4 Keys to successfully sell to the government: Competitive Analysis
  • by Claris Zimbiti

tendertube | 4 Keys to successfully sell to the government: Competitive Analysis

Have you ever been in this kind of situation before? You have been talking with this government buyer and they may already think you are the right company to solve their problems.

But they are unable to give you the contract because it is above a certain threshold.

So, you will have to go through a competitive bidding process. This means you have to compete to win the contract. If this sounds like you, then you are not alone. This happens all the time.

Think of the business of getting contracts from the government as a sports game. Would you compete professionally in a sport without knowing the rules of the game or who you’ll be competing against?

Your answer is probably as good as mine. It's a clear "no."That would be the best way to fail as quickly as possible.

You need to know who your competitors are so you know what you're up against and can make sure you have the resources and strategy to keep up.This makes competitive analysis for government contracts so important.

In this article, I’ll show you how doing a competitive analysis can help you succeed in selling to the government market.


Table of Contents

  1. 1. What is competitor analysis?
  2. 2. Why do competitive analysis for government contracting?
  3. 3. What are the benefits of doing a competitive analysis for government contracting?
  4. 4. How does Tendertube help you with Competitive Analysis?
  5. 5.  Wrapping Up


What is competitive analysis?

Competitive analysis is the process of analyzing and evaluating your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses. And knowing these can help you identify opportunities and threats that you never knew existed.

You can then put together a strategy to take advantage of those opportunities to give yourself a competitive edge. At the same time, you can also use your competitors' weaknesses to take over their share of the government market.

In short, it’s a valuable tool for designing a game plan that helps your company succeed. And this quote from Sun Tzu says it all :

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”

tendertube | Definition of Competitive Analysis



Why do competitive analysis for government contracting?

It is a well known fact that a little healthy competition brings out the best in each player. That is why government buyers love competition and the benefits it brings about. This benefit could be:

Better innovation: Government buyers know when there is competition, each player will try to differentiate themselves from the rest. This leads to better products being developed, faster product upgrades as well as product innovation.

Money: As competition gets tougher, prices can go down. This means they can save more money as they can get good products and services at lower prices.

Increased efficiency: If you are the incumbent, when you have competition trying to overthrow you, you do business better. You use your resources well and you are always on your toes to ensure that you do not lose your contract. In this way, you become very efficient, producing quality work.

The second reason why you should do a competitive analysis is government buyers are looking for bidders who are able to offer more value instead of just being cheaper.

So, as a bidder, what does this mean? You must be able to show that you are capable of providing more than a me too solution.

You need to find ways to set yourself apart from the other competitors. If you do not differentiate, the competition will take business from you again and again.

And you are only able to differentiate your business if you study your competition and do a competitive analysis.


competitive analysis quote by Brian Tracy


What are the benefits of doing a competitive analysis for government contracting?

The backbone of competitive analysis lies in knowing exactly who your competition is and what tactics and strategies they use. When bidding for government contracts, knowing what you're up against will help your business in several ways:


1.Help you with Market Positioning

Competitive analysis will reveal where your competitors are weak, where they have opportunities, and where they are vulnerable. You can use this information to develop a better strategy to gain an edge in the marketplace.

To give an example, if a competitor has a weakness that you can exploit, then you might decide to invest more time or money into that area of your business.

So this helps you figure out where to focus your resources and efforts.

Sometimes, when you do your competitive analysis, you might find that your industry is very competitive and occupied by strong brands. So what do you do?

One of the powerful strategies that can help you immensely is to become a Subject Matter Expert in your niche or industry.

Subject matter experts (SME) are people who have a deep understanding of a particular business process, function, technology, and more. When people have questions about a given topic or challenging issue, you will be the first person that comes to mind.

Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert helps you cut through the noise. And this gives you the ability to grow your opportunities and make more money.


2. Helps you make smart bid decisions

Deciding whether to bid or not to bid for a government contract is an important decision for your company. It can make or break your company, and the more data you have the better.

One of the biggest challenges for many bidders is deciding which opportunities to focus on. The key to making a smart decision is to have the right information at the right time.But most people go ahead to bid for projects without key information such as the client, the incumbent, the competition or price point. This approach often leads to low bid win rates.

To prove that point, I will show you why knowing your competition is crucial. There are times when bids are wired for your competition. If you know who your competitors are, you'll know right away that these requirements were written for another company. And I don't think it makes sense to submit a proposal when you know it's meant for someone else.

So, you can see that doing a competitive analysis helps your business decide when to say yes and when to say no. Thus, making smarter decisions.


3. Help you in creating a good bidding strategy

Business is always about strategy and the firm with a flexible strategy will usually win the bid. Doing competitive analysis is also useful when trying to come up with a flexible strategy to approach a particular bid.

After analyzing a particular bid document, you might realise that you lack special equipment, skills, past performance or other requirements.

Your bidding strategy could be to find a partner among your competition who can make up for those deficiencies so that you can form a winning team.

If you find that your competition is too strong or if you have no prior experience in government contracts, another option is to approach these larger firms and offer your services as a subcontractor.

So, competitive analysis can help you choose the right bidding strategy for that opportunity by making sure that you form the right team with the right partners


4. Help you in creating a winning proposal

Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, and how your company stacks up against them, is just as important as knowing the customer.

Having this information enables you to ghost competitors in your proposal and mitigate any weaknesses they may bring up about you in their submission.

Ghosting is a classy way to hint at the weaknesses of the competition without calling them out by name.

The trick is to compare one part of your offer to one part of the competition's offer and give a rating that puts you ahead. Even though you don't specifically name the competitor, the reader will know that the negative review of this part applies to the competitor's offer.

For example, if you're a funeral insurance provider, your competitor might have had several PR headaches with their funeral policy structure and how they treat their customers .

You "ghost" the competitor by saying that if your employees have contributed faithfully for a certain period, say 10 years, their policy will never lapse. Instead, we give them a chance to pay up their late premiums with interest even after they have died. The idea is to point the client in the right direction. Then, they can use Google to look for news.


tendertube | winning proposal



How does Tendertube help you with Competitive Analysis?

With our Contracts Awards, you will be able to discover who is getting most of the contracts in your industry. This will give you an idea of who the big sharks are in your industry scooping all the tenders.

Once you know that you will be able to gauge yourself against your competition.

To get started, click here to sign up for our free trial today.


Wrapping Up

Doing research and learning as much as you can about your competition does not only help you when bidding for government contracts, but also being successful as a business.

In fact, competitive analysis is one of the most important things you can do when selling to the government.

You need to know who your competition is, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what their pricing structure looks like.

With this information, you can develop strategies that can give you an edge over your competitors.

P.S. In my previous post, I talked about Market Research which is the first key to successfully sell to the government market. Check it here.