Where to Begin with the Federal Sale?

Not quite sure where to begin with the federal sale?

Where am I? It’s a question you don’t ever want to be asking yourself with respect to where you are in the federal sale process. I often sense that prospective clients are not quite sure of the answer to the question. They feel lost because they don’t really understand the multiple processes unfolding throughout the federal sales process. Often, we only have a “Cliff’s Notes” understanding because we’ve learned the details through on-the-job training, not through formal study. Sometimes, cultural learning is known as tribal myth and folklore. If your mentor taught you wrong because they didn’t really know right from wrong, it could be problematic.

Like others, you might ask, “How do I make money in federal sales?” Or “How do I get funded?” The overall process is complex, but it is knowable. Try to break it down, and it can begin to look just a little bit more straightforward.

Understanding where you are in the process is critical. The overall federal sales process is actually four processes that all connect in series…budgeting, funding, acquisition, and contracting.

The Three Rings of Influence in the Federal Sale

The three rings of influence: industry, agency, and Congress all offer opportunities to engage some part of your customer constellation. The three rings can be laid over the four processes described above.

There are also three fiscal years—fiscal year one, two, and three—representing near, mid, and long-term opportunities. There’s an execution year. There’s a planning year. There’s a budget year. The fiscal years run through the three rings and the four phases.

Knowing what you’re trying to affect can drive where you should be and help orient where you are.

Understanding where you are in the federal sales process is critical. Click To Tweet

Am I confusing you? I hope I am making you think twice because it’s important that you know this. If you need to do a little homework, that’s okay. Better to study up and make sure you know where you are.

Do you know for sure what fiscal year you’re in right now? What fiscal year are you influencing with the customer right now? What fiscal year are you influencing with your industry counterparts right now? And what fiscal year is Congress working on right now? That could be a trick question because there could be multiple things being worked on, but you need to know where you are.

Are you really in the acquisition phase, or are you in the budgeting phase? Your agency conversations for each should feel quite different, and the countdown to the contract phase looks quite different from each.

If you’re asking yourself the question, “Where am I?” it may be time to step back and make sure you’re sound in the fundamentals. If you’re not absolutely certain of where you are in the process, it’s very easy for a customer conversation to go sideways. You don’t want that to happen. It doesn’t have to happen. Don’t let it happen—the answer to the questions are entirely within your grasp.

Gene Moran will guide you to achieve the federal funding you need. Want to learn more? Schedule a call with Gene.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Gene’s Amazon bestselling book and understand the three strategic rings of the federal funding and policy circus, click here: Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring® Circus of Federal Sales

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