Competitive Analysis:
Black Hat & Price to Win

with AI Insights

Master real skills, strategies, and tools in 2 days to consistently prevail over competition and win Government contracts

There are no upcoming classes.

This course will be most useful to you if you…

Lack data

Don’t know what your competitors are doing from a pricing perspective, but want to make data-driven decisions instead of guesses

Lose bids

Have been losing bids despite a strong technical solution and past performance, and suspect it’s because you’re not leveraging competitive intelligence effectively

Aim for greater edge

Want to significantly improve your company’s competitiveness, the number and size of contracts won, and your capture skills

The expert who created this course

Olessia Smotrova

CF APMP Fellow, OST Global Solutions

25+ years of experience in business development, capture, and proposals

Led winning bids for 4 out of the top 5 Government contractors, winning more than $22 billion over the course of her career

Published author and speaker


This is an interactive 2-day workshop that is 50% lecture, 40% exercises based on a real opportunity analysis, and 10% discussion.

Day 1
Module 1: Introduction
  • Introductions and learning objectives
  • Introduction to capture and overview of the capture process to offer you a big-picture perspective
  • Overview of the case study
Module 2: Laying the Groundwork for Competitive Analysis in the Capture Process
  • What if there is no competitive analysis and PTW?
  • Competitive analysis elements.
  • ​Ethics of competitive intelligence and the information you must not touch.
  • ​Four steps for developing a repository to collect knowledge on competitive intelligence.
  • ​Other competitive analysis tips.
Module 3: Identifying the List of Competitors and Preparing for the Black Hat
  • Techniques for determining the list of prime contractors.
  • ​Techniques for overcoming challenges in determining the teaming partners.
  • ​A typical Black Hat setup.
  • ​A sample Black Hat agenda.
  • ​Black Hat groups organization.
  • ​Determining Government customer’s hot buttons leveraging AI.
  • ​Analyzing the potential Source Selection Board members.
  • ​Competitive analysis overview process as part of capture planning.
  • ​Developing viable competitor profiles.

Exercises: Determine a competitor list for the case study; capture the viable competitor profiles.

Module 4: Performing the Competitive Analysis
  • Qualitative questions to answer about each competitor: the most useful capture information.
  • ​Competitor analysis: company information gathering using AI.
  • ​Mining a variety of data sources for relevant competitive intelligence on Government contractors using various LLMs.
  • ​SWOT analysis leveraging AI.
  • ​Determining competitors’ postulated win strategies with AI.
  • ​Ranking competitors individually and as an aggregate competitive field analysis.

​Exercise: Go through the competitive analysis steps and develop competitor rankings against the home team.

Module 5: Developing a Competitive Analysis-Based Win Strategy
  • Comparing competitors with the “home” team’s win strategy, augmented with AI insights.
  • ​Developing the resulting action items and win strategies applicable during your overall capture process.

​Exercise: Devise the home team’s win strategy based on the Black Hat results and determine the resulting strategic action items.

Day 2
Module 6: Price to Win Principles and Process
  • Why Price to Win?
  • ​Understanding the tradeoff between value and price.
  • ​Understanding the best value continuum in Government proposal evaluation.
  • ​PTW development process steps.
Module 7: Gathering Information for the PTW Effort
  • Mobilizing information sources for situational assessment of the PTW, including AI research tools and techniques.
  • ​Determining the funding budget for the target contract.
  • ​Analyzing customer trends and behaviors and how this information impacts your PTW analysis decisions.
  • ​Analyzing your competitors’ financial decisions and trends.
  • ​Filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for cost proposals.

​Exercise: Gather information to prepare for the PTW analysis.

Module 8: Performing the PTW Analysis
  • Identifying the price to compete.
  • ​Developing a solution-based PTW.
  • ​Pricing competitors’ solutions based on Black Hat findings and information gathered specifically for the PTW effort.
  • ​Pricing competitors’ offerings per the RFP and competitors’ postulated win strategies.

​Exercise: Develop a solution for a proposal segment and document in a capture plan.

Module 9: Mastering the Labor Rate Analysis for Government Proposals
  • The process for performing a labor rate analysis for Government proposals.
  • ​The process, tips, and tricks for matching labor categories including AI tools.
  • ​Determining the competitors’ wrap rates.
  • ​When and how to use GSA rates as data points.

​Exercise: Practice labor category matching and labor rate analysis.

Module 10: The Next Steps for PTW: Developing Your Pricing Strategy
  • Continuously updating the PTW model to iterate your solution.
  • Creating the win.
  • Course recap and summary.
Sign up for the live course or take an on-demand course now
There are no upcoming classes.
Sign up for the live course or take an on-demand course now
There are no upcoming classes.

Course Details

Job titles that will benefit most
from this training in terms of relevance, value, and effectiveness:

Capture managers

Pricing managers


Finance managers and CFOs

Government contractor business owners

Company executives and senior managers

Senior proposal managers

Business developers

There are no upcoming classes.
There are no upcoming classes.

OST Global Solutions, Inc., 7361 Calhoun Place, Suite 560, Rockville, MD 20855

Remotely via Zoom with live video feed and interactive exercises

There are no upcoming classes.

How the Course

We teach virtually and/or in a group setting at the OST Global Solutions offices in Rockville, MD. We place maximum emphasis on hands-on practice and discussion. Remote participants learn via Zoom or Teams and are part of the live exercises using technology such as OWL to better see and hear the entire group of course participants.

We explain complex concepts in clear language and answer questions so that you learn the subject matter and apply it to your job right away.

We provide the tools and templates that will help you achieve better results as you engage in business development tasks.

After Taking the Competitive  Analysis: Black Hat & Price to Win Course, You Will Be Able to:

Understand Price to Win principles and process

Conduct SWOT analysis and postulate competitor win strategies

Organize and conduct the Black Hat exercise

Develop a competitive analysis-based win strategy

Understand how to lay the groundwork for competitive analysis during the capture process

Gather information for the PTW effort using a variety of paid and free sources, including filing FOIA requests

Perform the PTW analysis

Develop pricing strategy based on the Price to Win

Perform the labor rate competitive analysis, including reverseengineering competitors’ wrap rates

Use a variety of data sources to determine and correlate information about competitors

Identify three to five competitor teams and prepare for the Black Hat Analysis

Perform the competitive analysis before and during the Black Hat session

Rank competitors against the stated requirements and Government customer hot buttons

Right now, you can invest in new skills and tools that will pay off in contracts won and help you succeed in your business.

This course will give you a proven methodology that, combined with your diligent efforts, is sure to yield success in winning highly competitive Government contracts.

There are no upcoming classes.