6 ways to transition to the Trump administration

Vendors shouldn't be wasting any time in engaging customers and finding way to help them through the transition and beyond. Here are six actions you should take.

While the election is over, and despite high-level picks already announced by the new President-elect, no one really knows the makeup of the future administration.

This creates some big questions for the IT industry in 2017: Who will stay and who will go in government, and how do technology companies navigate the transition? It’s tricky, but there’s a lot of opportunity (and risk) during this brief window.

immixGroup recently gathered a few veterans of presidential transitions at immixGroup’s Government IT Sales Summit to cover how marketing and sales professionals in the tech industry can help government customers navigate this period of uncertainty and how they can prepare for (and capitalize on) the upcoming changes. Here are six tips offered by the panelists in the “Taming the Transition” session:

  • Help agencies tell their success stories. Government customers have to demonstrate to incoming administration executives that their programs have had an impact, said Martha Dorris, founder and CEO of Dorris Consulting International and former director at the General Services Administration. She encourages contractors to provide the data that will help program managers articulate the impact of your products and services on their initiatives.
  • Be a source of information for your government customers. Share what you’re hearing from others in the IT community, as well as what’s coming down the road. The most successful sales reps are those who can teach their customers, said Kris van Riper, government practice leader at CEB.
  • Wait three weeks before reaching out to a new hire. They’ll be inundated with people wanting to bend their ear, said Frank McDonough, a former GSA senior executive. Once you get a chance to speak to them, provide some useful advice. Suggest someone in the agency with institutional knowledge who could be an advisor to them. Also go in with the mindset that you’re helping that appointee make their mark. They’ll likely only be there two to three years.
  • Reevaluate your social media presence and make sure you’re regularly providing compelling content. “More federal IT people are using social media and it’s a great way to engage them in between sales meetings,” said van Riper. LinkedIn, in particular, is home to 1.6 million federal employee profiles. Mark Amtower, founding partner of Amtower & Company, said at least 15 percent of them have IT-related positions. “It’s a great way to find who you need to influence and build your trusted advisor role,” he added. 
  • Federal IT priorities won’t change too much in the next administration with cybersecurity, cloud, and advanced analytics continuing their starring roles, said Barbara Austin, immixGroup’s Market Intelligence database manager. But many of the people will change, so it’s important to understand how to effectively gather information on personnel shifts, build organizational charts, and update your marketing lists.
  • Barbara said industry can also find clues on where federal organizations will be spending their fiscal 2017 IT budgets in the IT Dashboard. The Exhibit 53 within the proposed federal budget is a valuable guide on IT and e-government priorities. Agencies will also start working on their five-year strategic plans for IT in FY17, with drafts due to the Office of Management and Budget next June. So start planning for the future now.

You can now view a full video of the Taming the Transition session.

NEXT STORY: Is LPTA finally dead?

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