Top 10 Selling to Government Posts for 2009

No year end would be complete without a plethora of “Top 10” lists.  So,  we thought it would be interesting to present to you the Top 10 most read posts by our followers. 

Here they are in reverse order:

10.  Cloud Computing–Top IT Trend in Government
The movement of government IT professionals to adopt cloud computing solutions and methods.

9.  Closing the Government Contract
Do closing techniques really work in government selling?

8.  The Case of the Mysterious 18.2% from State Stabilization for Public Safety
We were among the first to identify this unusual source of funds (worth billions of dollars) for public safety.

7.  Report Unveils State Spending Plans
As the year progressed, states began waking up to the potential within the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for public safety.

6.  Another Boost for Police Technology?
Our post on the House approving $1.25 billion over five years for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.

5.  Grant Support Program Announced
Ingram Micro rolls out a program for channel partners helping them identify grant opportunities–a growing trend.

4.  Broadband Grant Award Date Gets Pushed
For many following the broadband saga, this post announced that awards would be pushed until February 2010. 

3.  ARRA Grant Recipient Registration Site Open
Post announcing the opening of the FederalReporting.gov site for recipients of ARRA awards.

2.  Rule You Can Break:  The GSA Schedule
Many believe being on the GSA is the only way to do business with the Federal government.  We provide an alternative view.

1.  Three Types of Buyers in Government Agencies
Contractors must appeal to three different types of buyers within government agencies to be successful.

Amidst one of the worst economies in decades, the year has been difficult for many businesses.  Yet, for those selling to government, bright spots have emerged and signs of hope continue.  We are grateful for those of you who follow our blog regularly, and we invite you to continue (and share it with a friend).  We’ll do our best to offer valuable insight on how to succeed in the dynamic world of government markets.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2010!

All the best,

Rick & Lorin

States Facing Huge Shortfalls in Budgets

Thirty-six states are facing budget shortfalls totaling $28 billion according to a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.  This only five months into the new fiscal year.  The report predicts there will be another $56 billion in shortfalls across 35 states in ’10-’11 and $69 billion in shortfalls across 23 states the year after that.

Many economists think the U.S. economy is beginning to rebound.  But historical analysis shows state budgets continue to struggle long after a national recession ends according to a post on www.stateline.org.

“Even if the recession is over, state budgets are still in appalling condition and are going to be that way for quite a while,” said Corina Eckl, fiscal director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “For many states, revenue recovery is not even in the forecast.”

“The states are facing nearly unprecedented declines in revenue collections,” said William Pound, executive director of the NCSL. “Coupled with probable declines in federal stimulus support over the next two year, the state fiscal picture is bleak.  We’re heading into an era of retro budgeting, where state spending is receding to levels five to 10 years ago.”

NCSL asked legislative fiscal directors to calculate when their state entered into the recession and when they expect to come out of it.  Twelve states expect recovery in the first half of CY 2010, with nine others expecting it in the second half of the year. Two states—Iowa and Louisiana—think recovery is more than a year away, projecting a rebound in the early months of CY 2011.

According to the http://www.stateline.org post, budget shortfalls are the result of an “erosion of revenues from falling income and sales tax collections and rising expenses associated with growing Medicaid enrollments.”

-LBB

For vendor implications, see our post on Sales & Marketing Management magazine’s “Sound Off” blog.

To receive Galain Solutions’ FREE REPORT “Five Sales Rules to Break When Selling to the Government,” email info@galainsolutions.com or visit http://galainsolutions.com/economicstimulus.html and complete the form.

Government Transparency Directive Issued

Earlier today, the OMB Director Peter Orszag, issued an 11-page directive on making the government more transparent.  The directive has been long-awaited, as the Obama administration originally set a target date of May 21, 2009 for the release of these regulations.  The directive provides a sort of “strategic plan” for making government information more accessible and timely.  Here are some key steps government agencies will be required to take according to the directive:

Publish information online.

Agency information should be available online where practical and posted in a timely manner.  Where possible, the data should be searchable and downloadable.  Agencies should proactively disseminate information rather than waiting for specific FOIA requests.  Within 40 days, each agency should publish three “high value” datasets that have not been published previously.  Within 60 days, agencies must create an open government webpage on http://www.%5Bagency%5D.gov/open to house transparency information.

Improve the quality of government information.

Agencies must make sure their information conforms to OMB requirements.  Within 45 days, agencies should designate a senior official to be responsible for data quality.  Within 120 days, OMB will issue guidance on a longer-term comprehensive strategy for Federal spending transparency which will identify the method for agencies to report quarterly on their information quality improvements.

Create & institutionalize a culture of openness.

Within 120 days, each agency will develop and publish on its Open Government Webpage an Open Government Plan.  Within 60 days, the Federal CIO and CTO will create an Open Government Dashboard to house each agency’s Open Government Plan, along with aggregate statistics.  Within 45 days, OMB will create a transparency working group made up of senior level program and management officials from throughout the government.

Create an enabling policy framework.

Within 120 days, OMB policies will be reviewed to identify any impediments to openness as well as new enabling technologies.

We applaud the efforts here in general.  Moving government agencies from being reactionary with their information (only releasing what is required) to proactive (a culture of openness) is no small feat.  No doubt many cans of worms will be opened as transparency increases and data is analyzed.   However, agencies, taxpayers and government contractors will all benefit from this information in general.  Let’s hope these goals can be met and the administration will be “transparent” in its progress toward them.

All the best,

-Lorin

To receive Galain Solutions’ FREE REPORT “Five Sales Rules to Break When Selling to the Government,” email info@galainsolutions.com or visit http://galainsolutions.com/economicstimulus.html and complete the form.

Social Media Trends in Government for 2010

What trends will materialize for social media in government for 2010?   An article by David Armano on Harvard Business Publishing outlines six key social media trends he sees for 2010:

Social media, less social.  Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.  People will begin paring back their social media interactions, focusing on those delivering the greatest personal value.

Corporations scale up.  Companies and government agencies will ramp up their social media tactics, moving beyond advertising to serving customers and constituents.  The example he gives is Best Buy’s Twelpforce, a customer service group providng tech answers over Twitter.

Organizations will expand social media interactions through enticements of games and incentives.  The example given is Foursquare where people are rewarded for visiting places frequently (you can even be “mayor” of your favorite restaurant or watering hole if you visit more frequently than others).

Organizations will create more formal social media policies.  As agencies and companies allow and/or adopt social media interaction, policies for its use will become more clearly defined and enforced.

Mobile devices drive social interaction.  With companies enforcing stronger social media policies and sales of smart phones skyrocketing, employees will turn to mobile devices to get their “fix.”

Sharing no longer means email. With new tools allowing for the broadcast of articles and websites over networks such as Twitter or Facebook, the email distribution list will be out, and the sharing network list will be in.   

While government agencies will likely lag behind corporate America in adopting certain aspects of social media, a desire to connect will drive personal behavior, make government workings more transparent, and open opportunities for vendors to better interact with buyers.  It will be interesting to see what 2010 has in store.

Best regards,

Lorin

To receive Galain Solutions’ FREE REPORT “Five Sales Rules to Break When Selling to the Government,” email info@galainsolutions.com or visit http://galainsolutions.com/economicstimulus.html and complete the form.