Time for a hard look at marketing strategies

Economic, political factors merit adjustments to business development strategy

In this business climate, major strategic marketing assessments are now in play. Government contractors are taking a hard look at their strategic marketing and making the decision to adjust the mix. Many companies are taking this climate change in the industry as an opportunity to address the situation and make the decision one way or another to continue with tried-and-true marketing techniques or drop some tactics and attempt something new. With business development and revenue generation, the scenario is more complex.

If you are familiar with this column, you know we consistently preach taking a proactive stance in your business development efforts. If you are struggling with revenue growth in this recession, as it’s been termed, you are not alone. But in our industry, the recession is also coupled with a major transition in government that started less than a year ago and is far from complete. The combination of the recession and government transition equals an exponential change in the government contracting industry.

Obsessing about that reality isn’t going to change the situation. To quote the legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, “The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control.”

Attempting to move forward with an obsolete business development operation, reacting to fewer opportunities and shifting budgets by shedding business development personnel, sticking with an outdated business development process that everyone in the industry uses, or doing nothing while waiting on the sidelines for conditions to change are not reasonable decisions. Business as usual is not an option — and hasn’t been for well more than a year. You have no control over the economic situation or the changes flowing from the government. But you do have power and control over your business development operation as a whole and all of its components.

From 30 years of experience, we know that business development is an integrated process. More than ever during these challenging times, the following steps are necessary to achieve revenue growth objectives, despite the current conditions:

  • Invest resources in conducting a comprehensive assessment of your entire business development operation: plans, personnel and processes. What got you to where you’re at might not get you where you want to go.
  • Identify the revenue growth impediments revealed by the assessment and realign your plans, processes and personnel into a cohesive business development organization. This step is particularly critical post mergers and acquisition activity.
  • Design, build and implement an up-to-date, customized business development methodology that fits your organization’s mission, culture and offerings and provides the structure, discipline and thinking necessary for revenue growth.

Between the recession and our government's transition, we all are confronting a scenario in which riding out the storm while obsessing about the stressful weather conditions is not a reasonable approach. What you are hearing is not just the wind blowing from a new direction, but a tornado about to swallow you up. Make no mistake: This is an unavoidable situation in an age of adjustment that demands realignment to the new conditions for doing business in the government arena.

About the Author

Bill Scheessele is CEO of MBDi, a business development professional services firm. He leads a team of government contracting business growth experts. Learn more about MBDi and their revenue growth resources at www.mbdi.com.

Reader Comments

Wed, Nov 18, 2009 John A.

Thanks Bill. There is clearly change in motion and increasing challenges to revenue growth for Federal contractors. If I may, an abbreviated list of challenges in my view; more RFIs with extensive response expectations that do not yield actual procurements, more delays in RFP releases and awards, more protests, an expanding deficit in skilled Federal procurement staff, even more pressure on price to win at the expense of price to deliver, and our very own industry favorite, chasing RFPs and not client / program knowledge and mission insight. Our approach - brutally practical and limited client focus, honest deal assessments, invest in knowledge and mission insight, know your competition.

Thanks for the article and the forum.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close
SEARCH
contracts DB

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Read More

  • Is SBA MIA on contractor fraud? Nick Wakeman

    Editor Nick Wakeman explores the puzzle of why SBA has been so silent on the latest contractor fraud scandal when it has been so quick to act in other cases. Read More

Webcasts

  • How Do You Support the Project Lifecycle?

    How do best-in-class project-based companies create and actively mature successful organizations? They find the right mix of people, processes and tools that enable them to effectively manage the project lifecycle. REGISTER for this webinar to hear how properly managing the cycle of capture, bid, accounting, execution, IPM and analysis will allow you to better manage your programs to stay on scope, schedule and budget. Learn More!

  • Sequestration, LPTA and the Top 100

    Join Washington Technology’s Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman as he analyzes the annual Top 100 list and reveals critical insights into how market trends have impacted its composition. You'll learn what movements of individual companies means and how the market overall is being impacted by the current budget environment, how the Top 100 rankings reflect the major trends in the market today and how the biggest companies in the market are adapting to today’s competitive environment. Learn More!