A continuing resolution is inevitable. Here’s what you need to do

continuing resolution, install base, federal government, budgetBy Stephanie Meloni, consultant

There’s a strong possibility of beginning FY18 under a continuing resolution (CR), so technology companies doing business in the public sector need to be aware of how this will impact sales. Since a CR keeps the government funded at the previous year’s budget, this will mean no new program starts or capital expenditures. The government is basically funding itself to keep the lights on and performing last year’s mission.

CRs have become more and more common in recent years, however, the next CR we face may be longer than most, as experts say it may need to extend into December.

But this doesn’t spell doom and gloom for the government IT business. Since a CR requires capabilities to be tied to last year’s mission, one of the best ways that technology companies can continue sales would be to focus on their existing customers. The cost of doing business with a new customer can often take five times as much time and money as retaining an existing one—not to mention that even under normal budget circumstances, the probability of selling to a new customer can be as low as five percent.

In a CR budget environment where customers are being squeezed for resources, mining your current install base can uncover new opportunities. The initial sale to a customer gives you an in-depth understanding of their pain points and of their current product environment. Analyzing your transactional history with existing customers can uncover purchasing patterns and relationships between product families in order to uncover new opportunity.

Many companies don’t have a strategy for this in place, so executing sales campaigns using analytics can be a huge differentiator, particularly in a budget environment where any additional sales need to be tied to previous ones to show continuation of a customer’s current mission.

One of the capabilities of immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team is to look at our suppliers’ install base data in a few different ways. The best opportunities to engage with the team would be:

  • When launching a new product that’s complementary to an existing solution—This helps determine patterns where product families are complementary to each other.
  • Looking at the partner environment to identify not only current partner footprint, but to look at which partners you’re not currently working with but should be, based on the technologies they sell.

Engaging with customers with after-market activities can help establish yourself as a trusted partner, ensuring they are not only using your products effectively, but also setting yourself up for future success with complementary offerings to further their mission. Sales campaigns based on analytics can bolster after-market activities by ensuring you are cross-selling or up-selling only the products that can enhance your end-user’s ongoing mission—which is critical in a CR.

Want to learn more about how immixGroup can help tap into your install base? Reach out to the Market Intelligence team today.

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