One of the most effective ways to influence sales and increase win rates in the public sector is by building relationships with agency buyers. The challenge that many vendors face is how to easily find the right agencies to target in the state, local and education (SLED) market. By the time a bid or RFP is published, it can be too late to research an agency, find the right contacts, establish relationships and influence key decision makers to purchase your product or service. Onvia’s Agency Center makes it easier than ever to discover, research and connect with state and local agencies. Whether you’re looking to discover new agencies to market and sell to or further research those you are already pursuing, Agency Center works seamlessly with Onvia’s Project Center to provide the intelligence you need to better understand the agency’s past procurement history, key vendor relationships, fiscal year spending trends and key buyers & decision makers. For further insight on how Onvia’s Agency Center can help you build key agency relationships and strengthen your sales pipeline, watch this short video to see Agency Center in action: Blog: Agency Center By finding the right agencies to target in advance of the bid or RFP, vendors have time to influence agency buyers and beat out the incumbent vendors (as well as any additional competition). But the SLED market includes tens of thousands of individually run state, county, city, special district and school district entities – So how can vendors find the agencies ready to buy their product or service without spending a significant amount of time & energy researching each and every agency website? Onvia’s Agency Center: Research & Connect with Agency Buyers As a continuation to our articles on Spending Forecast Center and Term Contract Center, we will focus on education technology opportunities for our look into Onvia’s Agency Center. As our example, let’s say that you are a vendor who wants to sell Chromebooks with related maintenance and support services to elementary schools nationwide. While you may already have some existing agency relationships in place, you need an efficient way to identify new target agencies for sales and marketing outreach. With Agency Center you can: Identify agencies based on targeted criteria View buying cycles, procurement history and spending forecasts Research existing agency/vendor relationships Access contact lists for buyers and decision makers So let’s go into Onvia’s platform and search for agencies buying Chromebooks and Chromebook-related services. We first will visit Onvia’s Project Center and search for Chromebook projects in order to identify all the agencies with these projects: The result page shown below has a long list of Chromebook-related projects. Not surprisingly, educational opportunities are particularly plentiful in school districts and the remaining majority of projects are found at the city, county and state levels of government. Now let’s find the top agencies in Agency Center with Chromebook projects by simply clicking on the “Top Agencies” link in the upper right hand corner: Agency Center allows you to easily select specific agencies using a variety of criteria such as annual expenditure, enrollment and fiscal year end date. You can identify the right agencies for your business and have quick access to agency contacts and spending plans - which can provide valuable insight into all future purchases by that agency. Now we’ll click on one of the top agencies - San Dieguito Union High School District. In addition to the agency’s procurement history, buying cycle trends, active term contracts and project previews, each agency listing provides information on the vendors that already have a working relationship with your target agency. Use this vendor list to either identify your competition or to identify those companies who may be able to partner with you in selling your solution to that agency based on their existing agency relationship: Once you’ve researched your agency, Agency Center lets you pursue that agency by providing you up-to-date agency contacts, both active buyers and decision makers inside the organization, including their mailing address, phone number and email address. Use this information to start your outreach, or take advantage of the export feature to share the list with others in your team or import the lists directly into your email platform or CRM: Agency Center Success Story Onvia’s Agency Center gives you the tools you need to quickly discover, research and connect with government agencies, enabling you to more quickly qualify new sales opportunities and establish relationships with active buyers in your market. Here is a story from an Onvia client who uses Agency Center on a daily basis: Ford Opens Doors with Government Agencies Using Onvia It's very difficult to get a relationship with a government agency because they keep everything pretty tight to the vest. And with Onvia it's opened the door for us.Dennis Perkins, Wholesale Parts & Operations Manager With Onvia’s Agency Center, Greenway Ford was able to not only establish relationships with government agencies but succeed in winning their business over the competition. Everyday Onvia provides Perkins with bids that fit his exact criteria. With a variety of service and parts opportunities for Greenway Ford ranging from police departments, to fire departments, to municipalities, Onvia provides all the timely strategic intelligence he needs on a daily basis. As a result, “We've realized an additional $1 million in part sales due to the contracts we've obtained through Onvia,” said Perkins. Read the full Ford client story Feel free to contact us using the “Learn More” button below to discuss your company’s future sales objectives; we can send you specific examples of agencies with upcoming projects that align more directly with your goals and could help you win more public sector business. Additional Agency Center support can be found in this helpful video tutorial.