Positioning for an opportunity starts months, sometimes years before an opportunity reaches the RFP stage. By the time something hits Fed Biz Ops, it is too late. You need to be in front of the right people with the right message early so they know you are serious about competing for the business. There are a few rules to follow when deciding to chase an opportunity:
Rule#1- If you didn’t influence the RFP, someone else did.
Rule#2- The larger the opportunity, the more influence you need. Be realistic about what you can win right now. Plan for competing for the larger contracts as you gain traction in an agency and have the connetivilty to affect the scope, requirements and certifications.
Rule#3- Cover as many of the decision makers as you can. Unlike commercial procurement, in most instances there are 3 key decision makers in each opportunity.
Contracting Officer– Job is to procure
Project Manager– Responsible for assembling requirements
Technical Representative– Responsible for bridging the gap with requirements and contracting. Every one of these people have different roles and different buying motives . Make sure your message is tailored appropriately.
Personal “bests” include booking $11.8 Million in new private and government business in 18 months (from cold calls) and managing sales representatives to close ratios of 85% (in cell phone sales).