The Sales Process
What does all of this mean in terms of sales? Sales people should understand:
- How the pricing of your products/services fit into the dollar ranges. For example, for small buys you probably need to obtain a credit card holders list and contact many end-users, instead of a few official buyers (if the target agency has a credit card program; most do). This of course presumes your product/service pricing fits under the small purchase threshold.
- The requirements and associated sales costs of bidding publicly announced procurements. Are buying decisions based strictly on price or is some form of “best value analysis” allowed in selecting the winning vendor? The more flexibility the buyer has in using best value analyses, the more important advanced selling becomes.
Knowing the rules will have an effect on how you sell and how you structure your pricing. For example, the rules might point you toward a strategy of selling a small contract at first to make the purchase easy for the end-user or buyer (i.e., the “foot in the door” strategy).
In short, understand the purchasing rules of the state and local agencies you are selling to. Without this understanding, you will be bumbling around in the dark in terms of how to sell to end-users and buyers. Perhaps worse, they will know you are bumbling in the dark and think that you shouldn’t be playing in the government market.