by Rachel Duggins and Aaron Mosby
Government procurement processes present GovCon with many challenges to effectively manage the opportunity lifecycle. The biggest challenge is gaining a better understanding of opportunities and their requirements to prepare a winning response across the months and years of pursuit.
How do government contractors solve for the unique circumstances around their sales process? By leveraging a secure, powerful customer relationship management (CRM) tool to keep their team unified and engaged in the government sales process. The system should enable teams to amass customer knowledge, collect competitive analysis, and identify appropriate teaming partners. Let’s look at five must-have features of a CRM purpose-built for government contractors.
BD Systems That Extend to Capture Support
A secure, robust CRM system should seamlessly integrate with emails, schedules, external research services, and internal archives. Whether in the office, on a tablet, or via mobile, approvers can easily discern whether an opportunity is mature enough for the next approval gate, or whether energies should be directed to more likely prospective bids.
Once the proposal request is received, the appropriate capture support team pulls together quickly with an enterprise CRM that supports resource allocation and management during proposal development.
Deeper Data Helps You Better Understand Stakeholders
Government contractors will always work with multiple departments within a target agency. Capture teams must develop and nurture relationships with multiple departments, both simultaneously and sequentially, across the customer agency.
Getting data on stakeholders, their position in the organization, and their relationship with the project is crucial. The right CRM will provide this deep data to help your team stay aligned and better manage relationships with key stakeholders.
Mapping Key Decision Makers
Relationship mapping is a critical prerequisite to developing these relationships in a systematic way. Document considered elements, including the quality of the relationship, internal equivalents, and the stakeholders’ attitude toward your organization in general. Over time you will build a picture of their power and influence, and their impact on decision processes, as well as the stakeholders’ relationships with each other. This visual representation will ensure that the right value messaging is available and applied to address specific buyer roles and that the power of social networks is leveraged.
Purpose-Built Screen Configuration Allows You to Quickly Access Data
Winning government contracts is a complex journey. The challenge compounds when capture support enters the picture. During the proposal process, capture and proposal managers need to answer many detailed questions to keep progressing toward a winning proposal. When you need to assimilate six months or more into a customer solution, it’s difficult to keep track of important data.
Enterprise CRMs need a smart search function that can help you quickly locate answers to support the proposal. Searching repositories quickly is key to keeping the bid process moving along and avoiding hot button issues.
Access Important CRM Info Anywhere
Imagine you’re visiting a client for a key bid in the midst of months of preparation, and you learn key data. You make a note to transcribe into the opportunity record later. But the information stays in your notebook. This situation is not uncommon, especially since most enterprise CRMs don’t make it easy to access and share information out of the office. Your CRM should be mobile friendly to ensure that your reps always have the ability to share data the team needs to move the bid forward.
Winning government contracts will only get more competitive as technology and other factors increase bid complexity. To compete, organizations must empower their business development and capture organizations with the tools to streamline collaboration and remove internal friction.