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8 Essential Components of a Capabilities Brief

December 7, 2023 | Government

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When working in the government sector, it is expected to provide a Capabilities Brief as a part of the sales process. The number of slides in the presentation should generally be between 10 and 15, but the exact number will depend on who you are presenting to. For instance, a Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO) may not require as much detail about the product or service as an end user. Therefore, it is recommended to have fewer slides in the presentation when presenting to an SBLO.

Here is a table that outlines the eight essential components of a capabilities brief, along with a brief description of what should be included in each part.

You can create your capabilities brief using PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Canva. Please make sure you stay consistent with fonts and font sizes and have a clean design that matches your company brand. Also, when presenting, just don’t read the slides verbatim. Hit on the high points and possibly sprinkle some other info related to the slides but not directly on them.

If you are new to presenting, whether in person or virtually, it is highly recommended to rehearse and ensure that you have a clear understanding of the material that you will be presenting. Additionally, it is crucial to perform dry runs to verify that your equipment is working correctly. It is also a good idea to ask a mentor or friend to listen to your presentation and provide you with constructive feedback. Taking the time to rehearse your content and verify that your equipment is functioning correctly can make all the difference between a successful presentation and one that crashes and burns. Remember, sometimes you only get one chance to make an impression, so it is important to be prepared.

On the flip side, you will make mistakes, so be prepared. Hint: Many mistakes you make will not be noticed by anyone so just press on. Plus, no matter how much you rehearse, nothing replaces true live performance. Therefore, the only way you get better is to do it more.

Finally, make sure you convert your slides into a PDF file to share with your prospect AFTER the meeting is over. If you gather more intelligence during the meeting, change your slides to fit that. Send them an email thanking them for the time to present within 24 hours of your meeting. Don’t send the slides before the meeting unless they are not able to do a virtual meeting and all you’re able to do is a phone call. Holding well-planned briefing calls increases the likelihood of someone buying from you, but it is only one of many steps for a successful contract award. Continue to follow up and communicate where your company can add value to your target agencies.


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MYTH: Companies cannot do business with the federal government if they aren’t connected politically to the party in power.

FACT: The federal government’s procurement process is designed to be one of the most objective, transparent processes in the world of business. Contracting officers are forbidden to award federal contracts based on politics. Furthermore, elected officials are forbidden to interfere with the agency’s contracting process.

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