Government contractors today face enormous challenges. Federal budgets are shrinking. GovCon competition is dramatically increasing. Regulatory challengs are daunting. And now, the 'unthinkable' sequester has taken hold, requiring a 'meat cleaver' approach to federal spending across virtually every agency and program.
In response to these issues, GovCon players are taking a variety of approaches to plan their next steps -- some to ensure ongoing success, and others merely to achieve ongoing survival. As a GovCon executive, here are three keys you can use to achieve post-sequester sales success and keep your firm on solid footing.
Step 1: Focus
Begin with a Clear Focus. Focus means avoiding the temptation to try and be 'all schedules to all contracts', and instead committing to a small collection of core competencies that you commit to as the center of your business. We know of two GovCon executives - one who provides moving services and another who provides facilities management - who thought that they could cross-sell each others' capabilities to try and maintain growth, even though neither one had any knowledge of the other's services or expertise.
This is a mistake. Just the amount of time and money necessary to create these 'monster mashups' is enough to blunt any potentially positive results. Instead, look at your list of products or services, and cut away any in which you cannot reliably look at your firm as a leading contender. Then, focus on strengthening the core expertise and capabilities of your remaining areas. Give them your investment, your energy and your expertise.
Step 2: Invest
Invest in Your Core. Now is the time to invest in strengthening your bench and capabilities, specifically in the core areas you've now committed to - and to packaging these service or product offerings as leading options in the marketplace. For many GovCon firms, that may mean developing a proper marketing strategy, often for the first time.
Commit to content-driven marketing that educates contracting offers and other potential buyers and influencers about your expertise, by bringing news and insights to them through blogs, e-newsletters, webinars, seminars, white papers and decision guides.
Step 3 - Diversify
Diversify to Aligned Markets. We already discussed the importance of narrowing the focus of your product and service capabilities, but once that has been accomplished it's time to diversify your sales and marketing range in support of this newly slimmed-down offering.
If you've been primarily a defense player, look at non-defense federal markets. If you've been serving on contracts all over the federal marketplace, examine how you can translate your B2G capabilities to other markets (such as B2B and B2C), as was recently discussed in these articles in both Forbes and GovCon Exec.
Focus…invest…diversify. These are the three keys to post-sequester sales success in your marketplace. To learn more about services and strategies to help make this happen, explore what other GovCon companies have achieved through Wendt Partners Solutions for Government Contractors.
Photo credit: SalFalko Flickr (Creative Commons)