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Episode 93 | 5 Keys for Being Successful During Fed Buying Season

August 20, 2020

Episode 93 | 5 Keys for Being Successful During Fed Buying Season
 
You could say that federal and state agencies are a little … distracted during this Fed buying season. They’ve got a lot on their plates, just like everyone else.
 
That’s why it’s critical to make purchasing solutions from you as easy as possible.
 
Executive Director and GM at Ingram Micro, Tony Celeste, offers partners multiple keys to success during this federal buying season. He and Keri also discuss:
 
  • The differences between selling to the Fed and selling to SLED
  • Major market trends happening in the public sector
  • How the CARES Act is impacting federal and state spending
  • The future of the public sector and technology
Find more information on selling to the public sector.
 
Connect with Tony on LinkedIn, Twitter @tceleste2014, or email him at tony.celeste@ingrammicro.com.
 
"[Federal buying season] is all about creating value. And value can't be just the lowest price." — Tony Celeste
 

2020 Federal Spending
The truth about federal spending in the 2020 buying season? It’s going to be monstrous.

You probably already have a good idea of why the federal government is spending more this year, but here’s the lowdown anyway:
 
  1. Technology solutions are in high demand. Federal and state institutions are managing remote workforces just like us. They need advanced technology and the sophisticated cybersecurity that comes with it.
  2. The push to buy American. Due to the economic and political climates, more federal agencies are pushing for American-sold solutions.
  3. The Fed is printing money. The American government is printing more money to stimulate the economy. Therefore, state-run organizations have more dollars to spend this year.
There are more opportunities to sell to federal agencies this year than normal. However, that doesn’t mean contracts are going to be served on a silver platter.
 

[RELATED: 4 Keys for Marketing to the Public Sector]

5 keys to success during Fed buying season
Along with a lot of on-point market insights, Tony shares a handful of tips for partners to see success this federal buying season.

  1. Commitment to the public sector. In other words, you can’t be a fair-weather seller. Buyers will remember if you’ve had their back in the past when their budgets weren’t as robust. They need to know that you have a deep interest in their market.
  2. Be a subject matter expert. When selling to the public sector, you need to be able to tailor solutions to meet agencies’ unique needs and challenges. That means understanding the special certifications, standards, security frameworks and acquisition regulations that come with the territory.
  3. Participate in influential organizations. There are loads of associations that influence the public sector. Join one and start networking with your peers in government.
  4. Invest in your customers’ missions. In order to care about the goals of your customers, you need to fully understand them. Once you take the time to learn about the mission of government and individual institutions, you build trust with your customers.
  5. Link your solutions to mission outcomes. Show the connection between your tech solution and the desired outcomes of your customers. If you can do this, they will be more likely to buy from you next year.
"The government is buying all year long. They just tend to buy a lot more in these last three months because they've got to spend that money or lose that money before the end of the fiscal year (September 30)." — Tony Celeste
 

Where is technology going in the next year?
In the coming year, Tony believes that demand for technology is going to continue to accelerate. Organizations that don’t accept the need for digital transformation aren’t predicted to survive.

Tony points out that even the DMV has invested more into online services, improving their infamous reputation for poor user experience. In fact, UX will be one of the greatest—if not the greatest—differentiators for businesses.
 
Having the lowest price doesn’t cut it anymore. Exploring machine learning and AI solutions for UX can propel your business into the future and solidify your continuity.
 
To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk
 
Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. You can also listen on our website.