4 Keys to Winning Government Contracts Using Bid Management Software

Government contracts are essential to both businesses and the government itself. They allow the government to stimulate the economy, and give businesses a chance to secure a recurring source of income and boost their portfolios. This is why the federal government signs over 11 million contracts a year, providing approximately $1 billion in new opportunities for private businesses to bid on every day.

However, because of these benefits, government contracts are not the easiest to secure. There are a lot of businesses vying for the same contracts, and by necessity, there are also a lot of regulations throughout the procurement process. This results in a competitive environment for government contracts, one which requires businesses to be at the very top of the game in order to set themselves apart from the rest.

As such, government contractors face a tough job keeping things in order, both when managing current contracts and preparing bids for potential future contracts. This is why in recent years more and more businesses are looking to digital technology to help address the various pain points associated with contract procurement. The latest bid management software solutions are changing the game when it comes to bid and capture.

Cloud based bid management software can be used in a number of ways to aid government contractors in upping their capture success rate — but only if you know what you are doing. Here are some best practices for securing government contracts with the help of bid management software.

1. Keep Your Pipeline Clean and Tidy

Your pipeline is the single most important system for tracking opportunities. If you let it become too cluttered or overrun with too many opportunities that may not even come to fruition, it is easy to lose focus and miss out on the more promising leads. One possible way to manage it is to assess your pipeline each time a viable RFP (request for proposal) comes through, and remove an old stagnant opportunity each time you add a new one. This helps you to cut down on clutter while also swiftly removing any dead ends.

Even if you don’t practice that method exactly, at the very least, adopting a bid management platform is essential when it comes to pipeline management. Using the right platform, you can track every opportunity that comes through, view analytics that will help you to understand your chances of winning based on past experience, see who else is bidding on certain contracts, and so on.

You can even integrate sites like FedBizOpps to see RFPs that come through in real time, and jump on them as soon as possible. Employing the right software will allow you to integrate with multiple data sources, collect it all together, and access everything that you need from one single place, creating a neat and tidy “one stop shop” for all of your contracting needs.

2. When Choosing Contracts to Bid for, Focus on Your Chances of Winning

When it comes to deciding which contracts to bid for, it can be easy to get your priorities in the wrong place. You know your business, you know what you can do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will win the contract. You can increase your chances of winning more contracts by deciding which ones to bid for based on your chances of winning — as opposed to deciding based on whether you can meet the requirements. Why? because more often than not, you already have the expertise, so that’s the easy part.

Use bid management software to compare your company with competition, view competitive history, see what’s worked in past for you — and what hasn’t — and implement a strategy based on this information when selecting bids.

Using bid management software you can also run analytics on how often certain kinds of bids are accepted, and what those bids have in common. This allows you to work on the areas that are more likely to secure more bids for your company, through hiring the right people or adopting the right equipment.

3. Figure Out What Your Key Discriminators Are

Taking it one step further, you can employ this kind of software to figure out what exactly sets your company apart from your competition, and then build off of that. This is important because, when there is a lot of noise, and many niche companies vying for the same contracts, government agencies will be looking for anything that can set one company apart from the others.

It’s important to make it a true discriminator, something that stands on its own as impressive. For example, being a company that’s been around for decades might impress the average customer, but no company is going to win a government contract based solely on that fact. Using a bid and capture platform, you can see who else is bidding for similar contracts, and thus decide which truly unique things you can offer, allowing you to truly stack the deck in your favor.

4. Be Persistent

Regardless of how good your bids are, it is always likely to be a long bidding process, especially if it is your first. Many contractors have said that it takes two years on average to win your first federal contract. Of course, this process can be faster with the right software, but necessary processes involved in government contracting mean that it is still lengthy.

The key is to stick it out and be persistent. According to Forbes, when asked how frequently they had bid on a prime contract or subcontract over the last three years, women business owners who won active contracts had put in five prime contract bids and three subcontract bids.

There are a lot of good options for bid management software, but none better than Salesforce Government Cloud. Government Cloud provides businesses with a comprehensive, customizable platform with smart analytics and every tool necessary to have a successful bid-and-capture pipeline. Salesforce also has been granted some of the highest clearance levels, making compliance one less thing to worry about.

Government contracting is a competitive marketplace, but with the right software and the right focus, you can give yourself a real, measurable advantage. Use new bid management software to improve your chances of winning more contracts and giving your business the benefit of steady income for years to come.

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