Competitive Analysis: Black Hat & Price to Win (PTW)
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This training covers Black Hat and Price to Win (PTW) analyses that are the backbone of the competitive analysis, and are indispensable in the highly competitive world of winning government proposals.

This course will help you master the techniques for performing bid opportunity-specific competitive analysis. Topics covered include identifying your competitors; performing ethical competitive analysis using publicly accessible sources; quantitative and qualitative questions to answer; organizing full-blown and reduced-size Black Hat sessions; collecting relevant information on competitors’ approach; performing SWOT analysis; postulating competitors’ win strategies; ranking competitors; developing the resulting win strategies and action items such as ghosting; understanding the tradeoff between the technical solution, best value, and price; following a disciplined PTW development process; leveraging data from various PTW information sources; pricing competitors’ solutions; integrating competitive analysis with the pricing model; performing labor rate analysis; and applying strategies to win based on the whole offer, including the price.

Many companies forego competitive analysis altogether, and cannot set effective and conscious pricing strategies. Many resort to a guessing game where they guess the salaries and rates or blindly accept target rates from a prime contractor, and face profitability and execution problems later. Since price is a core element of your offering, and outdoing your competition in the technical solution is key to winning, much is lost before the competition even begins.

Our Black Hat and Price to Win course will give you the real tools and skills you can apply immediately to positioning yourself to win against the competition, significantly raising your win probability (Pwin).

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

The experts who teach our training classes are highly experienced, currently practicing proposal professionals whose decades of successful experience in Government acquisition and training allow them to offer valuable insights to our students. Our instructors can answer tough questions as they come up during the course. They will also tailor the material to their students’ specific challenges, and share their experience based on the most current realities. Check our instructor’s bios on our About Us page.

Upcoming Classes

Course Details

Location: OST Global Solutions, Inc., 7361 Calhoun Place, Suite 560, Rockville, MD 20855 (check our Visitor Guide for location details, driving directions, nearby hotels and restaurants, and more).

Remote Attendance: This course is available via GoToMeeting with live video feed. The price per seat is the same as in-person participation. Many of our students save on travel costs and attend from other locations.

Professional Certification: This is either a major or elective class that provides 2 units (2 days) towards Bid & Proposal Academy Certification (depending on the certification type). By attending this class, you will receive 3 CEUs or more towards your APMP certification, or PDUs towards your PMP (check with the PMI on what they will honor). At the end of this course, you will get a Certificate of Completion.

Who should attend this course: Capture managers, pricing managers and strategists, finance managers and CFOs, government contracting business owners, company executives and senior managers, senior proposal managers, business developers, account managers.

Course materials: Course workbook, handouts, templates, forms, and checklists.

Course Curriculum

Learning Objectives

Upon course completion, the participants will have learned and be able to put into practice:
  • Understanding how to lay the groundwork for competitive analysis during the capture process.
  • ​Identifying three to five competitor teams and preparing for the Black Hat Analysis.
  • ​Organizing and conducting the Black Hat exercise.
  • ​Performing the competitive analysis before and during the Black Hat.
  • ​Using a variety of data sources to determine and correlate information about competitors.
  • ​Conducting SWOT analysis and postulating competitor win strategies.
  • ​Ranking competitors against the stated requirements and government customer hot buttons.
  • ​Developing a competitive analysis-based win strategy.
  • ​Understanding Price to Win principles and process.
  • ​Gathering information for the PTW effort using a variety of paid and free sources, including filing FOIA requests.
  • ​Performing the PTW analysis.
  • ​Performing the labor rate competitive analysis, including reverse-engineering competitors’ wrap rates.
  • ​Developing pricing strategy based on the Price to Win.

Day 1 Highlights

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.
  • ​Analyzing the potential Source Selection Board members.
  • ​Competitive analysis overview process as part of capture planning.
  • ​Developing the 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.
  • ​Mining a variety of data sources for relevant competitive intelligence on government contractors.
  • ​SWOT analysis.
  • ​Determining competitors’ postulated win strategies.
  • ​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.
  • ​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 Highlights

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.
  • ​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.
  • ​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.

Seating is limited!

Cancellations & Rescheduling Policy

Cancellation notification must be received 10 business days prior to the training date. Upon notification, your registration fee will be refunded less a $100 non-refundable processing fee. Any cancellations beyond the 10 business days are non-refundable, but the course fee can be applied towards another training course, webinar, or an OST Global Solutions training product. No refunds will be made for the cancellation of a rescheduled course. Courses need to be rescheduled at least 24 hours in advance because we have to print the materials. As we constantly update the materials, they cannot be reused for another class. If a registrant didn’t request to reschedule and simply doesn’t show up on the day of the class, they forfeit the ability to reschedule. Attendee substitutions may be made at any time. Payment must be received prior to the course date. No-shows are liable for the full class fee.

Additional Information

If you would like to discuss whether this class is right for you or have any other questions, please call (301) 384-3350 during normal business hours.

Other Types of Payment

If you’d like to receive an invoice and pay by check, please send an email to*.

*All payments must be received prior to the course start date.