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Winning contracts strategy: critical stages of closing government sales

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Closing a government sale is never easy. In many cases, it's a long process that requires patience, persistence, and perseverance.

There are several reasons why closing a government sale can be more difficult than a commercial sale:

  1. The purchase process is more complex than that of commercial companies. Government agencies have multiple layers of management and approval before they can make decisions on purchases. In some cases, they may not even know if they need your product until after they start evaluating it.

  2. Government agencies are extremely busy and often have very high priorities. They also have multiple procurement officers who are responsible for different projects and contracts within their organisation. The result is that it's difficult for one person to keep track of all the different opportunities out there in order to determine which ones are worth pursuing.

  3. The procurement process for government agencies can take months or even years from start to finish — and that's not including the time it takes for your product or service to be approved by multiple layers of bureaucracy before it even makes it onto an agency's list of potential acquisitions. This means that if you're selling into the public sector, your sales cycle maybe twice as long as it would be in the private sector, which means more time spent chasing down prospects who may not be ready to buy right away or have moved on to other vendors by the time they're ready to do so.

In this article, we are going to share with you some of our best tips for improving your government sales process and insights into the stages of closing government sales.

Government sales are unique at best and the sales process is very different from that of the private sector.

There are some key differences in the buying process for government buyers. First, they have far more restrictions on how they buy products or services. Second, they tend to be more price-sensitive than private-sector buyers. Third, they usually have much bigger budgets than most private sector buyers do.

Because of these differences, it can be challenging to close government sales successfully. In this article, we are going to share with you some of our best tips for improving your government sales process and insights into the stages of closing government sales.

In regards to the process that is involved when it comes to being part of a government sales, here are some critical points you need to follow:

Stage 1: Planning and preparation. The first stage involves planning and preparing for the upcoming tender. This includes defining the criteria for your product or service, selecting the best offer and preparing your proposal.

Stage 2: Submission of offers. In this stage, companies submit their offers to the government agency or department responsible for the tender. This can be done electronically or in person at a designated location.

Stage 3: Evaluation of offers. Government agencies evaluate each offer based on specific criteria outlined in the tender documents, such as price, technical feasibility, quality standards, etc..

Stage 4: Notification of results. Once all offers have been evaluated and ranked according to their scores, government agencies notify successful bidders about their awards via official letters or phone calls from procurement officers (or through other means).

Concerning critical stages of closing government sales, we've identified six key steps that you should take when selling to governments:

1) Understand the procurement process

You can't win any business without understanding the procurement process. And you can't win a government contract without understanding the procurement process either. The procurement process is basically a set of rules and regulations that govern how government agencies buy goods and services from suppliers.

It's important to understand this process because it will help you determine the best approach for winning a contract with the government

You need to know where to find out about what entities are buying what types of products or services, and how to get information on upcoming procurements (i.e., bids or requests for proposals). You also need to know what internal processes are involved in the decision-making process, who you contact at each stage, and how much time each step takes.

2) Find opportunities

Government contracts represent a huge opportunity for businesses. The government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, spending more than $500 billion annually on goods and services.

But how do you win these lucrative contracts? It takes smart marketing, effective negotiation and solid project management skills.

It's important to understand that there are two ways to get into the government market which are prime contracting and subcontracting.

  • Prime Contracting In prime contracting, a contractor is awarded a contract directly from a government agency or military service. These contracts are usually awarded through a competitive bidding process or another formal procurement method.

  • Subcontracting In subcontracting, a private firm performs work under contract with another company that has been awarded a prime contract by a government agency or military service.

You need to decide which contracting terms that are more aligned with your business development method and strategy.

3) Develop your strategy

The government is one of the biggest customers in the world. This means that if you are able to win a government contract, you will be able to generate business worth millions of dollars.

However, getting a government contract can be challenging because there are many companies that want to get on board with the government.

The first thing that you need to do is to understand what your business is all about. Make sure that you have all your business information in mind. If you do not know where you are going, then how will others know where to find you?

As far as your competitors are concerned, they have been doing business for a long time and they have already established their reputation in the market. So, if you want to beat them at their game, then you must be prepared and willing to go the extra mile by giving them some competition. You can even think of ways how to beat them at their own game by using strategies that they might not have thought of before such as offering better services than what they offer or even cheaper prices than theirs.

There are also other ways how to beat your competition such as by having better communication skills when dealing with clients. Make sure that your clients will always feel satisfied with your services so that they will always come back for more.

4) Demonstrate value

When it comes to entering a business collaboration with the government and winning a government contract, there are many factors at play. The government is looking for value and quality, but those aren't always easy to measure.

Here are elements you must demonstrate when you're competing for government contracts:

Quality: This is an easy one. You need to be able to show that your product or service is high quality and meets all of the requirements in the solicitation. When you bid on a contract, your proposal will include all of these details. If you don't meet them, you'll lose out on the award.

Value: One of the biggest reasons why businesses fail at winning government contracts is because they don't understand how much their product or service costs compared to other bids. They have no idea how much money they're going to make on their win — if any. The best way to go about this is to do a cost comparison analysis against other companies who've won similar projects in the past year or so (if possible). Then go through each category in the RFP (request for proposal) and figure out how much money your bid would make if it was awarded — take into account profit margins and overhead costs as well as employee salaries, for example.

5) Get legal approval from agency counsel

Why do you need legal counsel? Government contracts are subject to strict rules and regulations. If your company is not properly prepared, then you can be disqualified from entering into a business collaboration with the government. You might also lose out on the opportunity to win a contract if your company doesn't meet all of the requirements that are outlined in the solicitation documents and other related materials.

How does legal counsel help?

Agency counsel can review your proposal to make sure that it satisfies all of the criteria outlined in the solicitation documents and other related materials. This helps ensure that your proposal will be evaluated fairly by reviewers who will determine if your business is eligible for an award or if you should be disqualified from consideration due to non-compliance issues.

6) Be prepared for an audit or investigation (or both)

Government audits are different than audits from private companies. The rules are stricter, but they can also leave less room for interpretation. If you're dealing with the government, it's important to make sure you're complying with all applicable laws and regulations so that you don't run into any problems down the road.

Moreover, audits are an important part of the procurement process. They are used to ensure that companies are complying with contracting laws and guidelines. These audits can take place as often as once a year or as infrequently as once every five years.

In fact, many companies choose not to have a contract compliance plan at all because they feel it is too expensive and time-consuming. However, if your company is audited by the federal government, there will be significant fines associated with noncompliance regardless of whether or not it was intentional.

Let us help you enter the Aerospace and Defence industry and win a government contract! Contact us at for more information.


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