As we look at opportunities in 2013 in the federal marketplace, federal sales Sherpa and publisher of “The Federal Sales Underground” newsletter Eileen Kent says we need to get smart. It is quite evident to recognize that this be done in terms of focus, relationships, and partnerships in federal contracting, “This is not a business in which to dabble, you need to make a commitment of time and resources,” says Kent. Getting smart and kicking off your efforts starts with these three simple steps:

Step 1: Perform a Competitive Analysis:

Having a competitive analysis is the first step toward understanding your marketplace. “If you don’t know how to perform such an analysis there are plenty of experts and tools to utilize for an affordable investment. Hiring an expert to point you in the right direction makes great sense instead of trying to sift through all of the data that is available, on your own. It takes an expert with wisdom to help you interpret the reports available,” says Kent.

Step 2: Train the Team

The second step is to train your team so that they understand the rules, the game, and the terminology. “Again, there is a great abundance of resources for training. Consider performing a background check on those you plan to utilize, or turn to an expert for one-on-one onsite training. This type of training reigns specifically for your organization speciality, and based on the competitive analysis,” says Kent

Step 3: Build a Grass Roots Federal Sales Action Plan

The third step to kick off your federal sales is to build a realistic, grass roots federal sales action plan. “This is essential as there are three million federal employees to call upon and there is just one you.”

Kent offers these services, and has a basic tool to follow to build your pipeline of sales opportunities and intelligence. She says she also knows a great deal of contacts who can point you in the right direction. Her advice is to “Connect with people on LinkedIn, The Federal Contractor Network and Twitter and you are already on your way. The discussions are highly valuable and people are ready to help you.” In terms of partnering, it is a game just like speed dating, but you will settle in with the best if you network with enough in your backyard and get references.

Eileen Kent specializes in customizing your federal sales action plan and has personally sold to FEMA, DHS, DoD, GSA, FBI, Department of Agriculture, USDA, GSA, PBS and many more. Call her at 312-636-5381 or for your competitive analysis and federal sales action plan for 2013-2014