Many GovCon businesses rely on a GovWin subscription to supplement their business development (BD) team and build their BD pipeline or portfolio. There are other intelligence gathers, but it is the largest government contracting intelligence platform and has thousands of subscribers. A subscription is a major investment and allows users to identify government contracts early in the procurement cycle. GovWin collects data from thousands of procurements each year and packages that data into an easily accessible, searchable database. Experienced BD professionals know GovWin is a useful tool to help them execute their company’s strategic plan. But is having the GovWin subscription enough to win more government contracts?
Gather relevant Data
Any intelligence gathering service can provide a lot of data – more data than you could ever review. During the entire capture and proposal management process, we consume data, we revise data, and we transport or transmit data. We take the data we gather from GovWin, SAM, FPDS, and other government procurement sites, then we create even more data in the form of customer notes, ideas, innovations, suggestions from peers, and phone conversations.
Your Business Development team must know what data is relevant to them and what to do with that data once it is gathered. Most people know the basics of using GovWin or SAM:
- Set up searches based on specific criteria such as set-asides, NAICS, etc.
- Read through the updates that are delivered to your email
- Download documents associated with the opportunity and contract
- File those documents in a folder in an online library
This is where we can run into a disconnect. How do we organize this information? How can others on the BD team use this information without repeating these same steps for the same opportunity? Our goal is to securely house data then be able to use it when we need it. But this is a huge task – especially when trying to determine what to do with small amounts of data, such as an idea, a piece of competitive intelligence info, or contract name. We may end up with a mountain of these small bits of information that needs to be organized somehow. Do we organize this data into documents, and then logically organize the various document formats into a searchable library?
The BD lifecycle may take place over 3 years or 3 months. In some organizations, there are multiple hand-offs of the opportunity to the lead of the next phase. The extended time period and the multiple leads can lead to knowledge loss if data is not thoroughly documented throughout the BD lifecycle.
The easiest and most efficient way to organize opportunity or bid data is store it in an opportunity-centric database or platform developed specifically for the GovCon industry. This type of platform allows you to directly link all opportunity-related data and documents that you gather from GovWin, and allows you to control access to each item. Each opportunity in your BD pipeline becomes the hub for that opportunity – from identification to capture management to proposal development and submission. Every document, note, email, and much more can and should be organized and linked to its specific opportunity. Small bits of data do not need their own document, they can become part of an opportunity profile or details.
We can designate data containers of information that we can continue to add to over the capture phase. We can designate a data container for the capture plan, competitive strategies, SWOT analysis, or teaming and organize the small bits of data. Some data may need to be uploaded as a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document while remaining linked and visible within the opportunity.
As you organize your BD information in an opportunity-centric database, be sure to review CMMC and System Security Plan (SSP) requirements. Work with your company’s IT/cybersecurity personnel to implement appropriate access control and permissions.
Use data to fuel a win
After you have gathered and organized opportunity relevant data, ensure your proposal process addresses incorporating it into your final proposal. The competitor and customer data gathered during the capture phase are the foundation of a mature win strategy, and needs to be evident in the final proposal. Turn this data into win themes, innovations or initiatives, features and benefits, and use it to your competitive advantage. Develop strategies to ghost your competitors and maximize your strengths.
A subscription to GovWin provides an abundance of data that is waiting for you to review, analyze, and categorize throughout the capture process. Integrate your GovWin data, with structured BD processes, and organize it all in an opportunity-centric database. You team will be ready for the RFP to drop and will quickly become ‘the team to beat!’
Check out our free download, "5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Proposal Win Rate,” and start writing and submitting better proposals today!