If you are a small to mid-sized Government Contractor (GovCon) that is in growth mode, you are probably considering the option of purchasing a CRM system for your organization. CRM’s such as Salesforce.com, Deltek Capture Management or Microsoft Dynamics are a typical step for GovCon organizations to add structure as they grow. However, these CRM’s are just too “CRM-ish” for most mid-sized GovCon organizations. They are expensive, provide an overkill of features, and, designed for transactional situations vs. longer, complex BD cycles like in GovCon.
There are now more appropriate options specifically for GovCon organizations.
The Target Situation of CRM Systems and Constraints for GovCon
CRM systems are designed as databases, primarily for use in transactional sales situations. Data is organized and presented by type of data – Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, Leads, etc. Most large GovCon organizations use a CRM system for BD/Capture. They had to go down this route starting in the 1990’s when this was the only practical available option. The main problem with the CRM option is that while they are good systems to capture data in a transactional situation, they are not designed to automate business development process work that is the nuts and bolts of most GovCon organizations. Nowadays, a great deal of GovCon work, such as capture management, proposal development, contract management, program management, project management, and, operations are now being done in “work management” environments (like SharePoint) that are process and result oriented vs. data centric like CRMs. So, what happens in these large enterprises is that their CRM system ends up being a siloed “source of truth” that is separately maintained and isn’t integrated with the day-to-day business development work of capture and proposal management.
The Next Generation Alternative
Now, let’s look at the next generation alternative made possible by industry innovations in work management systems. The R3 alternative is a system consisting of R3’s WinCenter Capture & Proposal Management System (CPMS) and R3’s Account Management solutions running on Microsoft SharePoint. WinCenter provides the capture management process that is designed to support GovCon business development. It has a deep feature set that supports the specific process needs of GovCon. And, it goes further to include proposal management and knowledge management. It is a real business development system for GovCon. R3’s Account Management add-on provides the core Account and Contact management capabilities to your environment. It is seamlessly integrated. So, now you have the parts of CRM systems that are needed for GovCon but in a work environment that is more relevant to the use. In addition, this system runs on SharePoint. This means that it can be natively integrated with your proposal system, your program system, your project system and any other resources or applications on SharePoint.
The Better Choice for Small to Mid-Sized GovCon
If you have not already invested in a CRM system, then, you have the option to avoid the lock-in downside of CRM systems. You can also avoid the costs which end up being 2-3 times of our solution. Our solution is not user based which means that all of your employees can participate and even partners without the cost impact. Instead of going down the road of having a siloed CRM system, you can invest in a system that can be part of a flexible, open, natively integrated work environment on SharePoint. As a Small to Mid-Sized Business in growth mode, you will need the flexibility to change, enhance, and extend the system to support your changing needs as your organization matures in its processes. For these reasons, I recommend our alternative in this situation.
Examples of GovCon Adopting the R3 Alternative
In 3 recent competitive wins, our competitors were the cadre of standard CRM system alternatives. They choose our option based upon the relevance of our solution to the needs of GovCon for the full business development life cycle and the cost. We’ve recently written a couple of customer case studies about this: $50m Government Contractor Uses WinCenter to Drive Integrated Capture Management and 800-Person GovCon Goes with WinCenter to Guide and Drive GovCon Capture Activity – Going Beyond a CRM. The first case study is about a 350 person, $50m independent GovCon organization. The second is an 800-person division of one of the top 20 Government Contractor organizations. Check them out and see how they compare to your situation.