Companies often overlook the bounty of opportunities in the public sector. They see breaking into the business of government contracting as daunting or only for the largest players.
It is true that breaking into the government marketplace can initially be complex. But it can be also be a valuable and lucrative sales growth opportunity for your business.
In fact, businesses of all sizes have the opportunity to increase their sales by 30 to 70 percent (and in some cases even 5X to 10X) by selling to the public sector.
And this is even more encouraging: [clickToTweet tweet=”Government agencies across the country are likely purchasing what your company offers.” quote=”Government agencies across the country are likely purchasing what your company offers.”]
The U.S. government represents one of the largest marketplaces in the world. It is a $2 trillion market that buys a wide range of goods and services spanning nearly every industry.
Business leaders in sales, marketing and business development who take a data-driven approach are quickly realizing revenue growth through sales to the public sector. This is especially true of those who have the right processes to leverage the information fully.
Here are five proven strategies they are using to grow their government sales:
1) Forecast the Future
One advantage of doing business with the public sector is you can predict upcoming bidding opportunities.
At least $500 billion worth of known, highly predictable, future bidding opportunities are available right now. How? You can leverage these opportunities by looking at expiring term contracts, agency budgets and spending plans.
Sales pros who make use of this information get a head start on forging relationships with government buyers well before the competition is aware of the opportunity.
You won’t just be reacting to open bids – you will be taking a calculated approach months, even years, before a bid hits the street.
With that advantage, your chances of winning that valuable government contract increase dramatically.
2) Get Competitive Leverage and Monitor Your Partners
A well-rounded, data-driven public sector sales strategy doesn’t just look at future opportunities. It also profits from historical information, such as award announcements and bid results.
Such a strategy allows you to uncover insights you can use to monitor the competition, pricing and your partners.
Historical information can help you understand pricing sensitivity and even regional channel analysis. That way you can understand where your business is performing well.
You can also see what your competitors are up to and the performance of your partners, distributors or resellers.
Companies that go far beyond the bid even invest in studying the past to dramatically improve their win-rates and score bigger, larger deals.
3) Build Trust Through Contextual Knowledge
It’s especially important in this marketplace to understand the context around your target customers and their purchasing agents. Purchasing agents are often challenged to multi-task and execute a wide variety of purchases at once.
These could range from the routine office supply contract to the complex multi-million dollar IT infrastructure build-out.
Companies too often make the mistake of limiting outreach only to the purchasing agent. Look at the contact information on all the decision makers involved in a procurement.
Consider the mayors, city planners, transportation officers, CIOs, etc. Don’t overlook the contracts they’ve participated in and the vendors that they’ve worked with in the past.
Intelligence like this can help your sales reps connect the dots and provide useful context behind a purchasing decision.
4) Use Workflow to Build Trusted Connections at Scale
While government deals are valuable, they don’t often have the reputation of being speedy. But with the right workflows and processes in place, you can accelerate sales to the public sector.
For example, in our customer base, we found that around 30 percent of our customers are using Salesforce and another 20 percent are using Microsoft Dynamics. They are using these platforms for their CRM to manage their government contract pursuits.
The remaining 50 percent? They use Excel spreadsheets and email. Without a system in place to automate your sales workflow, accelerating deals can seem like an impossible task.
Using workflow to streamline the way you work with your target agencies can make closing deals faster and more effective for your dealers, distributors or direct sales teams.
Simply subscribing to a data and sales intelligence solution isn’t enough. You need to choose a provider that makes it easy to integrate the data to your already existing systems and workflows.
5) Look Beyond Your Horizon
Use a sales intelligence database to take advantage of information that anticipates future spending, upcoming contract renewals, competitors, channels and even partners outside of your current region.
It’s critical to maintain focus on your existing customers. But it can also be a costly mistake if your blinders are preventing you from seeing the immense opportunity that exists outside of your area.
Using a sales intelligence service can give you a full, holistic view on where your next government business opportunity might be hiding.
Here’s a scenario to illustrate this principle: we ran a study that looked at city spending across the country.
We found that the largest 10 cities in the country (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc.) only account for 13 percent of all city government purchasing activity.
All the smaller cities and towns that dot the landscape of the U.S. account for the vast majority of city spending at 87 percent.
A database service can help give insight into relevant government contract leads for your business that are outside your current line of sight.
Sales intelligence like this can literally open the flood gates to bidding opportunities worth hundreds of thousands – and even millions – per contract.
Government agencies across the country are likely purchasing what your company offers. And breaking into the public sector doesn’t have to be a daunting or overwhelming task. In fact, it can be easy.
Implement an information source with your sales and marketing toolkit while focusing on optimizing processes and workflow. This strategy can help you earn significant revenue growth for your business with public sector contracts.