You could read industry newsletters, follow state and local government leaders on social media, pore over publicly-released budget documents and track contract spending reports and still not know for sure if the goods and/or services you sell will be approved for purchase this quarter or even this year. COVID-19 has made it harder than ever to anticipate government spending at all levels. Many fiscal year budgets have become ambitious guideposts rather than definitive parameters due to the lingering uncertainty about the continued economic and health implications of COVID-19.
While you should continue to do your market research to identify spending trends and anticipate potential bid opportunities, the only way to know for sure whether or not your goods and services are in demand right now is to login to a bid notification every single day to see what has been authorized for near-term purchase. Over time, you’ll be able to make note of certain seasonal, regional or categorical buying trends. You’ll also be able to gauge whether quantities, delivery dates, pricing or specifications are changing due to the pandemic’s economic and operational impacts. All of these insights can aid in your sales planning.
See More Without Having to Search More
With over 100,000 government bids posted each month by states, municipalities, counties, school districts, port authorities, community colleges, universities and federal agencies, it’s nearly impossible to aggregate and analyze spending trends manually. But if your profile in a bid notification service such as Periscope Supplier to Government (S2G) is up to date and you’re frequently monitoring solicitation data, then you should be able to track demand and pinpoint shifting priorities and supplier expectations more efficiently. Keeping tabs on the new bid opportunities coming in each day will also make it easier to act fast when the government is ready to buy what you’re selling.
Remember, time is of the essence in government contracting. Before the pandemic, the average time a solicitation was open was only 21 days. That’s not a lot of time considering how much work goes into preparing quality proposals – and that lead time is reportedly shrinking. Many agencies are under pressure to spend federal funds before they expire, while others are simply trying to adapt systems, services and operations as quickly as possible to recover full capabilities in a COVID-19 world.
Diligence, agility and creativity are key to generating revenue from the public sector right now. Review the bid notification emails that you receive each morning. Login to read the details of relevant solicitations. Contact agencies to gather more information. And make note of what you’re seeing – or not seeing – on a regular basis. If you haven’t seen a single solicitation in months for an item the public sector used to buy regularly (and you’re sure that your profile is set up correctly to search for those specific bids), then you may want to reach out to some agencies to see if they can shed some light on current demand for those types of products. It could be that they are purchasing those items using alternative contract vehicles (i.e. co-op or open contracts) and therefore not soliciting for them on the open market as often.
Either way, it will be difficult to glean the insights needed to inform further market research and sales planning if you can’t see the full picture of what’s happening in the public sector. Sign up for a Periscope S2G account now to get a better view of government opportunities.