Generating sales leads is a must for any sales professional. Whether your focus is in business-to-business (B2B) sales or business-to-government (B2G) sales, generating the right leads for your pipeline requires a deep understanding of your target market to develop strategies, content, products, and other resources that will lead them to your door.
B2G sales can potentially be a lucrative focus, as the federal government can spend between $18 billion and $42 billion per day, as they did from 2020 to 2021. These contracts can be as modest as IT support for small municipalities or as massive as providing armaments and transport vehicles to the military. However, while the sales can be bigger the deals can also be more complex and take more time to close. This makes it vital to find qualified leads from the start or else you risk wasting a lot of time on a prospect that won’t convert into a customer.
How B2G Sales Works
Many businesses obtain government contracts by bidding through requests for proposals (RFPs) granted by government entities. However, selling to the Federal Government is not limited to RFQ and RFP responses. Government representatives can also make purchases under a specified threshold without going to bid. This sales process can be easier and less competitive than through traditional contracting methods.
Federal Contracting Sales Overview
The General Services Administration (GSA) implements federal regulations on purchases of products or services. Independent contractors can check the GSA website to see what products the federal government needs. Businesses can then match their products or services to the government agencies that need them and respond to an open RFP for review. Government projects and proposals HAVE layers of regulations, vetting, and approvals, so the approval process will take some time.
Once the proposal is approved, a long-term government contract provides stability and improves a company’s chances of being reconsidered for further partnerships.
Direct Government Sales Overview
The other option for selling to the Federal Government is through providing solutions under the department’s spending threshold. This sales route doesn’t require open competition. Additionally, if your solution is very unique without competition in the marketplace then you may be awarded a sole source contract that also avoids going to bid but can be over the purchase threshold. These options can be a faster process for securing federal sales but can also require more time prospecting to find the opportunities since they are not publicly advertised.
Tools for Generating B2G Sales Leads
Regardless of which federal sales process you follow, lead generation is still a key aspect. Building relationships is just as vital within the B2G sales process as it is in the B2B world. You still need to attract potential clients to earn contracts and support federal projects to propel your business to higher earnings and a stable foundation in the B2G sphere.
The processes and tools for lead generation are also very similar for the B2G and B2B. Effective B2G strategies include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, and social media marketing. The difference in B2G is the area of focus and the channels you must prioritize.
SEO Keyword Tools
Like B2B and B2C customers, B2G clients also use widely-available search tools to look up information about the products and services they need. They are also savvy online consumers and do their due diligence to check on potential companies and contractors they may partner with.
When a potential customer looks up your business, ensure they find content that emphasizes your authority and reliability. Create and maintain a blog that deftly covers topics that will engage and interest potential B2G clients. Your whitepapers, ebooks, and case studies must be well-written and well-supported by factual research.
With video marketing on the rise for all industries, creating informational videos about your industry will do wonders to boost organic traffic and brand awareness.
SEO keyword tools such as Google Search Console, Moz Pro, KWFinder, Serpsta, and Ahrefs can help your business target relevant keywords to put your website and blogs at the top of search engine results. Higher rankings will significantly increase the likelihood of being reviewed by government agencies and departments.
Social Media Tools
B2G clients and buyers peruse social media for relevant content, but they are much more likely to use LinkedIn instead of Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can boost your presence on these professional platforms, by regularly creating, posting, and sharing valuable content that will put your brand in the path of potential B2G clients.
You can post webinars, online workshops, and informational videos on LinkedIn. Many B2G clients will be interested in seeing how a company conducts consultations and reviews, along with the entire process of how they manage a project. You can also engage with active government officials and agencies on social media as well to build your personal relationships with key decision-makers.
Make sure everything you post on social media is shareable, relevant, and engaging. Tools like Hootsuite, ZoHoSocial, and SproutSocial can help your company manage and scale your social media presence so you can continuously generate leads on these platforms.
Customer Relationship Management Tools
Customer relationship management (CRM) software makes it easy for companies to manage and communicate with multiple clients. These tools can also generate leads and help you review how clients find you on across your marketing channels.
Other cloud-based applications can help B2G companies manage their federal territory markets. Though these applications are not strictly CRMs, they can manage federal clients within a certain territory and import data that would add to their pipeline.
Some great examples of CRM tools for generating B2G sales leads are PipeDrive, ZoHo CRM, and BigContacts. Your company can also explore cloud-based applications designed specifically for B2G, such as FedSalesTracker.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing is another effective strategy that can help increase your B2G sales leads. Private contractors can easily build a list of potential client emails from their federal market. They can send additional information through email that provides more details about their products and services.
Email is also another communication channel for contractors to reach their clients directly. Because B2G deals take some time to close, open communication via email makes it very convenient for both parties to exchange information in one click.
Email marketing tools that can help B2G companies include MailChimp, Omnisend, and Hubspot Email Marketing.
What Tools Do You Use In Your Federal Sales Lead Generation Efforts?
Share the tools or strategies you use to generate the new B2G sales leads in the comments below.
If you need help refining your lead generation and federal prospecting process, consider enrolling in our Federal Sales Certification Training Course.