As our economy continues to struggle, there is now a direct pressure being placed on the Federal market place. What was once thought of as an unlimited market of selling opportunity is now scheduled to be forcibly reduced by 10% in FY 2013, thanks to the 'sequestration' measures mandating automatic cuts across the Federal government. During this time of Federal market constriction, it is even more critical to be smart about how an organization approaches Federal sales. The GSA reports that 1 out of every 3 new contract awardees does not earn any revenue in their first three years, and the number one reason for this failure to perform is a lack of strategic planning.
The old adage that you 'plan the work and work the plan' has never been truer than now. It is critical to approach Federal sales as an experienced hunter would. First, identifying the sales quarry, understanding the key policy or statutory requirements that influence the purchasing terrain and most importantly, clearly aligning your solutions or services to the core mission requirements of your targeted agency. Second, selecting the appropriate channel with which to close the agency target (sell direct, through, or with) can make the difference between coming close and closing. Third, you must conservatively forecast reviews so that you can make the appropriate investments. Fourth, put in place a tailored government marketing program that raises the attention of the target agency to assist in closing.
These all sound like they should be basic and fundamental practices for any Federal sales organization, and they are! But where so many teams have failed is getting away from a disciplined and efficient approach, which is now more critical than ever.