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How to Identify Target Customers: Maximizing Opportunities with Your GSA Schedule Blog Feature
Lillian Bohan

By: Lillian Bohan on August 4th, 2023

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How to Identify Target Customers: Maximizing Opportunities with Your GSA Schedule

Government Business Development | 5 Min Read

Whether your business already has experience in the government marketplace, or you are new to the process and looking to learn more about marketing your GSA Schedule, you are in the right place. When you are on the hunt for contract opportunities, the federal market can come off as vast and confusing, and it’s important you have some sort of strategy or plan in place to focus your marketing efforts. This blog will help you narrow down your target customers and help you understand how you can filter for relevant opportunities, so you can increase success with your GSA Schedule.

Finding Your Target Government Agencies: Why it’s Important

First, it’s important to understand what kinds of agencies are out there and what they are procuring. There are various federal, state, and local agencies that have their own needs that may differ from their own neighbor. For example, a national park is going to need vastly different products and services compared to a public school in Chicago. It's up to you to narrow down the agencies that may need to buy what you are selling.

You will need to understand how these agencies work, from their basic and commonly purchased products and services to their rules, regulations, requirements, and compliance standards. These standards may even govern how they go about their procurement process, but all must follow the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and General Services Acquisition Manual / Regulation (GSAM/R), so make sure to study up on these foundations, as well as the more unique rules and regulations.

It also helps to attend Industry Day events put on by GSA and other agencies to learn more about their initiatives, upcoming contract vehicles, and to have a chance to network with potential customers or contractors to team up with. You can find GSA’s schedule featuring Industry Days and other training/networking opportunities on the GSA events page.

But how do you really go through the steps of finding these target agencies? Let’s discuss some strategies below.

Using Market Research to Your Advantage

Market research can be performed in a number of ways, including competitor research, learning about agency budgets and spending, and finding opportunities for your GSA Schedule. Let’s dive into how you can use market research to find target customers.

Researching Your Competitors

Competitor research is always a given, but how can you use it to find your target customers? Well, if you can figure out which agencies are awarding contracts to your competitors, then you can see where the best opportunities are. Here’s some tools you can use to research your competitors.

GSA eLibrary is handy for a few reasons, it's going to be a source of information for all of GSA's latest contract award information. When it comes to market research, it going to give you access to all of your relevant competitors and their approved pricelists, all categorized by their Special Item Numbers (SINs). Since GSA eLibrary is a directory for all GSA Schedule contractors, then you can use this site for the start of your search to get a list of contractors that are selling similar products/services.

You can also use to search award data. From Fiscal Year 2008 to present, you can search awards by award type, awarding agency, the recipient (contractor), award amount, along with a host of other filters. This will give you great insight into which agencies are funneling the most awards and the biggest awards to companies that are offering similar solutions.

Researching Relevant Opportunities

Another way to find target customers is to see which ones are releasing opportunities that relate to your primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code and SINs. This may fluctuate based on their needs, the time of year etc., but if you see a pattern or a trend, you can start keeping track of certain agencies that are boasting several relevant opportunities or are putting feelers out through Requests for Information (RFIs). One of the most popular and effective sites to do this is is one you should be familiar with already. The System for Award Management (SAM) was crucial in the process of acquiring your GSA Schedule since it is a requirement to register your company before you do business with the government. You can also use this site to search for upcoming and relevant opportunities. There are several filters to help you find what you are looking for.

Learning about Agencies and their Spending

Understanding agency spending habits and budgets is key to identifying which agencies you should target. While useful for researching competitors, can also assist you in tracking government spending within certain industries and contracts, and researching deeper into agency budgets. Essentially, it can tell you how much your target agencies are buying currently and in the past, and how much they have allocated for the future.

Lastly, the Schedule Sales Query Plus (SSQ+) is another database able to track sales in each SIN, industry, etc., letting you know how much is really flowing through the GSA Schedule. This site is able to break down the stats of each SIN and industry including top competitors, number of sellers, average earnings, number of zero-dollar contracts, and it can even show you the data charts of sales amounts over the course of time.

Understanding the Government Landscape

Hopefully after reading this blog, you have a better idea of how to create a list of government customers and use that to your success. Once you have an idea of who you want to target, it’s important you also understand how to communicate with your customers. If you want to learn more, check out these blogs:

When navigating and getting acclimated to this new landscape is a bit trickier than you would like it to be, we are also here to help. If you have any questions about finding your target agencies and finding the contracts that are best for you,  one of our consultants would be happy to help you get on track and point you where you need to go.

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About Lillian Bohan

Lillian Bohan is a Consultant for Winvale. Originally from Chesapeake, Virginia, she has earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration as well as her Bachelor of the Arts in Classical Civilization from the University of Mary Washington.