Grow Fed Biz

Veterans Affairs website screenshot featuring a brightly colored map

How To Win Business With Department of Veteran Affairs

Summit Insight’s team works with Federal agencies every day. I love to share the top changes in online resources with you and show you how you why they’re useful right away.

The Department of Veterans Affairs organizes Veteran Health Administration facilities by Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs).

Why the VISN map and structure matter

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is a big agency with a large budget. You need to know how your buyers are organized. The handy VISN map page can be hard to find! HERE’S THE LINK TO THE CURRENT ONE. Bookmark it and click on all the intelligence behind the links in regions where you’re marketing.
  • Want more Federal sales success at the VA? Organize and prioritize your sales and marketing plans by VISN if you market to buyers in Medical Centers and facilities managed by the Veterans Health Administration.
  • The map can also help you locate small business specialists in each VISN who are available to help vendors connect with Veterans Affairs buyers who need what you do.

Keys to success

  1. Medical centers and clinics have tremendous local buying authority. You’ve got to get to know the decision makers and end users one at at time.
    That can feel like an overwhelming process, but it’s what the successful companies all do. You’re going to do it sooner or later, so save yourself a lot of time and aggravation (and money). If your research shows you that Veterans Affairs has problems you can help solve, then get your marketing and sales efforts aligned with that priority, region by region and center by center.
  2. After you’ve done your homework reviewing the VA procurement forecasts, past contract awards on official free sites like USASpending.gov, and current competition activity on official free public sites like SAM.gov, a meeting with the regional small business specialist can help you clarify your plans.
  3. Less is more: the more precise your questions about a small number of offices, requirements, upcoming requirements, and even incumbent contracts coming up for renewal or recompetition next year, the more helpful the Small Business Specialist is likely to be.
  4. Master what we call the “Federal Sales Game”: learn the Players at all five layers, and what to do, what to say, and what to ask, to build relationships. Who are they? See them all at a glance.  Or discover the whole system today! MORE >>
  5. Focus: Make a confident choice and short list of priorities of where to focus your sales and marketing efforts, based on hard data. Then stick to your plan The time you invest up front to do that research makes it much easier to avoid distractions of endless invitations to small business outreach events that are not in your plan or supporting your path to profitability.
  6. Build out your Federal Sales Plan: Create a custom plan to build relationships with the players at all five layers in your focus agencies. The average Contact Relationship Management System shows you who you know. A great Federal sales plan does two more things: first, it shows you who you don’t know, but the data says you need to know. Second, it gives you a methodical, systematic way to knit together the relationships between the people who already love you and the ones you haven’t met who need you.
  7. Then there’s the final step: USE. THE. PLAN.

How hard it that last one? Well, that makes all the difference.

It’s why I created the Federal Business Intensive.

My clients who do the work and actually dig in and use their plans are successful — in the hundreds of millions of dollars of Federal contracts won.

You could be one of those companies. Let’s chat and explore how.

 

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