(3) Develop and execute a customer call plan.
Develop a call plan to obtain knowledge of the customer environment (requirements, pain points, hot buttons, source selection process, incumbent contractors, competitors) and perform primary market research. Include customer POCs from all stakeholder organizations (Requiring Activity aka the funding agency, which includes the program manager, end users, any Government agency partner POCs, contractor partner POCs, etc. and the Contracting Activity aka the awarding agency, which includes the Contracting Officer and Contract Specialist) – especially those you believe may be members of the Source Selection Board (SSB) as well as the Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP).
Within the call plan, include the preferences of each POC. Contact POCs per the call plan’s specific purpose and defined messaging for each individual based on their preferences.
Request a meeting through either an OSBP representative (if you are a small business) or directly with each POC. Through your personal and professional network, determine the targeted customer agency’s “climate” for being open to industry. Find out their tendencies for meeting with industry representatives to learn about new capabilities. Many communities within Federal Government agencies hold annual conferences, which provide access to Government Requiring Activity POCs. For example, within DoD and the Intelligence Community, the biggest conferences include DoDIIS and GEOINT. You can research similar events for your community of interest.
To gain interest for the meeting, submit a tailored capabilities brief or unsolicited white paper. Ensure that all marketing collateral, briefing material, and other written information reflects messaging consistent with verbal information. When the meeting occurs, don’t focus on regurgitating your capabilities statement, but rather, allow the Government representatives to speak and listen to learn about their challenges and needs. With that information, you will be better able to provide a solution that will benefit them by resolving their issues.
Call plan development and execution are iterative processes that feed the iterative capture management process. Document the information and feedback obtained from meetings, phone calls, and emails and refine your capture plan and win strategy accordingly.