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Hi-Q Group Recompetes Contract Pitfalls

Recompetes: This Hidden Issue That Catches Leaders by Surprise

How much does your projected revenue depend on winning a recompete government contract? In the past, incumbents had a high probability of win (PWin) unless they were underperforming or had lost favor. Not much business development effort was required.

Simply perform well on the contract, be a trusted resource, write a compliant proposal, and a win was virtually guaranteed.

But things have changed. Incumbency no longer guarantees success.

THE CHALLENGE

The Silent Contract Killer

If your customer hasn’t addressed your team’s performance, you should not assume the best-case scenario. 

Customers don’t always tell you everything.

It’s a truth we often forget. And we tend to ignore it completely when we believe we have great customer intimacy—program managers aren’t immune to this.

recompete contract statistic study

Overestimating customer relationship quality has been a problem for years and it’s getting worse.

We’ve lost count of how often we’ve received calls this year from shocked and disappointed executives who were completely blindsided by losing a recompete due to their program manager’s personality or lack of BD performance.

In most cases, they failed to recognize this because:

  • The program manager was convinced the customer loved them,
  • Leadership assumed they had a strong friendship with the customer, or
  • Leadership assumed no complaints about the PM meant all was fine.

These assumptions can put recompetes at very high risk.

But here’s the good news: you can take preventative measures to protect your recompetes.

Only 37% of government contractors regularly involve technical experts and project managers in customer meetings and proposal development.

Source: Deltek Clarity Study

THE OPPORTUNITY

The Program Manager’s Role 

You can leverage your PM’s access to protect your recompetes by building trust with the customer and getting new intel. 

Your PM typically has incredible access and  knowledge of the customer’s challenges and future needs.

But often they can be so focused on execution they miss larger opportunities to serve the customer.

Many PMs feel if they try to expand their current programs or discuss new opportunities with the customer, they may be perceived as “salespeople” and jeopardize their current relationships.

This is often due to a lack of BD and people skills training, which would allow them to be more skilled and comfortable having these types of conversations with customers.

Only 28% of government contractors provide formal training in areas like relationship building, emotional intelligence, and customer-centric selling.

Source: APMP Benchmarking Study

In our research, we’ve identified 4 reasons PMs miss opportunities:

  1. Aversion to Business Development / Wrong Perception
  2. Lack of Customer Engagement Soft Skills
  3. Silo Culture / Customer Protective Mindset
  4. Incentives Not Aligned With Revenue Growth Responsibilities

Often the difference between winning or losing a recompete is how a PM leverages their customer access, relationship quality, and communication skills to outthink, outsmart, and outmaneuver those who seek to replace them without getting caught in a race to the lowest price.

To fully leverage their position, PMs must embrace their pivotal role in business development and get new, actionable intel from stakeholders.

63% higher win rate on government contracts by companies that prioritize customer relationships.

To do this, leadership needs to reframe their perception of business development so they  understand they are serving the customer by solving additional challenges and provide them the necessary BD and people skills needed to create Winning Relationships™ without resorting to sleazy sales tactics.

With training and support, PMs can overcome common obstacles in the role and maximize their impact as playmakers driving revenue growth.


govcon courses:

  • BD Essentials (Beginners)
  • BD Masterclass (Advanced)

read more:

BD & DELIVERY TEAMS

BD Essentials

Turn your entire team into relationship-building, growth advocates. 

Turn your team into relationship-building, growth advocates. 

SEE COURSE

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