One of the most commonly asked questions we receive from our clients is “How do I increase my winning percentage when making a government bid?” We sat down with our expert and Vice President, Solutions and Field Operations Ken McFarland to really examine this question. He came up with 3 top notch pieces of advice that can help put you on the right track to increasing your government bid win percentage.
Carefully respond to government bids or solicitations (RFPs, RFQs) that fit your offerings perfectly. The best practice is to respond when you know the bid notification is coming out. Chances are if you didn’t know it was coming, your competition was involved in developing the requirements and/or they have inside information on the agency’s needs. This is a definite best practice with more complex solutions or offerings. On commodities, this is more of a guideline than the rule.
After a buying process, always ask for a debrief on why one vendor was selected for the government bid over the others. Do this on all buying processes, whether you won or lost. Usually, the single point of contact or buyer is the person that can arrange the briefing. It is important to communicate that you are asking for the briefing in order to be a better partner, better company on future bids (especially if you lost). This is a not an opportunity to argue against their decision but a chance to see why the competition won and how you can emulate their wins in the future.
To win in an agency buying process, one needs to understand the selling themes or value proposition statements. To do this you need to ask yourself “if I were this agency, why would I care about this government bid?” The best sales teams in the world understand how their prospects think, what their prospects value, and understand the rules of engagement. When we say “the Rules of Engagement,” we mean understanding if it is a “lowest price” or a “best value” agency. More broadly, it is important to really make an effort to determine the criteria upon which an award of business will be made.
Follow these simple tricks and you will not only understand the process better, but you will be in a better position to win a government bid in the future.
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