Category Archives: Sales Matters

Posts in this category relate to activities and operations intended to increase demand for what an organization offers its customers.

Private Equity Diligence Support for Federal Sector

If you are a Private Equity investor looking for opportunities to invest in firms that provide professional services and software to serve the U.S. federal government, you know how challenging it can be to assess the potential and risks of these businesses.

Working with the federal government is not just another market, it is more like a different planet. Everything is different. The language is different, money is different, and no one can tell anyone else what to do.

Mastering the art of developing coalitions of support is vital. In short, you need a partner who understands the unique dynamics and complexities of the federal market, and who can help you make informed and confident decisions.

That’s where IntelliVen Diligence Support comes in. We are a team of senior operating partners with deep experience and insights in the federal sector, and we offer a range of services to help you evaluate and validate your investment targets, identify value creation drivers and how to activate them, and help you craft a compelling investment thesis.

Whether you need just a few questions answered, a comprehensive Go-to-Market diagnostic, a competitive landscape assessment, or a strategy roadmap, we can provide you with the data and guidance you need to make the best indication of interest or purchase offer.

We have worked with dozens of Private Equity firms and portfolio companies in the federal space, and we have a proven track record of delivering high-quality results on or ahead of schedule and on, and usually well in excess, of targets.

We know how to navigate the regulatory, contractual, and operational challenges of the federal sector, and we can help you identify and mitigate potential issues and risks. Our network of federal experts, thought leaders, and former government executives provide valuable insights and connections.

IntelliVen is not just another consulting firm. We are a partner who shares your vision and goals, and who can help you achieve them faster and more effectively. We are driven by our passion for helping leaders and their teams architect, build, govern, and change their organizations for breakthrough improvements in performance and growth.

We have developed a system of tools, workstreams, and tutorials based on what we have learned from running and growing dozens of successful organizations. We call it the Manage to Lead (MtL) System, and we use it to help owners, leaders, and teams to get clear about what they seek to accomplish; aligned on their purpose, roles, processes, and metrics; and on track to perform better and grow faster.

Contact IntelliVen Senior Principal Mark Tice to learn how IntelliVen can help with your Private Equity diligence needs in the federal market.

4 Steps to Engaging Communities to Build Better Products

Tech companies constantly need to decide which products and features they should develop next to drive the most value for users. Listening to and elevating the Voice of the Customer through a community-based approach is an ideal way to inform their decision-making, especially when better meeting current user needs accelerates value.

As David Spinks shares in his SPACES frameworkhe developed with the CMX Team, communities are valuable to host organizations because they provide Support to members, input to Product development, Acquisition of new customers, Contribution to best practices, Engagement in the brand, and help each other Successfully derive maximum benefit from company products. 

Double-clicking on the goal to inform Product development, this post provides a guide for how to thoughtfully activate a community to decide which products and features to develop next.

The key to success is strategically connecting product team leaders and relevant community members so that leaders better understand user pain-points and commit to addressing them. 

For maximum impact, follow these four steps: Set your strategy, Prepare the Conversation, Hold the Event and Follow Up:

I. Set Your Strategy

  • Identify Top User Pain-Points: Assess the input collected from community members to determine the pain-points that keep users from achieving their goals. Scaled research is a good way to identify the most important pain points. I am sure there are AI tools that can help you analyze large quantities of data and pull up keywords and phrases that appear as challenges for your users. Let me know which ones you recommend!
  • Determine which Pain-Points to Address in Conversation: Share collected pain-points with relevant product managers to identify which are related to work already in progress and which are yet to be roadmapped. Top pain-points that are not already set to be addressed, or that are on the roadmap but not prioritized, are candidates for advocating on behalf of users to accelerate product-market fit.
  • Create Influence Goals: Strategize how to influence the product roadmap to include features that address community pain-points. In particular, determine who needs to understand the pain-points in order to rally resources to invest in addressing them and then determine the best way to communicate the essential need.

II. Prepare the Conversation

  • Recruit a handful of users  from your community (e.g. spanning geographies, topic areas, etc.) who product team members need to hear from in order to advance their understanding of, and commitment to, addressing the community pain-point. Be mindful to recruit users who represent the diversity of perspectives you want to advocate, including historically marginalized voices.
  • Deeply get to know recruited users via conversations with them about their goals, what is working and what is not working. Listen to and ask questions that elicit the stories that make their pain-points real.
  • Create a run-of-show for an event in which the recruited users share relevant personal stories that will remain in participants’ minds long after the event is over. Make sure the script feels natural to the user spokespersons and give them the chance to edit and internalize the content.

III. Hold the Event

  • Work with product team members to enlist their deep commitment to the success of the event and to jointly prepare relevant questions they can ask the users after they share their stories.
  • Hold the event in which you bring together users with key product stakeholders who need to hear the user stories. Ensure that community members have the chance to share key points via stories. Ask follow up questions to elicit points that you heard in preparation conversations that do not come up on their own.

IV. Follow Up

  • Debrief the event with product teammates without users present to discuss what was heard and what was learned, what options exist for addressing pain-points, what next steps are appropriate, and how the community can be most helpful. 
  • Facilitate ongoing connection between product team members and the community using co-design sessions and regular touchpoints to provide continuous feedback during product design, development, and testing.
  • Celebrate new features that go-to-market that address community pain-points, especially circling back to those who stepped-up to advocate for change by participating in events. This is a huge win for your organization and the community! 

There is nothing like intimate live conversations where stories bring to life the current barriers to user success and the potential future value that can be unlocked with the right product evolution. Check out this conversation with community leaders, external experts and a Meta VP filmed in the metaverse for a fun example! 


Be sure to check with company policy and legal professionals to ensure user privacy is maintained and that the process aligns with relevant policies.

Breanna DiGiammarino has 13 years  experience working with communities at Meta, Indiegogo and the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. She uses the process described in her post to evolve product offerings. Reach her on LinkedIn to keep the communities conversation going!

3 Tips and Four C’s to Raise a leader’s Communication game

Leaders who practice conscious, courteous, courageous, culturally sensitive language arts rise to the top. It is human nature to follow those who lead by example, inspire us, and who appear confident and poised.

Such traits are no accident. The best leaders manage themselves to convey a dynamic energy, stage presence, and powerful communications. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression. What impression do you choose to make?

Think of it like this: you walk in confidently, looking pulled together, and then open your mouth to speak. Does what comes out match the visual cues received from looking at you? That is, do you sound as good as you look?

Your voice speaks volumes about your confidence level, your education, socioeconomic stature, and your roots. And your voice can be managed to help you be a more effective leader.

Continue reading 3 Tips and Four C’s to Raise a leader’s Communication game

Federal Sales

The best federal sales executives find that just three things lead to more wins than losses:

  • Excellent client relationship.
  • A number one or two ranked technical proposal.
  • A price within 2-3% of the lowest bidder.

A well thought out, implementable selling system should assure these three tenets are in place. That is what it takes to achieve consistent, scalable, organic growth in the government marketplace.

Selling to government is easy… most companies make it hard.


Form a Federal Sales Steering Committee, chaired by the organization leader and staffed with executives who lead relevant corporate functional areas (such as sales, delivery, product development, contracts, human resources, and finance) to conduct an internal assessment process. The Assessment Phase should take about 30-days to complete.

Retain the support of an outside, experienced, highly successful federal sales executive to guide the committee through the assessment and implementation of recommendations. Continue reading Federal Sales

How to frame and drive sales in a services business.

Leaders of services businesses are often so busy either delivering their services or hustling to land their next client that they never get around to building a systematic way to deliver more value to current clients.

The best service business leaders create an unfair advantage by assigning engagement leaders to deliver on target, on time, and on budget to create satisfied clients and lay the groundwork for delivering more — much more — services. Leaders should develop explicit goals to extend, expand, and find new opportunities to deliver extraordinary value to their clients with the most growth potential.

Continue reading How to frame and drive sales in a services business.