Vendors who sell products and services, directly or indirectly, to government agencies need to know where the right public sector projects are, who to contact and how to influence future bidding opportunities. The question is: How? The state, local and education (SLED) market includes over tens of thousands of individually run state, county, city, special district and school district entities. Vendors need to know how to find projects without spending a significant amount of time & energy researching each and every agency website, mass-mailing agency contact lists or relying on word-of-mouth. In addition, to beat out the competition, vendors need to identify these projects months or even years in advance so they can effectively influence RFP specifications and ultimately win more SLED business.
We recently published an article on how Onvia helps vendors who are used to doing business with the federal government find opportunities within the SLED market. Some products and services, like the vast majority of education technology products and services, are purchased by SLED entities. Vendors would miss out on these opportunities if they only focused on federal sales. In regards to future opportunities, Travis Pearl, writes:
"FedBizOpps publishes presolicitation notices 1-2 weeks before the bid notice and occasionally publishes presolicitation notices for projects months in advance. With Onvia’s Term Contract Center and Spending Forecast Center, clients are notified of future bidding opportunities months or even years ahead of the project coming up for bid. How? Onvia collects and analyzes data from agency term contracts, budgets and capital improvement plans."
Onvia’s Spending Forecast Center:
Fill Your Future SLED Pipeline to Win More Business
For this article, we chose one education technology product as a specific example of how Onvia’s Spending Forecast Center can help vendors build a pipeline and win future opportunities - Google Chromebooks.
Let’s say that you are a vendor who wants to sell Chromebooks to elementary schools nationwide. Even if you have established relationships with some agency contacts, you need an easy and timely way to identify future Chromebook purchases in all school districts, cities, counties and state entities.
With Spending Forecast Center you can:
- Access agency capital improvement plans and budgets
- Quickly identify the right future projects to pursue
- Develop revenue forecasts based on budget allocations
- Establish the right agency relationships to influence project specifications
So let’s go into Spending Forecast Center and find proposed and adopted capital improvement plans, budgets and programs that include the purchase of Chromebooks:
In the above example, we entered “Chromebooks” into the search bar. What’s interesting to note is that because Onvia can collect and provide plans & budgets from thousands of agencies and put it all in one place you will see that of the 188 results, there are four different agency types and two different agency functions and yet virtually all of these plans and budgets are for K-12 elementary schools. If you were only researching elementary school districts with an agency function of education, you would have missed 65 results. Spending Forecast Center reveals that Chromebooks will be purchased for schools at the city level, county level and even by special entities such as an education non-profit, an education service center and a purchasing consortium focused on education procurement.
Now let’s find the top agencies with Chromebook projects. By simply clicking on the “Top Agency” link in the upper right hand corner we find results like this:
These agency listings allow you identify the right agency contacts who are planning future Chromebook purchases and you will have access to agency spending plans - which can provide valuable insight into all future purchases by that agency.
Now let’s click on one of the top agencies. In addition to the agency’s procurement history, buying cycle trends and project previews, each agency listing provides contact information for the buyers and decision makers. You will also be able to gather information on the vendors that are doing business with the agency. Vendor information can give you a competitive edge as well as introduce possible teaming partners. All agency and vendor information can be easily exported and distributed to your team:
Spending Forecast Center Success Stories
Onvia helps clients find future projects and increase their revenue from public sector business. Here are a couple of stories from Onvia clients who use Spending Forecast Center on a daily basis:
Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects: Gets Ahead of the
Competition by Forecasting Future Contracts
What attracted us to Spending Forecast Center was that it gave us the capability of knowing about projects up to several years before they were to take place.Karl Moschaber, Director of Business Development
Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects subscribed to Onvia's Spending Forecast Center in the summer of 2010 to address its need for business intelligence about upcoming project expenditures. Spending Forecast Center provides access to agencies’ capital improvement plans and annual budgets that represent more than 85% of government spending in U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas. “That’s a great advantage because it gives you a lot of time to build a relationship with an agency instead of rushing to do that after the RFP or RFQ comes out,” said Mosbacher.
Global Traffic Technologies
increases sales pipeline by 30%
After just over a year with Onvia, we have added millions of dollars of opportunity to our pipeline. The service pays for itself.Trish Logue, Director of Marketing
GTT can use Onvia to learn about opportunities much earlier in the planning and procurement cycle. Agencies start planning for major transportation improvement projects years before the RFP is issued and GTT needs to know about these projects as early as possible so they can start building relationships with the target agency in advance of the RFP. Logue and her team use Onvia’s Spending Forecast Center to discover upcoming transportation and traffic signal projects referenced in agency budgets and capital improvement plans and use the intelligence to build a future sales pipeline. “We receive real opportunities with Onvia, $100,000 to $250,000 contracts that we would have missed otherwise,” Logue shared.
Your Future Opportunities Await
Onvia’s Spending Forecast Center enables you to get early insights into government projects years before they take place. As a result, you will have ample time to research project specifications & agency procurement history, capital improvement plans & agency budget plans, gain insight into your market & your competitors, develop strategies to win future business, foster agency relationships and ultimately win more opportunities in your market.
Feel free to contact us to discuss your company’s future sales objectives; we can send you specific examples of upcoming projects that align more directly with your goals and could help you win more business.