Federal contractors suffer from information overload. So we decided to solve it.
Focus on what matters and build your pipeline better, faster and cheaper with Bloomberg Government’s BizDevEdge.
Of late there have been many articles in the news about the dress habits of famous people, from President Obama to Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. Each had a dress code designed to allow them to focus on their work and avoid using valuable decision making energy.
It’s what author Barry Schwartz called, the Paradox of Choice. It wasn’t until I read his book that I understood why I felt fatigued after a trip to the grocery store. Too many choices tax mental energies and lead to poor decision making. We spend so much time filtering noise or looking at irrelevant information that we fail to notice what’s important.
Choice and information overload lead to decision fatigue. And decision fatigue leads to poor decision-making.
It is no surprise that federal contractors too suffer from all that ails people struggling with information overload. Federal contractors, especially in strategy and business development roles, have a singular mission — how to fill their pipelines with winnable opportunities.
Strategists spend more time investigating agency spending patterns. Business development executives spend time studying specific markets and shaping opportunities. Add to that understanding customer needs, competitive positioning, teaming and a host of other issues.
When so many choices need to be made and at every decision point, extraneous information at every step exponentially increases decision fatigue. Federal contractors fill their pipeline with nearly 15 times the opportunities they actually bid on. This dramatically increases bid and proposal (B&P) costs but, more importantly, it is lost opportunity cost — limited resources that would have been better spent elsewhere.
I was lucky to learn about choice architecture from Prof. Richard Thaler, sometimes called the father of behavioral economics, about how people’s biases can lead to blunders in decision making. It is critical that we structure how information and options are presented to guide better decision making. And as Edward Tufte teaches us how critical information design is for information comprehension.
Using existing federal contracting business development tools, you have to set up searches and sift through long email alerts. Many contractors do this daily! Think about this information overload and the decision fatigue that results.
Clarity of Choice
What if we could utilize choice architecture and information design principles and build tools that reduce cognitive biases and decision fatigue? Enter BizDevEdge from Bloomberg Government — the most effective way to build a pipeline.
Explore markets in minutes: BizDevEdge is a set it and forget it tool. We automatically generate a profile based on your past contracting data. You can slice and dice your market multiple ways such as by agencies, NAICS codes, or contract vehicles. You can not only see the overall spending patterns in each of the segments but also can compare your performance vis-à-vis the rest of the market. We will also identify key competitors and their expiring contracts. This can help you focus your efforts in going after the right markets.
Think about this for a second. As a federal contractor you probably conduct market analysis at least every quarter. To investigate spending patterns within you markets and to follow competitors takes scores of hours of research. Those costs accumulate as you slice and dice markets over multiple markets. On BizDevEdge it takes you minutes. Think of the countless hours and dollars saved.
Opportunities pushed to you: The cool part is, once you have set up your market, our data algorithms scours through our databases of opportunities and expiring contracts and task orders to automatically push the most relevant ones to you. This greatly reduces errors made due to cognitive biases and decision fatigue, giving you a more winnable pipeline.
Create and Track multiple markets (Your perfect dashboard): Now what I described above if just one market. Many federal contractors track multiple accounts or markets. They might want to follow a new market — for a contractor it could be all IT work done around Washington DC, or a combination of NAICS, agencies, set asides and location. On Bloomberg Government, users create an unlimited number of their own markets with a combination of multiple parameters and track them all in one place. Think about the clarity and ease that results. Clear thinking leads to better decision making.
Expanding into new markets: That is not all. We know it is always easier and cheaper to retain your current customers and grow your business with them. The next best thing is to find new customers or adjacent markets for your existing products. Now this is a laborious process. This takes hours of research and digging through data to find new markets. Get a head start on BizDevEdge.
On BizDevEdge, we suggest newer markets to you. All this is purely data-driven so we scour through countless permutations and combinations of parameters. We also learn from your behavior. If you track a suggested market, we will suggest more similar markets to you. If you say no to our suggestions we learn from that as well and show fewer similar markets to you.
Best Practices: We dug deep into the business development workflow and looked at key questions you need to answer before making key decisions and gate checks. We will guide you through each of those questions in the fastest and the most effective manner so that your pipeline is always filled with the most winnable opportunities. More on this soon!
P-win & Expected Value: Government contractors think about bidding on opportunities in terms of probability of win and expected value of a project. Very soon we will also be launching probability of win (P-win) and the expected values that are an outcome of advanced natural language processing and machine learning algorithms.
Give BizDevEdge a try today and see how simple we have made filling your pipeline. Give me a call at 202–416–3644 or email me at email@example.com.