Best kept secret in the SLED market

How to sell to Government

Cracking the code of state, local and public education agencies.

What lies beneath the seemingly calm and boring surface waters of the state, local and education market and how can service providers and firms in the construction, engineering and architecture sectors break into the SLED marketplace?

Like any unfamiliar channel, the SLED market can appear to be difficult to navigate. Entrenched institutions are often stuck in their ways. As such, service providers get pulled into offering the same old solutions to market challenges which continue to evolve. Some may view these challenges as just the cost of doing business in a niche market. Does it need to be this way?

A lack of transparency in the industry and bidding process, underestimation of the SLED market size in North America and old modes of problem-solving are just some of the misconceptions that keep small and medium-sized firms from bidding on SLED market RFPs and opportunities.

New technologies offer new solutions and new strategies for approaching services in the SLED market and can finally reveal the best kept secret of those who have served the SLED market successfully for years.

Time is money

The idea of spending time on researching bidding processes and public tenders can be seen as chasing good money after bad. Money spent on time preparing bids could be better spent on securing and completing lower-hanging fruit projects and other small-ball bids. This enforces the status quo of any business in the sector.

College library, post-secondary education

First and foremost, the biggest secret about the SLED sector that large established firms don’t want to reveal is the scale of the market. The SLED government market represents nearly 10% of the annual GDP of the United States alone. Niche it is not. Understanding the diversified and federal nature of the SLED market in the U.S., with local, state and national governments all playing a role, SLED can be a valuable market for contractors who take the time to understand it.

Another misconception is the transparency of the SLED market.

Established contractors want smaller firms to believe that SLED market bids and tenders are more opaque, especially when compared to the private sector. In 2022, nothing could be further from the truth.

Indeed, state, local and national authorities meet weekly in the public eye. Nearly all these authorities make their meetings available for anyone to watch online in real-time. Plans and reports are also published in a seemingly constant stream of meeting agendas, minutes and budgetary documents. This level of disclosure is the polar opposite of opaque. A high level of transparency can be daunting as well, and time-consuming to research and understand.

You might also be interested in this post about the process of selling to the SLED market.

Using the right tools

Technologies like Ontopical can help businesses win more local government work. By pulling back the curtain on the SLED market and shining a light on the opportunities these firms are best positioned to win.

Ontopical’s leading-edge platform scans tens of thousands of state and local education authorities daily. It can be tailored to look for the opportunities you need to build your portfolio years in advance. In the SLED market, relationships matter. Ontopical can help small and medium-sized firms identify potential opportunities as they appear. Using information available to the public, your team builds those relationships from the ground up.

Get a free lead with Ontopical today

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