There are two answers to this question:
● Yes…but… in short it has to be the right opportunity for you, understanding which ones work for you can sometimes take a little trial and error, but the first step is to understand the need of the buyer, and whether or not you can fulfill this need.
In order to answer this question you should ensure that you have a strong Bid/No-Bid and Qualification process for each opportunity you are going to pursue.
Figure out exactly what the client is looking for, for example, a new website is rarely the goal of a RFP but a new website is a great way to achieve the goal of improving the look and feel of a brand online. Once you understand the client’s needs, it is easier for you to assess whether the opportunity is right for your company.
Honestly assess your own capabilities – a five-person agency is unlikely to win an opportunity that calls for huge complexity, 24-hour support and has a minimum budget of $1,000,000. Start with contracts that you can almost certainly win and ignore the ones you have little chance of winning. This will have a positive impact on both your team’s morale and your costs!
● No…Unless… You treat winning public opportunities like a process. When it comes to winning private sector business you have most likely built a sales process that works for you and winning public opportunities is no different. So the better question becomes - how do I go about winning opportunities that work for my company?
As mentioned above start with Qualification and Bid/No-Bid. Next, demonstrate that you understand the needs of the buyer – in the example of the website rebuild that we used above find out why they want to build a website – User engagement, Brand image improvement, Improving User understanding of the service they offer. Showing the buyer that you understand what they actually need and shaping your solution to that need will distinguish you from 90% of your competitors.
Demonstrating your team’s suitability for this project. Your CV’s are you chance to sell a buyer on your team, in the public sector as well as the private – people buy from people. Take this opportunity to tell a story about each team member and what makes him or her suitable for this project, not just another cookie cutter LinkedIn profile or recitation of the jobs that they have done and education they have.
Spend time on your template documents – things like safety statements and CV’s, Case Studies, Methodology may seem like simple items that are taken as read but there are valuable points available here, they are documents and policies that are easy to get right so why don’t you get them right?
Do not stress about price – price the job like you would in the private sector, charge the price that works for you and not the one that you think will win. Contrary to popular belief, the last thing any opportunity falls down on is price.
Building or improving a robust government contracting process for both Public and Private RFP’s is something that can benefit almost every business we do it every day in www.tenderscout.com. The basics of how we do it are laid out here, if you would like to learn more feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn – or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org