Finding Sales Prospects
Generating B2B sales requires a combination of inbound (e.g. website visits) and outbound (e.g. cold calling) strategies. Once you finally get in front of your prospect, closing the sale often requires a proposal.
By contrast B2G opportunities typically reside on publically available databases for anyone to access. These leads require no inbound or outbound sales strategies; they simply exist for anyone who wants to access them.
Qualifying Sales Opportunities
When deciding whether to compete (i.e. invest in writing a proposal) for a B2B opportunity, sales teams will consider whether they have a prior relationship with the buyer, how well their solution matches the buyer need and critically, what the competitive landscape for the opportunity is like.
For B2G opportunities, exactly the same criteria applies. It’s often easier to qualify B2G opportunities, especially where you are not the incumbent because Government Buyers are required to publish details on their previous contract awards.
Competing for Sales
B2B buyers have a multitude of options when it comes to choosing their suppliers. They can be as formal or as informal as they like which it comes to making their selection. They rarely rely on just the proposal you present to them when making their purchasing decision; indeed they have the latitude to incorporate any and all information that they choose into the decision making process.
B2G buyers on the other hand are bound by rules and conventions. They cannot arbitrarily make decisions about who to award contracts to - they must rely solely on the information presented in proposal documents. The challenge for the buyer is to ensure that they solicit the right information from suppliers. To suppliers this presents both an opportunity and a challenge. As you are solely judged on the quality of your submission, suppliers who can write the best proposals stand a better chance of being awarded the business.
Suppliers competing for B2B contracts can never be certain of success for the simple reason that the rules governing the award of contracts can and do evolve over the course of the sales process.
On the other hand, everything about the B2G sales process is transparent. As opportunities are freely published, SMEs don’t have to have extensive sales capabilities, but they do need to know how to quality opportunities that are both suitable and winnable. They also need to know how to write a winning proposal.
Qualification of opportunities and proposal writing skills are easily learnt, while tools like www.tenderscout.com ensure that SMEs receive a steady stream of pre-qualified opportunities and incorporate guidance and templates that get SMEs to the finish line quicker.
SMEs should seriously consider B2G as part of their revenue mix. With a little bit of experience (and some expertise) it won’t be long before government buyers form part of your client list.