More Go-to-Market Q&A with Kevin Young
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 few questions with Kevin Young’s answers.
Q: In terms of understanding client needs, have you conducted focus groups, and do you have insights in that regard?
A: There are two types of clients here: our direct clients (federal contractors) and their clients (Federal Government). For the former, I employ a SWOT analysis, primary research in the form of a white board working session (aka stakeholder focus group) as a component of Go-to-Market strategy and planning to understand needs.
For the latter, I usually rely on accurate and consistent secondary data via industry analysts/researchers (e.g., Bloomberg, Deltek GovWin, IDC, Gartner) and the government itself (e.g., OMB, OPM, Congressional budgets, General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Business Opportunities (FBO), and/or Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) data).
Q: Regarding LPTA, what are some strategies for positioning your company to combat a federal community that is focusing more and more on LPTA? In fact, a major systems integrator recently stated that it would begin to forego PTW and thorough capture planning and strategy development and just go low on pricing. How can anyone combat a competitor like that?
A: That’s a tough question—one where most federal contractors struggle. 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 in market whose experience and expertise include helping federal contractors (of all sizes) with the best possible response, positioning, and scoring.
Q: When should you start engaging teaming partners?
A: I have always taken a proactive and strategic approach—instead of a reactive and tactical approach—to partnerships. Broadly speaking, partnerships should:
- Successfully address any gaps you have in your total solutions set (product and/or services continuum). You want to provide full value to your clients and prospects, and address any gaps in the offering through building, buying, or partnering.
- Allow your suite of offerings—this total solutions set—to be greater than the sum of its parts in the mind(s) of the client and/or prospect.
- Always be quantitative and results-driven. Always be manageable and measureable.
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).
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by Bob Lohfeld
contributors Edited by Beth Wingate
Did you know that contracting officers spend up to 20% of their time mitigating disputes between teaming partners? In an informal poll we conducted on LinkedIn last month, 40% of respondents classified their teaming partners as “frenemies” on their last bid.
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