How to Use Strategic Sales Planning to Find Government Contracts

April 22, 2022

Gathering and analyzing pre-RFP data can be an overwhelming task, even for the most seasoned government contractor. But it is a vital step in making a decision on whether or not to add a particular contract to the business pipeline. It also informs what to emphasize in the proposal to increase chances of winning, and it can even help influence the specifications of the contract.

This is the first stage in the Government Contracting Lifecycle – strategic sales planning, where the contractor evaluates opportunities and creates a pipeline of potential government sales leads.

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Understand How Government Agencies Plan Spending in Advance

Federal, state, local and education government agencies all plan their budgets years ahead of time. Long before they release a formal RFP or begin soliciting bids on a particular project, they are allocating dollars in capital spending plans or creating preliminary budgets that signal opportunities which may come down the road months, or years, later.

For this reason, many contractors find that the key to a healthy pipeline of government opportunities is to create a strategic sales plan by tracking spending forecasts and pre-RFP opportunities as early as possible. That way when the government is actually preparing to release a bid, those strategic contractors will be best prepared to shape the bid in their direction to give them the best opportunity to win the business.

Shape Bids and RFPs in the Right Direction

It’s important for businesses to be proactive by starting capture sooner and shaping bids or RFPs in their direction by identifying opportunities to pursue months, or even years, in advance of the formal solicitation release. By acting in advance businesses can create a window to actively reach out to key decision makers, establish relationships and potentially influence the writing of the bid or RFP down the line – all while getting ahead of the competition.

Searching for active bid announcements across hundreds of government sites or waiting until new opportunities are posted is a strategy that limits growth potential. It wastes precious time and resources that should be used for making bid/no-bid decisions on best-fit new leads and putting together a strong proposal. That’s why it’s important to begin tracking projects at this early stage of the lifecycle, when you are undergoing your strategic sales planning initiatives.

It can help to have access to tools that offer:

  • Analyst-tracked opportunities through the full procurement lifecycle. It’s vital to be able to build a complete, forward-looking picture of good fit opportunities for federal, geographic or vertical market with opportunity announcements posted years before they’re actually released to the public.
  • Comprehensive, personalized searches tied to specifications. Contractors need their go-to-market planning tools to provide best-fit searches that are broad enough to capture everything they might be interested in pursuing but specific enough to cut through the noise.
  • Filters and alerts that notify you of updates to potential opportunities. You can’t afford to miss out on an update to a potential bid or RFP that you’ve been tracking for months – staying up to date on the latest developments is necessary in order to not let your competition get a step up on you.

Consider Compliance Priorities when Making a Strategic Sales Plan

When evaluating government opportunities for the first time, contractors should keep in mind that their business will need to follow strict government compliance regulations outlined by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). Agencies such as the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) conduct audits and assessments throughout all stages of the Government Contracting Lifecycle to assure the government that the contractor is operating in compliance with FAR and CAS rules.

At this early, pre-award stage, businesses may be subject to audits such as accounting system audits and DCAA Standard Form 1408 Accounting System Surveys. Once the contract is won, compliance only increases in priority, so establishing stringent accounting processes from the beginning is essential.

Use Market Intelligence Tools to Find Government Contracts

It never hurts to gather information and insights from industry experts to understand the target market. Many solutions such as GovWin IQ from Deltek offer analyst-backed insights and forecasts designed to help businesses identify the issues and pain points influencing the type and scope of investments planned for their target agencies. Customers are able to build a complete, forward-looking picture of good fit opportunities in federal, geographic or vertical market with opportunity announcements posted up to five years before they’re released to the public.

The earlier a company knows all of this critical information about a potential opportunity and how it aligns with their own core competencies, the better chance they will have at making the correct bid or no-bid decision. This kind of strategic sales planning will set businesses up for success at the next stage – when they create a proposal to win the business.

Ready to learn more about how GovWin IQ can help you and your business with its strategic sales planning initiatives? Click the link below to try GovWin IQ for free.


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