After our Top Ten ‘Go-to-Market’ Mistakes Made by Federal Contractors (click to watch webinar and download slides) webinar, we received a number of follow-up questions from viewers. Here are a couple of questions with Kevin Young’s answers.
Q: Would you discuss marketing approaches for small companies (e.g., <25 employees) that cannot afford full-time BD staff?
A: Good question. I have worked with many small federal contractors and am currently engaged with two (one a graduating 8a and the other a B-to-B moving to B-to-G). Approaches I have found worthwhile include:
- Direct to Federal Government (Agencies/Departments) with channel developer (rainmaker) and/or part-time manufacturer’s rep model(s).
- Direct to Federal Government via GSA Schedules (e.g., IT70, MOBIS, AIMS).
- With federal prime contractors in attempting to procure and/or deliver contracts as an approved small business partner/subcontractor. In those cases, you need to bring relevant solutioning/past performance(s)/pricing to the table.
Q: Our Federal Government customers are becoming increasingly price sensitive based on the emphasis on LPTA contracts, etc. As a result, there is tremendous pressure to reduce overhead and indirect costs, which is where marketing people and budgets fall. How do you convince company executives that cutting these resources to reduce our customer rates is a bad thing—because short term it appears to help win business?
A: Most federal contractors struggle with LPTA, and my broad approach would include:
- Knowing that objective scoring criteria also includes innovative solutioning, innovative pricing, strong past performances, set-aside status, and unwavering company compliance.
- Knowing that subjective scoring could include your company’s brand, image, thought leadership, corporate citizenship, location, relationships, etc.
- Leveraging to the best extent possible these many objective and subjective components, which could and should move you up in the overall award assessment.
Finally, there are independent capture advisory and management firms whose experience and expertise is to help federal contractors (of all sizes) with the best possible response, best possible positioning, and best possible scoring. (I personally believe the leader in these credentials is Lohfeld Consulting Group (www.lohfeldconsulting.com), but I might be a tad biased.)
For some Go-to-Market context, here’s Kevin’s Washington Technology article on 10 Ways Marketing Drives Your Company’s Success (click to read more).