How Strategic Capture Planning Helps You Win Government Contract Awards

June 28, 2022

As a government contractor, your first step towards growing your government sales is strategic sales planning, when your business evaluates opportunities and creates a pipeline of potential government sales leads. Once you have that pipeline built, though, you’ll need to be prepared to capitalize, or else all that advance planning work will go for naught.

This happens at the crucial second stage in the Government Contracting Lifecycle, the capture planning and award stage, where your business puts together a plan to prepare a winning proposal and turn those government sales leads into government sales wins.

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Pursue the Right Types of Government Contracts

When the government is ready to formally seek out vendors to provide it with goods or services, it will release a bid, RFP or contract opportunity in one of several forms. Generally these contract opportunities fall into one of two categories: fixed price and cost-reimbursement. Fixed price contracts are used by all federal agencies and generally (though not always) provide a set and firm price, while cost-reimbursement contracts generally pay a contractor all of its expenses up to a set limit - plus an amount of additional payment to allow the company to make a profit. While these two are the most common, it’s worth taking some time to review the differences between all the various types of government contracts so your business knows how to best prepare its proposal.

The contract type is hugely important. It defines the expectations, obligations, incentives, and rewards for both the government and the contractor during an acquisition. The contract type also determines how much responsibility the contractor is taking on, and how much profit incentive is offered to the contractor for meeting or surpassing its goals. If you are going to take the time to put together a strong proposal, you’ll want to understand what the potential reward is for a job well done.

Take Advantage of Small Business Set-Asides and Teaming Agreements

Not every company begins on the same playing field. Larger, enterprise businesses have many more resources than those with only a few employees. That’s why the federal government designates a certain amount of contracts for small businesses, and those that fit into particular categories such as 8(a) businesses, women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB).

Outside of set-asides, small businesses often break into new fields or gain contracting experience through teaming agreements, such as subcontracting and serving on the team of a prime contractor. This tactic is a way of getting experience that often allows them to avoid some of the complicated compliance requirements and challenges competing against more established vendors, yet gaining some experience and past performance. For larger businesses, teaming with a smaller partner can be a way in for opportunities they might not otherwise have qualified for. Contracts and pre-notification alerts for these types of opportunities can be found on GovWin IQ’s market intelligence platform.

Regardless of the size of one’s business or the industry in which they operate, identifying the right solicitations to pursue is a crucial part of the lifecycle process for contractors. And it’s difficult to identify opportunities that offer the best chance of winning if you have an incomplete picture of the competitive landscape, are without knowledge of your target agencies, and have limited knowledge of industry labor rates. Having the right information and tools on hand to provide a complete view of the market is vital in order to make better decisions about which opportunities to pursue.

Develop a Winning Government Contracting Proposal

Once you’ve decided to put in a bid on a government contract, and have gathered all the background information you need, it’s time to put that into action and put together a strong proposal in order to win the business. Here are four steps you can take to do that:

  1. Know how to respond to the RFP. Setting aside the time to understand the rules and regulations of the government contract you would like to secure is a non-negotiable necessity. If you don’t prepare well in advance and understand the technical requirements of the RFP, you’re not going to be in a position to win the business.
  2. Determine who to partner with if necessary. As mentioned above, teaming and subcontracting are valuable strategies that can open the door to more business. If you can find partners that compliment your company’s strengths and mitigate your relative weaknesses, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.
  3. Rely on fact-based information and detailed analysis. This element is crucial when you are performing a competitive analysis: If the analysis and data is not accurate about an opportunity, vendors will be ill prepared and less likely to respond appropriately and win the contract award. Make sure you have a source of data you can trust.
  4. Articulate your past experience and expertise. Just like in the commercial sector, at the end of the day, government buyers buy from people and companies they know and trust. Position your firm as an industry expert in advance, and demonstrate this expertise when it comes time to put together your proposal.

The steps above are all important elements in proposal preparations. Government contracting proposal management is a complex field, and it can be daunting bidding on an opportunity without all the right information – especially when the average proposal costs upwards of $10,000. But well-written proposals can help make businesses of any size competitive in federal, state and local as well as Canadian government contracting, and give them the best chance of winning a contract award.

Power Your Capture Planning with the Help of GovWin IQ

Smart businesses know that they can’t simply register to sell to a government agency and begin to win federal, state and local government contracts immediately. Companies in all industries can get ahead in their capture planning by using solutions like GovWin IQ from Deltek to understand the nuances of how government agencies operate, and what their preferences are, in order to create a powerful proposal, win a government contract bid and expand their public sector sales pipeline.

Are you prepared for GovWin IQ to help you and your business with its capture planning initiatives? Click the link below to try GovWin IQ for free.


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