When working with federal government contractors, particularly in the federal intelligence sector, it is always fascinating to observe and comprehend how data is utilized, whether it be for identifying opportunities, analyzing past performance, or finding potential partners. However, one key factor that all successful companies share is their strategic utilization of data. So I thought it might be good to revisit the topic of account plans, specifically as it relates to federal contracting.

Having a well-developed account plan is crucial for focusing your efforts on business development and managing relationships with strategic customers. For government prime contractors, these customers can range from agencies to bureaus, commands, districts, or even contracting offices.  An account plan not only helps in targeting new agencies but also in maintaining your position as an incumbent vendor. It is an essential tool for ensuring the success of any company.

To create a successful account plan, it is crucial to consider the following key elements:

  • Obtain a comprehensive understanding of the prospect or customer and their mission, delving deep into their goals and objectives.
  • Identify the key individuals within the organization who should be approached, mapping out the cast of characters and building relationships with the right people.
  • Develop a strategic approach for engaging with the agency, fine-tuning your value hypothesis, outreach strategy, and utilizing various outreach channels, such as social media, to maximize your impact.
  • Formulate a “second step” strategy for expanding your relationship with the customer once you have successfully landed their business. This involves identifying opportunities for growth and leveraging your existing partnership to secure additional contracts.
  • Determine the optimal timing for approaching the prospect or customer, and assign a team member to lead the efforts within your organization. It is essential to establish a strategic timeline to ensure effective communication and coordination.

Navigating the Federal Contracting Landscape – Choosing agencies to enter or expand.

In order to effectively navigate the vast federal landscape and uncover potential opportunities, it is imperative to gain a deep understanding of the market for your services. Begin by utilizing relevant keywords to gain insights into your federal market. Familiarize yourself with the various NAICS or PSC codes that are used to award contracts in your specific area of expertise. By conducting a thorough analysis of these keywords and industry codes, you will be able to identify emerging trends and select the most suitable target agency or bureau for your business. Fedmine’s Industry Visor is a valuable resource that provides a convenient and informative glimpse into federal spending by NAICS or PSC codes, helping you make informed decisions when selecting your target agencies.

Once you have selected the agency or bureau that aligns with your goals, it becomes imperative to analyze it in order to create a successful and effective account plan.

Understanding an Agency

Gaining insight into the vision and mission of each agency (or bureau) is crucial, as it shapes the agency’s structure and spending habits. Conducting web and news research, along with utilizing a business intelligence platform, allows for a comprehensive understanding of the agency’s contracting practices, aiding in the development of an effective account plan.

Maximizing the essential components of an agency account plan involves:

Developing a Comprehensive Understanding of the Agency

Steps included in understanding an agency include:

  • Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the agency’s overall spending
    • further analyze the spend by NAICS, PSC, or Category Management Codes.
  • Identify the top contracting offices and the contracts they award – do an analysis by industry codes
  • Determine the top funding offices – pay attention to contracts where the contracting agency differs from the funding agency.
  • Evaluate how contracts are awarded, whether they are full and open, competed, not competed, or under the SAT threshold.  Is the agency buying
  • Identify the top small businesses or businesses in your socioeconomic category and consider partnering with them or emulating their strategies.
  • Understand the subcontract dollars awarded by the agency, including the NAICS codes under which they are awarded, and identify the top subcontractors and the subcontracts reported for the agency, bureau, or base.
  • Determine the top IDIQs or GWACs used by the agency and assess if you are on those vehicles or if you have a teaming partner on them.
  • Take a quick look at the solicitation KeyStats to gain insights into the agency’s contracting activity.
  • Monitor the number of protests filed that pertain to the agency.  Protests decisions provide a lot of key insights on an acquisition and the agency. 
  • If you are in the IT industry, it is crucial to understand the top IT initiatives in the agency. Explore the top agency programs, including their Exhibit 53
  • Keep track of industry days at the agency as they provide valuable information.
  • Create a pipeline of possible opportunities or recompetes, based on expiring contracts and filters such as 8(a) expiration.
  • Analyze the agency’s past and future budget spend to gain a better understanding of their financial landscape.agency
  • Pay attention to how an  agency’s is performing vis-a-vis their socio-economic goals, especially as you look at teaming agreements

Fedmine provides users the ability to access the information easily. Our Agency Profiles, MyPipeline and Industry Profiles provide you with the ability to create your report immediately. A technology company is able to review the Exhibits quickly. Creating alerts allows you to remain aware of procurement activity.

Next Steps:

Create your strategy

To maximize your chances of success in federal contracting, it is important to consider several key factors.

  • Firstly, identify the key programs where your company can provide value and assess whether you have personnel on site at the agency who can assist in building relationships and expanding your presence. Additionally, determine if there is a specific bureau you want to target.
  • If your company is relatively new to federal contracting and lacks experience, consider entering an agency as a subcontractor. With the agency knowledge you have acquired, create a pipeline of prime contractors to target based on their expiring contracts. It is crucial to have a compelling value proposition and the ability to articulate the benefits of working with your company.
  • Craft a unique value proposition that resonates with the agency. Highlight your past performance and the problems you have solved in the past. Determine the key individuals you need to meet at the agency and devise a strategy for connecting with them. You can consider leveraging social media, reaching out to the OSDBU office, or partnering with other companies.
  • Engage with the client and clearly communicate the solution you provide and the value it brings. Once you have executed on the solution, follow up to ensure there is no communication gap and maintain a strong relationship with the agency.

By incorporating these elements into your account plan, you can position your company for success in federal contracting and establish strong relationships with key agencies.

Interested in learning how Fedmine can provide you the federal business intelligence needed to create your agency account plan?  Reach out to us by filling this form.

About the Author: Archisha Mehan

Archisha Mehan is the Head of Federal, Public Sector at GovSpend. With over 25 years of experience across industries including SaaS solutions and banking, Archisha manages change by focusing on customers, solutions, sales & marketing, and people.

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