What’s Your Government Contracting Win Rate? - 2018 GAUGE Report

Closing deals can be tricky in any business, but winning government contracts is its own unique challenge. In the 2018 GAUGE report, which provides government contractors with data about current trends in the GovCon industry as well as insight into what to expect in the future, Unanet and CohnReznick surveyed government contractors about their win rates. In recent blogs, we've explored our respondents' DCAA audits and challenges and ICS audits and challenges. In this blog, we will explore the win rate of our respondents as well as their BD challenges to help government contractors gear up for FY 2019.


Our Respondents’ Win Rates:

current win rate.PNG

Source: Unanet and CohnReznick 2018 GAUGE Report

The most popular win rate among our respondents was 26% - 50%. 74% of our respondents won contracts 50% of the time or less. 26% of our respondents had relative success and won 50%+ of contracts. Only a slim 4% had notable success of 76% - 100% win rate.

It is interesting to compare these win rates to the previous year to see what’s changed:

change in win rate.PNG

Source: Unanet and CohnReznick 2018 GAUGE Report


Nearly half of our respondents did not experience a significant change year over year. However, 33% of our respondents enjoyed an increase. Although the current win rates in the previous graph were not as impressive as contractors may hope for, it is refreshing to see that win rates did increase for a decent portion of our respondents, and even more of our respondents did not suffer a decrease.


BD Challenges & Suggestions for Improvement

There were a variety of business development challenges that contractors had to face during the fiscal year. Among our respondents, the most common were the following:

bd challenges-cropped.PNG

Source: Unanet and CohnReznick 2018 GAUGE Report


Overwhelmingly, the biggest challenge was contractors not having enough funding for the required BD resources. Similarly, contractors who struggled with resource management may not have allocated enough resources for their BD teams. These can both no doubt complicate the contract sale and even lead to lost deals.

Past performance and finding a teaming partner were roughly tied as far as being our respondents’ first or second biggest challenge. It’s important to study past performance and learn from it for the future, but spending too much time dwelling on past won or lost contracts can affect contractors’ abilities to look ahead. Forecasting the sales pipeline is key for anticipating future business and mastering the GovCon sale.

Additionally, finding a teaming partner is an excellent strategy for contractors, and organizations who struggle to find one—or, end up choosing the wrong one—may find their BD team struggling to make waves in the market. In the GovCon game, sometimes two heads are better than one. Find a partner who has experienced success and learn from their strategy.

Finally, our respondents listed not having the right reporting tools as one of their biggest BD challenges. Pipeline management and customer relationship management software and budgeting and forecasting software are excellent additions to any contractor’s toolkit that can not only keep the pipeline organized but maintain your relationships with your customers once you win the contract.


Increase Your Win Rate With Unanet

The 2018 Unanet and CohnReznick GAUGE report provides valuable benchmarking information for government contractors. Curious to see where your organization’s win rate falls within your industry? Download your copy of the 2018 GAUGE report!

If your win rate was not where you need it to be, start FY 2019 strong with Unanet! Unanet’s pipeline and CRM software and forecasting software provide real-time insights that help you approach the GovCon sale with more knowledge and confidence. Watch our Pipeline Management Demo to see Unanet in action!


The 2019 GAUGE Report is coming, and we need your help! The data we report on in each edition of the GAUGE is provided by government contractors. We’d love to have you be a part of the 2019 Report. Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey and tell us about your experience in the GovCon industry!



Unanet & CohnReznick, the 2018 GAUGE Report

Kim Koster

Kim Koster

Kim is an experienced executive who brings over 30 years of experience in project management, project accounting, EVMS,  government contract and accounting compliance, and communications.

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