marketing! Contact us to learn more.
Asher Government has a long history of success in government sales and consulting – expertise that we make available in our government sales workshops. No matter the size of your business, or how long you’ve been in federal contracting, our government sales workshops impart the critical information your executives and sales staff need to succeed!
When it comes to government sales, it’s all about closing. Knowing how to seal the deal is what keeps a contractor growing. Here are four ways to help ensure that happens.
The Four Steps Towards Closing Government Sales
1- Make strong buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a personality profile of your key market demographics, designed to help you design sales pitches to fit certain “types” of buyers. It’s best to know your sales targets personally, but when you don’t, buyer personas can serve as stand-ins – as long as they’re well-constructed.
Government sales are very siloed. People have distinct roles and responsibilities. Know your target’s position, and you can build a buyer persona to fit their job role.
2- If you’re not communicating, you’re not working.
Government buyers will rarely come to you. (And you’ve truly “made it” when they do.) You need to be engaging and consistent in your outreach. Make lots of contacts and follow up on those contacts. Stay on the phone or, when applicable, email or IM. Most government buyers prefer phone or email contact but be flexible if one expresses a preference for other digital communications.
Outreach, outreach, outreach. The more calls you make, the better your chances.
3- Focus on problems and solutions, not on technology.
Most government buyers are not as technologically savvy as their contractors and suppliers. If you geek out about your technology, at best they’ll be disinterested and at worst you’ll scare them off. When making pitches and demos, focus on their problems and what you can do for them in very down-to-earth terms. Pitch optimization and efficiency as the end goals.
4- Know your target’s procurement process.
Finally, the more research you can go into their internal processes, the better. Different departments, even different branches within those departments will have different procurement methods. Knowing these, and being able to work with their processes, can make the difference in closing a deal. Buyers want sellers who simplify their lives.
Learn more from Asher Government sales workshops! Contact us today.