Sequestration Delay Creates Need for Contractors to Better Understand Government Customer’s Needs - (Archived)

The dark clouds may have parted for a brief time with the recent sequestration delay.  But it’s already the second half of January and before we know it, we will find ourselves standing on the precipice once again.

Nick Wakeman recently offered his always insightful take in a Washington Technology blog post on how the sequestration delay is presenting a ‘mixed bag’ for contactors.

One passage of Wakeman’s post captured our attention: “Contractors are still caught in limbo, so the basic blocking and tackling of business remain paramount – know your customers, understand their problems, understand your weaknesses, control costs and build strong partnerships.”

These insights could not have been more spot on.  In this era of ongoing uncertainty, contractors need now more than ever to arm themselves with  market-validated insights into government customers’ priorities, needs and expectations in order to maintain existing contracts and win new business.

As we have highlighted before, contractors could gain the knowledge needed to sustain government contracts, before the risk of losing a recompete, through customer satisfaction and loyalty programs.

Brand perception research will help contractors understand how their reputation compares to competitors, and whether their services and solutions are well aligned with government priorities and needs.

At a time when contractors’ viability is more precarious than ever before due to a competitive market and great uncertainty, it’s critical to build capture strategies, win themes and proposals from your market’s fact-based insights, and not your internal best guesses.

A third-party research provider can objectively probe needs, expectations and motivations of agency customers.  When talking to an independent third party, government executives are more likely to provide the necessary candid feedback – giving contractors the actionable information they need to continue providing value and retaining business, or constructing win themes and proposals that meet government needs and expectations.

In many aspects of life and business, the right knowledge is power.  In the government contracting sector, this actionable knowledge can not only empower a contractor, but also mitigate the uncertainty that keeps many of us up at night.


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