Through the Defense Industry Cluster Grant from Commerce RI, SENEDIA recently hosted a workshop on “ Business Development Pursuit Essentials”; led by Matt Leary of Solutions Insights. This workshop was designed to help business development, program management and marketing teams better identify and target long-term government opportunities, and execute better early stage pursuits in advance of program contracting.
Topics that were covered in this workshop were: Research, Targeting and Opportunity Selection, Insight and Readiness before the Pursuit, and Early Stage Pursuit Moves.
Included in researching, targeting and selection is the search for excellent sources of information; and once information is gathered, start to build your case to pursue. Adequate research is essential whether it be a program, contract primers, or the program managers themselves. Doing your research is a clear way to being not only more informed, but also more prepared. Starting to build your case will vary on your company’s alignment, but should include opportunity ranking and selection criteria, to narrow down programs worth pursuing. Always be thoughtful and thorough in the targeting and selection and consider how to leverage and triangulate key contacts early.
After researching, narrowing down who you are targeting helps immensely in the fight for contracts. Are you targeting the right program office? Should you be targeting other companies/primers? Knowing who to target is a crucial step in getting your voice heard. Once a target is chosen and program highlighted, is it worth pursuing? Sometimes the risk outweighs the reward.
Among many topics covered in this workshop, the idea of ‘value’ was a reoccurring theme. Placing value not only in your product/company, but also in yourself, helps showcase a strategic advantage that competing companies may lack.
Considering the right, early stage moves in pursuit execution is crucial in determining the next course of action; which will either be proactive or reactive.
One important thing to remember about pursuing opportunities is to start with a strategy then build a plan.