Year-End Tip: Ask, “Is the Right Amount of Money in the Right Account?”
September 3, 2014 1 Comment
During typical years, the feds spend about a third of the budget in the last quarter. While sales for complex deals and engagements are off, sales for easy to buy commercial items are staying strong. So, what can you do to be successful this September? Make sure to ask one of my favorite closing questions: “Is the right amount of money in the right account?”
Why do we ask our government customers this question? Because once a program has 1) conducted market research, 2) defined requirements, and 3) settled on the basis for selection, making sure the right amount of money is in the right account is the last step before a contracting office can issue a solicitation for quotes, offers, or bids.
I wrote more about this in a recent blog in the Washington Business Journal.
Also, here are a few basics to maximize sales before the end of the fiscal year:
- Stay open late. Remember, the government operates in every time zone, so don’t overlook offices in Hawaii, they’re open after 11:00 p.m. EDT. Those customers will appreciate that you’re willing to accommodate them with updated quotes and order acknowledgments.
- Synchronize sales activities with channel partners and contract vehicles to deliver fast. Be certain that when you suggest a specific contract vehicle to a customer, everything lines up with the four steps in the diagram above and that your quotes are consistent with the items, prices, and contract terms of that particular vehicle.
- Be sure your paperwork is perfect – contracting shops have more purchase requests than time. They’ll process the friction-free work first.
- Be creative. Help your customers obligate those still-available 2014 dollars with cost-cutting, project-finishing offers that address their requirements.
Also, keep in mind that Congress will likely pass a continuing resolution to continue operations at 2014 spending levels starting October 1. At this point it will be important for sales opportunities to be positioned as part of a prior year’s ongoing program and not something new.