My nephew likes to play soccer. Just like any good five-year-old, he and his teammates collect around the soccer ball in a single cloud of excitement, leaving the rest of the field wide open. This is the scene that I imagine when I see those top opps reports released each year. There’s a cloud of furry, only to find yourself stepping on the toes of every competitor. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of wide-open green grass out there.
There’s the old adage that if you want different results, you have to try something different. The first step is to separate yourself from the crowd. “How do I do this?”, you might ask—by NOT reading the same reports as everyone else. Those top opps reports are catchy, but what’s the advantage when everyone’s top list is the same. Let’s take a step back, and evaluate your open space on the field.
I like to think of a comprehensive opportunity pursuit as a funnel that begins not with opportunity identification, but with a strategic plan. It’s best to understand your company’s overall strategy in the market before diving headlong into proposal mode. What do I mean by strategy? Ask yourself some of these questions:
The strategic-focused questions above will help guide you to the right opportunities. Opportunities for you, not just the top opps for everyone else. For instance, maybe after some investigation you find out that your existing contract with Navy isn’t performing well. Why? Maybe Navy isn’t actually using this contract anymore. After further investigation, you find that most of the products and services that you provide are moving to a competitive contract. Another scenario could be new competition in your space. Maybe it’s a relatively small competitor, so they weren’t on any of those one-size-fits-all top contractor reports. Again, this is where context matters, it’s important to identify competition within your addressable market (products and services you provide) and existing customers—where the real competitive overlap exists.
Now that you’ve identified a strategy that’s aligned with your competitive landscape and customer buying trends, it’s time to execute on that strategy. You’ll need to build a pipeline of opportunities that’s aligned with that strategy and monitor its progress. This is where having a tool like Federal Compass comes into play, it’s great for not only building a strategic plan, but aligning execution against that plan with single-click pursuits.
With a few adjustments your team is now spread evenly, taking advantage of the open field, and aligned in a common strategic vision.
Are you monitoring SAM or have you become dependent on SAM? Understanding what is and what is not posted to SAM is critical for obtaining a clear view of your market. While SAM offers a great resource for identifying potential leads, there is a much bigger universe you're missing by fixating on SAM.
written by Jim Sherwood, published 02/18/2020
We've had a lot of questions about pricing for small business. Federal Compass is leveling the playing field Opportunity Tools & Marketing Intelligence for GovCon. Our small business packages bundle the perfect mix of product and onboarding support to help assess current needs and plan for the next phase of growth.
The Federal government has become one of the largest incubators for small businesses. A reliable and secure customer that sets aside a portion of the hundreds-of-billions of dollars spent every year to create a safe harbor for start-ups and growing companies. However, those gaudy topline numbers act as neon lights attracting newcomers and obscuring the complexities and nuances that exist within the Federal market.
written by Jim Sherwood, published 02/03/2020
The Federal Procurement Data System or FPDS has been a constant in my professional life since 2005. For the better part of those 15 years, I have spent some portion of nearly every day in FPDS.gov. Now here we are, only days away from the final curtain call for my old, frustrating sidekick.
written by Jim Sherwood, published 01/28/2020