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Government contractors customer company
San Francisco Capitol Building by Jeff Cohen
For years many government contractors have had the luxury of acting as a reactive company, or waiting until their customer’s contact them with needs, as it relates to customer identification, acquisition and retention. This way of doing business has been profitable the past decade but that world is changing.  

With the wars winding down as well as sequestration, government spending will be dramatically reduced over the next few years.  This will lead to more government contractors than ever competing for contracts and mind share in a dramatically smaller market.  This will lead to smaller deals, higher cost of sales and lower margins - all of which result in reduced profitability and growth for the reactive government contractor. 

So how does a company make the shift from Reactive to a Proactive customer company?  Here are the 4 ways that you can begin transitioning your business today: 

1. Build and Grow Customer Relationships

Proactive companies continually leverage their relationships, as well as market and customer data to identify and build relationships with the key decision makers within an agency as well as identify that agency’s issues before others can.  By doing so, they can provide solutions to help solve that agencies problems first and then drive that customer’s RFP creation and award process and ideally win and then build long term and profitable relationships with their customers.

2. Standardize Business Processes

One key trait of all proactive companies is a standardized way to do business.  If everyone operates using the same process from initial engagement with a prospect through the capture process to award, a company is able to determine the strengths and weakness of its business development resources, processes and the business as whole.  This allows them to effectively train and groom resources to become more effective and productive.

3. Deploy Systems to Track Processes and Key Performance Indicators

Once the process is standardized, proactive companies will use a centralized system to track how effective their resources are in using that process to identify, qualify and then close business.  More specifically, having such a system in place provides government contractors  with quantifiable evidence as to how and why they are winning deals, thus enabling them to increase their win rate and lower their cost of sales by focusing their efforts on deals that they are most likely to win.

4. Change the Culture to a Collaborative One

Once the processes and systems are in place, the last step to becoming an proactive company is changing the culture to a collaborative one in which resources work together to more effectively target and penetrate accounts, close deals and ensure customer satisfaction.  Simply knowing which internal resources have a relationship with a specific agency or individual may be the difference of winning new business vs. wasting a great deal of time and resources to end up unsuccessful.    

Only those government contractors that are proactive in how they manage their customer acquisition and retainment processes as well as their business itself will thrive in this new environment. 

To see how Salesforce.com and Rainmaker have helped transform reactive government contractors into proactive ones, please join us on July 22nd at 10 am ET for a free webinar.