Qualifying Government Sales Leads for your Company

I found this article by Michael Lisagor and wanted to share with other SDVOSBs. R/S Joel Stevens

Qualifying Government Sales Leads for your Company

By Michael Lisagor

The first step in qualifying new government sales leads (gathering the information necessary to win the contract) is to decide whether the sales leads are even worth the effort. Too often, companies expend a significant amount of time and energy qualifying sales leads that are either inconsistent with their company’s strategic plan or that have a very low probability of winning. The inevitable non-bid or eventual contract loss is not only frustrating to everyone involved, but diverts critical resources from more worthy business pursuits. Incorporating a Lead Pursuit Decision Matrix into your company’s sales process will pay big dividends by freeing up resources to qualify more meaningful new government sales leads. The lead pursuit decision matrix can be used by individual sales staff or sales management.

The best way to minimize chasing after government sales leads that may not be worth your time is to carefully answer the following questions using the lead pursuit decision matrix before expending additional marketing and sales effort.
Qualification Questions for Sales Leads

* Is a significant part of the government work consistent with one of the company’s core competencies or products?
* Will the government client perceive your company as a credible provider of this product or service?
* If there is a major incumbent contractor, are they vulnerable and are you potentially strong/big enough to unseat them?
* Is there a reasonable chance of this being a real funded project or acquisition?
* If it would be a very small task or purchase, is it of strategic performance? Could these types of sales leads be expected to result in more substantial business?
* Is there enough time to adequately market the client before a Request for Proposal or Request for Quote is released?
* Do you know this customer or is there enough time to adequately market the client prior to a bid request being released?

One of the main reasons to evaluate new sales leads from this perspective is to remove as much of the emotional attachment as possible. Oftentimes, people may concentrate too much on new technology or the special relationship they have with a prospect and fail to question whether sales leads are consistent with the company’s direction or is even possible to win. Making these critical sales leads decisions is the responsibility of senior company managers with input and advice from the marketing, sales and business development staff.
Government Sales Leads Win Probabilities

Blind bid – new market: 1-5%
Blind bid – established market (current client): 10-25%
Well positioned bid – new market (new client): 20-30%
Well positioned bid – established market (current client): 25-50%
Re-compete with satisfied client: 75%
Sole source to company or recent win contract growth: 50 – 90%

Michael Lisagor founded Celerity Works in 1999 to help industry executives win and manage government business. He is the author of the Business Development Guide for Selling to the Government.


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