Different Aspects and Challenges of Government Lead Generation
Your approach for selling to the government should be different. Generating government sales leads is unique, complex, and time-consuming. It requires a special acumen, the ability to adapt, and patience.
Generating Government Sales Leads is the Same, But Different
In some respects, selling to the government is no different than selling to any other industry. A Sales Development Representative [SDR] must embody an in-depth knowledge of their solution and understand its:
– Differentiators, – Ideal Customer Profile [ICP], – The pains, fears, and needs of the ICP; then, – Marry the pains, fears, and needs with the unique solution they are selling.
Align Your Approach with Government Type and How They Buy
The government market is vast, and includes selling to the Federal, State, and Local levels. Within each of these levels are numerous departments, offices, boards, and divisions. The problem arises when a company sees the market as unlimited and tries to sell to everyone. Without properly defining their TAM, SAM, and SOM, a company can waste a significant amount of money, effort, and time.
Since a prospective customer moves through their buying process, not your company’s sales process, you must focus on how they make buying decisions. Decisions are either centralized, quasi-centralized, or decentralized across government levels, departments, and functions. Also, they are usually not autonomous. Instead, multiple individuals, a committee, or a board are involved. Therefore, it is important to not only target decision-makers, but influencers, initiators, and gate keepers as well. The key to success is targeting by persona and customizing your messaging based on the personas’ objectives and goals.
The Good News about Generating Leads with Government Entities
One of the great aspects of B2G lead generation is that you are more likely to have conversations and gain critical market intelligence. Government prospects’ jobs focus on serving their community, and as a result, they pick up the phone. Andthere is more good news… since all government information is public, building lists and identifying contacts is easier than in the private sector.
Generating Government Sales Leads Requires Persistence
Timing is everything in the government sector. Fiscal years differ depending upon the area of government. But no matter where an agency is in their buying cycle, lead generation is a continuous activity. In fact, it is common for agencies to plan years in advance for purchases due to their complex budget cycles. Therefore, if a product did not make it into this year’s budget, a company should add the targets to a drip or nurture campaign to keep the solution top of mind.
Another aspect to consider is the election cycle. Changing administrations means new agendas and strategic goals. As a result, projects change, budgets are re-allocated, and sales cycles are elongated.
Government Purchasing Processes Influence Lead Generation Efforts Too
Government purchases over a certain dollar amount typically are made through a Request for Proposal [RFP] process. This allows agencies to perform a side-by-side comparison of vendors. The key is to get to know the agency and their needs before the RFP is written. By having insightful conversations with the decision-makers and marrying their pains, fears, and needs with your unique solution, a sales professional can help influence the criteria of the RFP and help win the business.