The Do’s and Don’ts of Good Target Strategy

We’re almost in the last quarter of FY2019. That means that you and your team should have FY2020 planning on your radar. Developing a good target strategy can be overwhelming and its often difficult to know if you are going after the right bids for you and your team. You’ll want to start by answering a few questions:

  • Where do I want to grow this year? Is it within current verticles or new customers?
  • Do I have the internal resources to reach our growth goals? Are there larger or new types of contracts that will require me to bolster my internal support?
  • Where did I fail or fall short last year?

Keeping your answers to these questions in mind, there are a few key things you can focus on to help make this process more efficient and effective. We gathered some do’s and don’ts to keep in your back pocket as you go heads down into target planning.


  • Plan based on your averages. Planning as if you are going to win your normal percentage gives you a baseline to apply to your pipeline for the rest of the fiscal year. If you stick to this, you can only go up from there. By keeping your winning processes the same while multiplying or adding resources, you create a surefire way to increase your win percentage.
  • Focus on your ends. If you want to be in a new target customer, start going to industry days and developing key relationships with industry people and the customer alike. Get your foot in the door and then expand from there, you can’t expect to win a flagship contract by just submitting a compliant proposal.
  • Start making a presence now. Your website and marketing materials do make a difference, you want to put effort into them and make ensure they reflect the brand and quality of your organization. Make sure your SAM and SBA profile pages are updated it if you haven’t done so recently. You can have the best target strategy in the world but if you aren’t presenting the company well or coming up in contracting officers small-business searches, you are already at a disadvantage.
  • Consider outsourcing. If you are really struggling with coming up with a target strategy, it will most likely be less expensive and significantly more efficient to outsource your efforts. Outsourced support will take an objective view on your process and target goals and will be able to bring a fresh eye and suggest ways to more efficiently reach those goals.


  • Shy away from new customers. Make sure your target strategy includes your typical customers as well as some new ones you have interest in working with. Re-asses your answer to the question “who buys what I sell?” and explore opportunities with potential customers that weren’t initially intuitive. A good way to get started in this is to seek cross-department contracts in parallel agencies that are an organic fit.
  • Cast too wide of a net. Going broad can leave smaller teams paralyzed and unsure about their next move. Focus your efforts down to a few key agencies and target your efforts there. A higher PWIN on lesser opportunities means you are spending your hard earned B&P more efficiently, rather than throwing proposals at the wall and seeing what sticks.
  • Underestimate your capabilities (but don’t overstate them either). Avoid relying solely on software and keyword searches and get creative with what you go after and remember that your capabilities aren’t always a perfect one-to-one match with a contract classification. However, make sure you are still only planning to target projects that are within your capabilities to avoid wasted time and effort.

What are your company’s do’s and don’ts for target strategy planning? Throw them in the comments and we’ll highlight our favorites!

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