Why You Need to Build Winning Relationships to Grow Your Government Business
Relationships in the procurement space are a necessary part of growth. Whether those relationships be with teaming partners or with government agencies themselves, bigger networks mean more business. Deltek’s 2020 Clarity Government Contracting Industry Study found that 83% of respondents identify active client relationships as primary source for new opportunities. However, in light of the recent shift to a more virtual networking environment it has been increasingly difficult to cultivate new relationships.
This is especially true for smaller businesses that don’t have the existing network or resources to expand their network during this time. Relationships are crucial for small businesses in the public sector because they often are an avenue for leads and a means to build up past performance. Teaming, for example, with larger businesses is a common avenue for companies that want to support a portion of a contract while building up their past performance so they can tackle bigger projects on their own in the future.
How to Network and Source Teaming Partners in a Virtual World
Beyond teaming, relationships with government decision makers themselves can be another viable network to work on to aid in securing new business. By reaching out ahead of the RFP and engaging with the agency while they are determining their qualifications for a project, you can build a relationship by helping guide requirements in your direction. Ultimately, this gives your organization an upper hand when the solicitation becomes active. Within GovWin IQ we call these “Decision Maker Contacts” because the people in these roles are at levels in an agency with deciding power (i.e. Director of Human Resources, Public Safety Commissioner, EMS Chief, etc.) of what requirements are important for the successful delivery of a contract. Our analysts collect and organize these roles for over 100,000 decision maker contacts to help our users make those warm calls leading up to a solicitation release.
Three Reasons why Building Winning Relationships Matters
No matter the size of your business, contractors in the federal contracting space need to be thinking about how to expand their network – now more than ever – as the government contracting space stabilizes and comes into a new normal. Here are three key reasons why.
- Increased Competition: In 2020, close to half of our respondents to the Clarity survey reported they were facing more competition, and following COVID-19 impacts that has been amplified. Registrations to beta.SAM.gov skyrocketed in the spring last year, reaching almost 16,000 new market entrants. With government contracting being seen as a safe space, many companies pivoted from the commercial space to stay afloat during the severe economic uncertainty. Companies that never would have been in this space before have now won contracts with the government and may continue to split between the public and private sector.
- Diversification: With more competition in the market it’s important to diversify your portfolio because you may no longer be able to count on contracts you’ve won historically. Beyond that, the consolidation of contracts means projects are being lumped together for bigger, longer terms; which ultimately disproportionately affect small businesses. Our Clarity survey found that for all business sizes, almost half (46-48%) of all revenue came from businesses' largest customers.
- Influence: Relationships, despite being virtual, are an influential piece of government contracting. By being proactive in talking to the decision makers at an agency or at a company you’re interested in teaming with, your organization is more likely to have an upper hand over an organization that hasn’t yet spoken to the people that matter in these roles.
These factors lead us to look at how to build the winning relationships we all want as the competitive landscape changes.
Grow Your Government Business with Teaming and Subcontracting Tools
Teaming is a great way to build lasting relationships, so long as you team with the right companies. With contract consolidation efforts (e.g. Best in Class) exerting downward pressure on the quantity of competitive sole source bids, many contractors find that entering into teaming agreements enhances their competitive posture.
“ GovWin is a very good reference for tracking opportunities… and their forecast is essential to stay on top of teaming when needed. ”
Rita M. White, Contracts Manager, C. Martin Company
Primes and subcontractors should look for teaming partners who can provide services or technology they do not offer or to demonstrate past performance with an agency. GovWin IQ can help locate strategic teaming partners with over 35,000 members of the GovWin Network advertising their interest in teaming from our platform.
Whether you are looking for teaming partners or agency contacts at the decision maker level, professional relationships are critical avenues for new business. GovWin IQ offers tools to help develop those relationships as you continue on your government contracting journey.
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