Process 1: Identify -- Managing the Pipeline


Managing a business development pipeline is a relatively straightforward process.  You are not tracking a tremendous amount of data and typically keep the pipeline in some flexible format like spreadsheets, electronic forms, or commercial CRM.  We use SharePoint and track the pipeline through a custom managed list.  Most of the information we need is available online through sources like GovWin, Bloomberg, GovTribe, FedBizOps, Ebuy, USASpending, FPDS, or other agency-centric sites.  These sites should provide all the detail needed to appropriately monitor acquisition activity concerning the opportunity to include the incumbent, along with historical and anticipated solicitation timing. Although not difficult, it is a disciplined process and demands daily housekeeping.  Moreover, the goal is not to keep lots of opportunities active in the pipeline but to groom the pipeline for opportunities that best fit your business.

We are glancing at the opportunity for the following KDF’s:

  • Probability of Win – Is the opportunity within your core competency?

  • Revenue Potential – Does the opportunity to meet your revenue goals?

  • Past Performance – Do you have the experience to perform?

  • Customer Relationship – Do you know this customer?


Ultimately, you are trying to answer the question quickly, "Are we positioned to win?”.  If not, don’t waste time or money and move on!



The Objective of the Identify Process is to identify opportunities early in their life cycle worthy of further tracking for future pursuit consideration.  Your goal is to quickly "qualify" opportunities based on specific Key Decision Factors (KDF).  If the prospect does not meet all the KDF's, remove it from the pipeline so that you do not waste precious time and effort on the chase.

Excerpt - "In Pursuit - Business Development Life Cycle" (c) 2019

Mike Rice

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