As a government-focused salesperson, understanding how B2G selling differs from other approaches can mean the difference between success and failure. Our last post examined a few reasons why B2G is a different animal. Let’s examine two more.
Budget & Fiscal Year Limitations
While budgets are certainly important in the B2B world, government agencies of all types are mercilessly tied to budget cycles. Government agencies can’t sell more stock or easily acquire more debt to continue operations or fund new initiatives. While creative grant-writing may open funds for limited projects, in general, agencies must spend what they’ve been given. This, too, contributes to long sales cycles.
If your product or service is not in the budget, it will likely be the next fiscal year (or longer) before you win a sale given the limited degree of spending flexibility. (In our workshops, we show you how to ensure your product is built into expenditure plans and what to do when it’s not.)
Politics & Playing it Safe
You thought office politics were bad? Try real politics. Imagine a job where virtually every decision made is a matter of public record. A profession where job survival is at the hands of a fickle public. This type of environment clearly impacts what buyers do (and don’t do) and why and how they buy.
In general, government buyers, even at lower organizational levels, know they could easily become a political target at the drop of a hat. So….they play it safe. Decisions are delayed until more information can be gathered. Projects with full heads of steam are sidetracked or abandoned altogether. Frequent leadership changes cause initiatives to be derailed. These situations are not the norm, but they can happen with more frequency than one would like. However, if you know how to leverage this environment of politics, you can use it to your advantage.
If you need help in building or developing your government sales team, let Galain Solutions assist. See our link on “Selling to Government Private Workshops” or visit us at http://www.galainsolutions.com.
Selling to government is not for the faint of heart. However, it can be rewarding both financially and psychologically if you’re prepared to deal with this particularly unique environment.