Six Insights From The SAM Databank To Enhance Your Government Sales Strategy.

February 4, 2024 | Government

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In government contracting, knowing your target market is crucial for success. Unfortunately, some companies sell lists of known government contracting officers and tell their customers to spam the entire list. It’s the spray and pray method. Some just say its a numbers game. In my experience, this method doesn’t work in government sales. 

Fortunately, the System for Award Management (SAM) Databank offers information that can provide valuable insights for your government sales strategy. You only need access to the databank, which requires a username and password and a spreadsheet pivot table. I personally prefer Google Sheets pivot tables but Excel works for this too.

By harnessing the power of SAM, you can uncover key information that will help you tailor your approach and improve your chances of securing government contracts. Here are six valuable insights you can gain from the SAM Databank:

1. Identify Agencies That Buy What You Sell

The SAM Databank lets you discover which federal agencies purchase your products or services. You can include dollar amounts with this so you can prioritize which agencies to target and which ones you can ignore. This insight is invaluable for focusing your marketing efforts and tailoring your sales strategy to specific agencies most likely to be interested in your offerings.

2. Pinpoint Contracting Offices

Beyond knowing which agencies are potential customers, SAM enables you to identify the specific contracting offices within those agencies responsible for procuring products or services similar to yours. This knowledge lets you establish direct contact with the right decision-makers and streamline your outreach efforts. Often, you can find the geographic location of those contracting offices and, through some further research, find program managers in that same geographic area.

3. Identify Contracting Officers

SAM also provides information on the contracting officers responsible for awarding contracts within each contracting office. Sometimes, they give the entire email address. Other times, they only give a first initial and last name, but often, you can reverse engineer your way back to the contact info, sometimes including their phone number. Building relationships with these individuals can be instrumental in winning government contracts, as they have the authority to make procurement decisions.

4. Understand Contracting Vehicles 

The SAM Databank reveals the contracting vehicles that federal agencies use to make purchases. This information is vital for tailoring your approach, as different agencies may prefer specific contracting methods, such as Open Market Bids, GSA Schedules, IDIQ contracts, or BPAs. So instead of thinking a GSA schedule will increase your government sales, you can see if anyone even buys what you sell using a GSA schedule. 

5. Learn Set-Aside Preferences

Government agencies often set aside contracts for small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and other socio-economic categories. SAM offers insights into the set-aside statuses agencies prefer when buying products or services like yours. Understanding these preferences can help you navigate the set-aside landscape more effectively and identify where to focus your teaming efforts.

6. Identify Your Competitors

SAM provides data on other businesses offering similar products or services. Knowing your competitors in the government marketplace is essential for developing a competitive edge and differentiating your offerings. 

Another way of looking at this is identifying potential teaming partners or companies in which you want to sell your services as a subcontractor as a big prime. This is where the set-aside information comes in handy again. 

The SAM Databank is a powerful tool for government contractors looking to refine their sales strategy and increase their chances of securing government contracts. If you would like to view an example of what this report would look like with two fictitious low-code platforms, QuikDev and Lumico Web Appify, please click here.

By leveraging these six insights, you can pinpoint your target audience, build relationships with decision-makers, and tailor your approach to meet the specific needs of government agencies. With access to this valuable information, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complex world of government contracting and achieve success in this lucrative market.

On Thursday, February 22nd, I will conduct a webinar, Maximizing Government Sales By Utilizing the SAM Databank. This webinar will be a 90-minute tutorial on pulling raw data from the databank and assembling it into a pivot table, revealing information that will help you with your sales strategy. Please click here to register.

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MYTH: Government agencies always award contracts based on price alone. Lowest price always wins.

FACT: While some contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, government agencies also make awards based on the best value which includes trade-offs between the ability to perform the work, quality, past performance, and price.