It’s not enough to have the best proposal or capabilities to win a project.  Contractors must also frequently work with prospective customers, and others, to ensure that the project in their pipeline actually gets funded.  Federal agencies are under increased pressure from the Office of Management and Budget to prioritize expenditures.  If your project isn’t a priority, it could end up on the budgetary cutting room floor.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Don’t rely on your customer to be able to make the best business case.  Beyond the ROI, what can you show that will help the customer agency realize benefits from your project in other areas?  How will it, for example, make the life of a senior manager in another department easier?  Certainly, there’s some risk that once the project goes to procurement you might not get it.  More often, though, you will and, even if you don’t, you’ll have earned a solid reputation as a reliable asset.  That’s something that can lead to other business for many years to come.