As we move into 2015 many business development and capture managers begin to think to themselves, “what can I do differently or better?” to increase my organization’s opportunities within the federal market. The best answer to this question is to stick with what always works, the tried and true approach for business development in the federal sector, which is: Relationships, Research, Readiness, and References. These are what we at Global Services call the “4 Rs to Success” in the federal marketplace. What you can do differently or better should focus on making improvements and enhancements to these core areas.
For example, building and sustaining Relationships in this market is essential – and always has been. Social media and technology offers numerous new methods for communicating and expanding relationships. It is important to keep up with these advancements and use them to their greatest potential. It is also important to remember that we should not abandon the old practices of face to face meetings and networking events, as these still tend to be favored means of relationship building in this market.
In the area of Research, here again technology affords us numerous tools and a wealth of information for building capture and business development plans. It is important to use this information to build comprehensive profiles of your customer base. It has never been easier to get to know your customer and their needs/concerns, so do not overlook the need for on-going research and data collection, as it will serve you well. We always say: know your customer!”
Advances in recruitment, proposal development/management, and information collection allow us to hone our Readiness for approaches to the projects that we seek. Our ability to continuously update and improve our past performance for use in future proposals help us to ensure our References are at the ready to impress a potential customer.
So, when we start thinking about improvements to our business development and capture practices, let’s remember that is it not about a new approach in so much as it is about new tools, technologies, and ways of thinking that can enhance the approach that has always worked.