Many of our federal contractor clients rely on a heavy push in the final quarter of the federal fiscal year to take advantage of the mad dash by agency procurement teams to allocate end-of-year budget dollars. While “use it or lose it” may not be what it once was, because of the pandemic, many contracting officers are rushing to complete smaller procurements, meet contracting goals, and get through the needs of their customers before the September 30 deadline.
As you develop your strategy for the rest of Q4, it is important to understand end-of-year procurement priorities, provide content that speaks specifically to their needs and ensure you have the right vehicles for easy acquisition.
Now is a great time to educate them on how you can address last minute issues, highlight your strengths and differentiators, and demonstrate how you can make the process as easy as possible. When agencies try to get the most out of end-of-year dollars, consider these tips to capture federal end-of-year spending that will give you the best chance to secure some last-minute commitments you (and they) thought weren’t realistic until next year.
TIPS TO CONSIDER:
- Put in the work. July/August is the time to work with your sales, BD and marketing teams to touch base with your current customers, prospect agencies or potential partners. We know you want to be at the beach, but if you are waiting until after Labor Day, it’s too late.
- Make sure your products/services are purchase-ready. Emphasize that your products/services are at the ready/easily attainable through contract vehicles already in place at the agency.
- Highlight your business status. The larger, well-known government contractors may get the lion’s share of the dollars, but they often do it in partnerships with small, woman-owned, 8a, etc. businesses to meet contract qualifications. In addition to contract vehicles, highlight your business status. This may be enticing to an agency or a prime contractor needing to fulfill requirements.
- Be ready to answer questions quickly. Have your subject-matter experts (SMEs) at the ready to answer any questions your prospect may have about your product/service. Create readily accessible FAQs in both public facing and internal locations to answer immediate questions and keep the messaging consistent across your team.
- Know what content your customer wants at this stage. For a quick turnaround purchase, focus on their needs at the end of the buying process. The Content Marketing Review tells us that now is not the time to educate your customers with lengthy white papers, but instead focus your efforts and resources on product demos and trials.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON FEDERAL END-OF-YEAR PLANNING:
In addition to these tips to capture federal end-of-year spending, it’s also important for contractors to take time in this quarter to focus and plan on the next fiscal year.
- If you haven’t already, it may be a good time to gauge your customer satisfaction. Are there any hidden concerns you’re not aware of that could impact a re-compete?
- What contracts are coming up in the next 18-24 months? How can you gain an edge by understanding their challenges?
- How do you stand against your competitors? Consider an analysis to gauge how your audience views you and where you can differentiate from the crowd.
- Review where your customer focuses end of year spending this year. This may be a forecasting for the next fiscal year’s spending and insight into how they prioritize spending with extra dollars.
If you need help, contact us. Good luck and we hope all have a productive end of 2021!