I was reminded recently of the benefit of integrated marketing in your IC sales efforts; it goes like this:
· Your sales (i.e., quota bearing professional) knows where to spend his/her time in research.
· Your marketing manager knows which white papers to write and which value propositions to articulate.
· Your marketing team understands your targets and can plan to spend trade show dollars appropriately.
· Your management knows which executives they’d like to meet and prioritize their limited sales focus appropriately;
· Your web site designers know which artwork to look for.
· Your recruiters know which resumes to be on the look-out for…
My point is that the power of focus is amazing tool when it comes to marshalling your team onto a common target. On our best day, we create a team target that is aligned horizontally and vertically throughout an organization. For instance, if I was targeting the Army Intelligence organizations (as a sales and BD professional), this could easily dictate which trade shows at which I would exhibit or attend, which magazines I would spend time perusing, which phone calls I may make, and which web sites I monitor. As anyone over 30 will attest, this is a lot harder than it seems. Yet, without this kind of focus, I may never get deep enough to see opportunities. Incidentally, this is the problem with following the news (at least a challenge I have…)…even news on the IC. Washington is famous for spilling ink and hosting conferences to do little more that jam five hundred folks into a ball room to talk about problems. (Another cyber conference… you’ve got to be kidding…?!?) My passion is with those who talk … and then act!
Be someone who is solving challenges on the mission side the IC agencies. When you go to a conference, have a focus, and know who you expect to meet there and what you intend to say or listen for. (Have you called ahead and set up some targeted meetings while you’ll be at the conference?) Wandering generalities seldom solve real problems, especially in the IC.
If you need help, start with the budgetary breakdown of the IC. Where is the “big money” being spent? These figures are not hard to come-by (see my blog posting from 11/17/09). What are the large changes that are driving the discretionary spending across your general target area? Who is monitoring your procurement funnel. Did you know INPUT and FedSources do track many intelligence procurements (a lot more than I once realized…). Who are the new champions in the agency or above the agency? What will congress be asking the target agency to do, in FY11?
Use this kind of focus to prepare your team for 2011!