Differences Between the Commercial and Federal Markets

The commercial and federal markets are not as different as you may think. In both sectors, the concept is the same; people buy products and services. But there are also several differences, as well. These include:

•      The language of federal contracting is often difficult to interpret

•      Federal buying rules and contract compliance requirements are littered with red tape.

•      Proposal writing is different in the federal market.

•      Once you have a contract with the federal government, figuring out the reporting requirements, how to stay in contract compliance, and which contract clauses are important and which you can more or less ignore is difficult to discern without guidance.

But aside from the red tape and confusing federal contracts, there are two major reasons why many companies find it difficult to do business in the federal market…

1.   Established federal vendors have already built relationships with end users.

2.   The federal market is huge and it can take a company upwards of a year or more to find the right opportunities.

If you can’t get your foot in the door, you can’t make that all-important sale.

So if you want to crack the federal market, but don’t know where to start, put your trust in a company who has been there before, a company with a proven track record for success, like Springboard.

At Springboard we offer outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. It’s simple, while you focus on delivery, we bring our sales expertise and connections to focus on your business development challenges.

If you have any questions about outsourcing, contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Sources:

Comparing the Commercial and Federal Markets FedMarket.com

Bridge the Culture Gap Between Commercial & Federal Markets PressKing.com

How the Sales Process Has Changed

Selling in a down economy is not only difficult it is scary. When the economy tanked and companies came to the realization that they would be unable to increase revenue they began to look for ways to save money. The best way to do this was to cut spending.

To make things even worse for the 2011 salesperson trying to make a living, the Internet has completely changed the game. Consumers are more educated now than ever before. They can research your company – your successes and failures – your competition, and your product. The consumer now has all the power, making the salesperson, in the traditional sense, almost obsolete.

Before, companies needed salespeople to get information, speeds, feeds, features, functions, performance specifications, colors and delivery dates. Now all that information is just a few clicks away.

So it’s adapt or die.

Well, it might not be as dire as that, but if the 2011 salesperson fails to adapt to the educated consumers of today’s market, they will struggle to survive in the business world. So what are your options?

First of all, you must accept that you, the salesperson, are not in charge. Companies know what they want. They know what you are offering. So a lot of the time the first interaction the 2011 salesperson has with a client is a negotiation.

The negotiation is now, in many cases, the first step in the sales process.

Today’s salesperson needs to be less educated on the product they are selling and more educated on the client. It’s about understanding how your customers buy. What are their buying preferences? What are their buying tendencies? What are the alternatives they may have other than you?

You must understand how the buyer buys and adapt your sales process accordingly.

The key to being successful in this environment is to have a highly trained sales staff at your disposal, leaving you with two options: hire a dedicated sales team or outsource your sales to a professional business development firm.

This is where a company like Springboard comes in.

At Springboard we offer outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. It’s simple; while you focus on delivery we bring our sales expertise and connections to focus on your business development challenges.

If you have any questions about outsourcing, contact Springboard by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

________________________________________________________

Sources:

Sales Cycle SearchCRM.com

The 7 Stages of the Sales Cycle About.com

Selling in a Recession: The Best Sales Strategy HeavyHitterWisdom.com

Has the Complex Sales Process Changed? Are You Kidding? ExpertAccess.CinCom.com

Cold Calling: Outdated, Ineffective, and Pointless

In today’s modern world, why are so many businesses relying on such an outdated sales method? Cold calling is a thing of the past.

The problem with cold calling is that it is not an effective use of time. If any other aspect of your business had a success rate of less than 10%, would you continue with it, or would you pull the plug? Of course you wouldn’t invest time and money in something so unproductive; you want your business to run as efficiently as possible. So why are you still relying on cold calling?

The goal of the average sales person making cold calls is to call 100-125 people a day with the hopes of generating 8-10 interested parties. That’s right, 8-10 people out of 125. Cold calling is a numbers game with no real winner.

There has got to be a better way.

The truth is that cold calling is outdated. With the help of the Internet, Social Media, television, talk radio, and magazines, consumers are now more educated than ever before. Consumers want real information, not a sales pitch. This is why cold calling does not work. If someone needs a certain product or service, they can search for it, research it, and purchase it without ever leaving their couch.

Consumers no longer need cold calls, so why are businesses still relying on cold calls?

You should have potential clients coming to you, whether it be by word of mouth, lead generation, advertising, or referrals. Today’s business world is built upon relationships and trust.

So instead of focusing your efforts on complete strangers, build a rapport with your current clients. One referral from a satisfied consumer is more valuable than 100 cold calls. Based on a Nielsen poll, 90% of consumers trust peers and less than 10% trust an unknown source.

This is one reason social media has become increasingly popular as a sales tool. It helps build relationships. Sales people can have more relevant intelligence on prospects and become great resources to their customers by using social media. Now companies have the opportunity to listen, engage and converse with a massive market place, like never before.

There has been a fundamental shift in the way business works. So maybe it is time for you to embrace the future of sales and finally shift your tactics away from ineffective cold calling.

If you have any questions about outsourcing, contact Springboard by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

At Springboard we offer outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. It’s simple, while you focus on delivery, we bring our sales expertise and connections to focus on your business development challenges.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

____________________________________________________________________

Sources:

Is Cold Calling A Thing of the Past? SalesHQ.Monster.com

Why Cold Calling is the Bottom of the Barrel Blog.InsideView.com

Using Your Time Wisely

Running your own company is no easy task. You have to address every aspect of your business with the utmost diligence and, let’s face it, you just do not have the time to give everything the attention it deserves. So where do you cut corners? Can you afford to cut corners?

There has to be a better solution.

There is. Outsourcing.

What if your business could outsource business development to a team of professionals at a fraction of the cost? That’s where Springboard comes in. At Springboard we offer outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. It’s simple, while you focus on delivery, we bring our sales expertise and connections to focus on your business development challenges. Springboard focuses in the four critical areas of business development:

Exposure

•     Networking

•     Speaking Opportunities

•     Social Media – research, connect with and directly interact with potential prospects, join and become active in relevant groups, post pertinent articles/white papers to help you be seen as an expert

Partnerships

•     Identify potential markets for partners

•     Research who’s who in the marketplace

•     Connect with and Directly interact with potential partners

•     Make introductions to client once identified and qualified

Prospecting

•     Lead Generation

•     Lead Qualification

•     Understanding of Prospect Needs

•     Introduction to Client as the expert to handle the identified need

Communication

•     Managing the communication before, during and after the proposal

•      Asking the questions you can’t ask

•      Ensuring we’re on the same page as we move through the buying process

When done right, outsourcing will both help your company grow and save money. This article from About.com outlines the top 4 advantages to outsourcing your business development needs.

  1. Focus on Core Activities: Every aspect of your business requires great attention to detail. Outsourcing those activities in which you simply do not have the resources to address properly, will allow you to re-focus your time without sacrificing quality or service.
  2. Save Money: Perhaps you do not have the money to hire another, much needed employee. Instead of ignoring some aspect of your business or hiring an employee that you cannot afford, outsource your extra needs to a well-qualified company. Outsourcing will often cost less than hiring a full-time employee, meaning you are getting the attention to detail you need, but at a fraction of the cost.
  3. Flexibility: Instead of hiring seasonal workers/employee during your busy season, outsource your additional work.
  4. Continuity & Risk Management: Outsourcing will provide a level of continuity to the company while reducing the risk that a substandard level of operation would bring to the company.

If you have any questions about outsourcing, contact Springboard by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well!