The Advantages of the AlphaBrook Model Over Traditional BD Consulting Support
Many companies measure the mark of a quality consultant by the number and depth of professional government connections and personal relationships the consultant brings to the table. These associations have typically been honed over years or decades of employment within the federal government, representing the cumulative networking fruit of a career in public service, fruit which the consultant then harvests in the form of billable hours upon retirement to private firms pursuing a greater foothold within the world of government contracting.
A consultant’s business model often employs unstructured and freewheeling one-on-ones or informal sit-downs with current government executives, meetings where your consultant may discuss the virtues of your company’s services and how they can benefit the particular agency, department, office, or program. This can sometimes pay dividends – now the stakeholder knows your name, now you are associated in the stakeholder’s mind with the personal and professional history they have with your consultant, now they may be aware of a product or service of which they were previously unaware. Beyond these sit-downs, the consultant may have some ideas for long-term next steps your company can take, thoughts on how you can build a new business plan, create a high-level strategy, narrow or broaden your corporate focus. Some companies find exploiting such networks and conducting these brainstorming sessions useful for acquiring new work; others find they introduce financial and organizational bloat to a BD team without delivering concrete and actionable information upon which to make profitable decisions. Whatever the success rate of an individual consultant, however, the strategy is typically the same: a premium is placed on introductions over information, ideas over intel.
A client of ours – former military and now the CEO of a growing IT firm – recently told me, “Matt, you guys are like the spec ops [special operators] of the BD world.” This statement was made in passing, but not in jest. At the risk of succumbing to hyperbole, I believe this comparison is not only apt but illustrates the way in which AlphaBrook’s BD Intelligence (BDI) solution stands apart from the traditional services provided by industry consultants. Our solution is expedient, tactical, results-oriented, and highly targeted to provide our clients with the most relevant and difficult to obtain information regarding government programs and opportunities on a scale an individual BD consultant is simply not prepared to execute. By targeting the most knowledgeable decision-makers within government and employing our team of researchers, analysts, and government outreach specialists, AlphaBrook has developed a unique, repeatable, proven, and cost-effective solution for finding our clients the actionable information they need to pursue their BD goals today and not years down the line. Here are just a few of the ways AlphaBrook’s BDI solution stands out from traditional BD consultant services.
Advantage 1: Increased Breadth of Federal Knowledge and Access
Consultants typically focus their expertise on a specific agency or service offering, which not only increases the potential will overlap conflict with your competitors, but it also means you will need to continually hire additional consultants with fresh contacts who are also within your evolving target agencies. Beyond this, even the most qualified consultants can struggle to reach government stakeholders if they operate outside their standard network of connections, as they often lack points of contact external to the agencies or offices with which they have experience. As a result, a consultant pushed beyond their comfort zone can end up relying on BD platforms to assist their clients (see our previous blog post to read more), using spotty or outdated information to supplement a lack of knowledge beyond a narrow specialty. AlphaBrook does not have these limitations. Regardless of the agency you’re targeting or the service areas you support, AlphaBrook’s deep bench of dedicated personnel has the experience and capabilities necessary to contact nearly any federal government stakeholder, source direct quotes from them, and within two to three business days deliver this feedback to your team packaged as formal deliverables. No matter the agency, opportunity, or service area you and your team are targeting, AlphaBrook’s BDI solution is the default option for companies who need qualitative and reliable intelligence on an accelerated timetable from across government.
Advantage 2: Relentless, Continued Support with Our Voice-of-Government Intelligence
Once a relationship with a consultant is established, work begun, and perhaps even some forward momentum realized, a common tendency experienced by many vendors is a gradual but marked decline in the fervor and efficacy with which the consultant pursues a client’s goals. This is not to say this attribute is inherent in the nature of consulting or consultants, but it is true that if a central benefit of any individual consultant is the network of government stakeholders he or she brings to the table and the lifetime of knowledge they wield, once the key stakeholders expand beyond the consultant’s milieu or their professional expertise reaches its limits, it is difficult to sustain the same level of momentum that may have been achieved at the start. Additionally, as consultants often operate as independent contractors working more or less on their own, and yet understandably seek to continually grow their own customer base, as the consultant becomes more successful their attention will necessarily become more divided. Consultants will often seek to mitigate any negative impact this tendency could bring upon their own bottom line by insisting on general service retainers, where the deliverables or metrics they must adhere to are murky and the measurable benefit to the client intentionally become difficult to quantify.
At AlphaBrook, our BDI solution is yours to control; you direct the focus of the research, you pick the opportunities we gather intel on or the trends we analyze, you decide even the exact questions you want us to answer within a clearly defined turnaround period. Every activity we perform is measureable and quantifiable in the form of the end-products we deliver to you, end-products we provide in two to three business days as a professionally researched and customized deliverable. Our solution affords you an ever-growing record of the value we provide in the form of distinct research deliverables, allowing you to see for yourself in concrete work products and deliverable history the benefits our solution provides. We do not offer vague promises or intangible results, but distinct and real insight into the minds of your federal customers. One of the defining features setting AlphaBrook apart from any other service on the market today is our ability to deliver direct quotes from government program decision-makers – often the same individuals who sit on source selection boards and evaluation panels – to provide our clients with an unprecedented level of awareness and understanding into the needs of government. We are customizable, comprehensive, and expedient, and our established teams and continually expanding business resources means you will not have to worry about a decline in performance or atrophy of results over time.
Advantage 3: Greater Convenience & Quality of Service
Many consultants promise their clients a high level of availability, to be there to support them whenever needed, with some going as far to promise “24/7” responsiveness. Even the most dedicated consultant, though, must balance their professional and life responsibilities – and often their multiple clients, some of whom may be competitors with one another – with your needs at any given time. AlphaBrook’s team of researchers and analysts includes dedicated support staff and client leads who work personally with our customers to help them take advantage of our unique model, a model which ensures your support requests are begun the moment you send them to us. While AlphaBrook has experienced tremendous annual growth every year since the company was founded in 2011, we’ve done so while abiding by the conscious strategy to over-staff throughout this evolution. This deliberate approach ensures you receive a dedicated and experienced team member to handle every one of your requests without having to ‘wait your turn’ (the way you might with a consultant operating under a less streamlined or sophisticated business model.) This key differentiator has allowed us to deliver government-sourced intelligence at an unmatched speed within industry. While AlphaBrook also supports longer-term strategic projects for our clients, we understand that within the world of government contracts, timelines, deadlines, and due dates, you need information now, not later. We have built and grown our business by recognizing the critical roles that responsiveness, availability, and timeliness plays in the business life of our customers, a recognition which is reflected by our company structure, corporate ethos, and most importantly, by the satisfaction of our clients.
Advantage 4: Upfront, Stable Cost
BD consultants often charge for their services hourly, or in hourly groupings, and often at rates upwards of $300 per hour. This can strongly tempt – even incentivize – the most honest broker to pad an invoice or draw out a project’s timeline unnecessarily, especially when the consultant is operating off-site or within an environment where strict documentation of activities may not be feasible. AlphaBrook’s BDI solution avoids these pitfalls entirely by charging a flat and upfront recurring fee for a mutually pre-determined level of support and number of monthly deliverables. We document everything we do and will never bill you for anything that’s not documented. We eschew the “bill more, make more” model, and our process eliminates the possibility of overcharging clients, preventing the potential for artificially inflating the time it takes our team to complete your research request. By structuring our solution in this fashion and taking advantage of our economy of scale, AlphaBrook provides four to six times the labor value compared to the average consultant, while at the same time providing a more focused, actionable, and immediately useful work product. Simply put, not only is our information more accurate, you get a better bang for your buck with us.
Above and Beyond
The AlphaBrook BDI solution provides a service that is more focused, affordable, useful, and relevant than a standard consulting model. We exceed the quality, depth, and effectiveness of any consultant while encompassing the streamlined and agile qualities of a customer-centric, tech-enabled enterprise. Our solution eclipses any other on the market by offering candid, verifiable feedback in the form of transcribed quotes sourced directly from our conversations with key government decision-makers, allowing you unrivaled advantage in pursuing strategic and tactical business opportunities. With nearly a decade in business and billions of dollars in client contract value wins, we are the leader in Voice-of-Government Market Intelligence. If you are currently among the many companies employing BD consultants and are not experiencing a visible and accelerating return on investment, we encourage you to inquire about a 30-minute AlphaBrook BDI demonstration.