Onvia’s latest white paper describes the state, local and education (SLED) government contracting market as “vast.” The report is titled “Sizing Up the $1.5 Trillion State & Local Contracting Market.”

The market is huge, sprawling and fragmented, with five distinct levels of government and more than 90,000 purchasing entities. “The consistent message we hear from prospective vendors entering the SLED market is how fragmented it is,” says Travis Pearl, Onvia’s director of marketing. “We feel that using a data-driven strategy is really important in SLED because it is so fragmented.”

Seattle-based Onvia provides intelligence to businesses to help them win more government contracts. The firm provides current and future bidding opportunities as well as agency and competitive insights. The firm, which has studied the government contracting market for 15 years, gathers data from 89,000 sources, including 30,000 state and local government agencies. The firm tracks purchases and planned purchases at public agencies that account for about 95 percent of government spend in the U.S.

Onvia’s Pearl says the white paper paints a picture for prospective vendors that shows how big the SLED market really is. “One thing we see with a lot of vendors that are either not strategically invested in the public sector, or they are new to the state and local market, is that they take a reactive approach—they wait for bids and RFPs to be published. A lot of prospective customers of ours actually rely on their salespeople out in the field to find that information.”

Pearl says the sprawling nature of the SLED market and the breadth of agencies that are out there makes the reactive approach not feasible. “In Florida, there are around 2,200 government agencies that procure products and services, so to imagine that your local sales team is going to find that prospect information is really challenging.” Pearl says the SLED report breaks down the markets, so prospective vendors can understand the different levels of government, and also the dynamics of state and government.

Analyzing past sales can help in current prospecting, says Pearl. “One of the recommendations in this paper is, don’t just look for the agencies that are buying your products right now. It’s often more important to look back and see who historically has been the biggest purchaser of your products, because that’s the information that can help a vendor to decide what agencies to target.” Pearl says Onvia’s datasets can help businesses determine top agencies in the market. He says the reactive approach that relies on just bids and RFPs can’t deliver those results.

Go here for more information on the white paper.

The video describes Onvia’s project center and database of state and local procurement opportunities.


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