Not to beat the same drum too much, but it is important to remember that research is king!
As we reviewed in previous posts, conducting in-depth internal research of who you are, what you do, and how you do it is the first crucial step to uncovering the right target markets, positioning you to determine relevant opportunities, and providing the understanding of where you can make an impact.
The second crucial step is the external research that determines where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there—what makes the most sense to your fundamental product and service offerings. For example, if you are a marketing services company that has concentrated in the healthcare field, your focus should not stray from that in your initial goals to expand with current customers and attract new customers. Therefore, it makes sense to focus your opportunities search within HHS, VA, and/or DoD-Health.
Now that we have that knowledge, we move into the steps to build your pipeline of relevant opportunities. Here your goal is to identify keywords and terms that both align with and/or describe your products and services and can then help identify specific targets, opportunities, and leads when you activate your opportunities search tools (e.g., GovWin, Bloomberg, FBO, Govini, etc.).
By setting up your search tools and avenues based on keywords associated with your products and services within the Federal Government, you’ll have access to actionable opportunities within your target markets for consideration. This will allow you to align with those departments/offices that have the propensity to purchase what you offer.
As part of your continued evaluation criteria, there are specific elements to consider as well. For example:
- Do you have a total contract value (TCV) threshold, such as no less than $5M and no more than $20M?
- Do you only want to find opportunities where you can prime?
- Do you only want opportunities that are new requirements (no incumbents)?
- Are you only interested in new technology/emerging technology initiatives?
In addition, you should gather the strategic plans and historic and projected spends that relate to your disciplines. Looking at historic data, not only do you gain the understanding of what has been purchased, but you can use that knowledge to your benefit and to your customer’s. You can show that you’ve done your due diligence and made the effort to understand them. You can present how you can continue to help them with your solution. (As you know, it is still all about the customer and their outcomes.)
Using historic data is a great conversation starter as well as a way to discuss customer satisfaction/incumbent performance and to highlight areas where you could make a difference. Use your gathered intelligence to shift the favorability towards how you can help the customer achieve their needed (desired) results.
Once you have your keyword search opportunity results, evaluate them against your criteria, and determine where you may have some connectivity through contacts, teaming partners, or direct relationships. You can focus in on key targets and build your pipeline to push viable opportunities through the process for capture and pursuit.
This is an ongoing process usually done weekly if not daily. The formula requires you to uncover more opportunities in the initial stages (suspects) to review and determine viability (leaders). As opportunities move through the evaluation process (prospects), the number will decrease, so the actual number of opportunities progressed to pursuit for proposal submission will give you a higher win probability. You need to constantly obtain, evaluate, convert, and connect to keep the funnel active, relevant, and workable.
View our previous posts in this GTM series
- What is Go-to-Market?
- The data behind a Go-to-Market strategy
- Building your Go-to-Market strategy
- Effective messaging and communications to attract and engage customers
If you’d like to take the next steps, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you! Look for part 6 of our Go-to-Market strategy series, Pipeline development: building relationships with the right contacts coming soon.
Karen C. Gauthier—As Lead Consultant for Lohfeld Consulting Group’s Go-to-Market Strategy and Execution Practice, Karen has +20 years’ experience and expertise in marketing and business development strategy and execution directly to U.S. Federal Government (e.g., FEMA, HHS, USPS, VA), directly to prime federal contractors (e.g., BAE Systems, Boeing, CGI, Northrop Grumman, Serco), and via General Services Administration (GSA) Schedules (e.g., PSS, IT 70, 65IIA, 84, etc.) for companies of all sizes. She understands how to break down the details and determine the needs and requirements of organizations for growth. Contact Karen at KGauthier@LohfeldConsulting.com.