Business Bridge Supplier Toolkit

Identifying and Evaluating Strategic Sales Opportunities

Researched and written for Business Bridge by Strategic Insights Inc. | Thursday, March 14, 2024

Identifying and evaluating strategic corporate sales opportunities can be complex. How do you know whether a prospective buyer is looking for what you’re offering? In this guide, you will learn four ways of identifying new opportunities as well as four ways to evaluate whether to pursue a corporate contracting opportunity.

Four ways to identify new opportunities

To identify the right corporate sales opportunities, you must first be able to identify which corporations to target. For example, while you may be an expert at providing marketing support services, you may need in-depth industry expertise to support certain types of corporations. If you are not prepared to become an industry expert, you may want to focus on opportunities that require more general marketing expertise.

Here are four ways to identify new opportunities:

1. Research and understand the industry landscape

First, analyze the competitive landscape, including recent industry trends and existing supplier networks for potential partners. Such research is crucial for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) looking for successful new business relationships within their target industry. Visit trade shows, monitor the development of new technologies and find out what type of suppliers the company currently uses to see if your competencies are a good match.

2. Utilize online resources

Online platforms like LinkedIn, industry-specific directories and supplier databases can be used to identify potential corporate partners. These resources provide valuable information about a company's structure, leadership and existing partnerships. If you see that the corporation only engages very large companies, you may want to contact their prime suppliers to see if you could work as a tier-2 subcontractor on the larger contracts.

LinkedIn is particularly helpful for connecting with new contacts to get a more granular evaluation of the corporation’s buying patterns. On LinkedIn:

  • Search for people related to the company

  • Use keywords to find relevant data

  • See if you share any connections

  • Ask the connection to introduce you to them

  • Contact them even if you don't have a shared connection

  • View their profiles to find relevant websites

3. Leverage vendor portals and opportunity announcements

Vendor portals and opportunity announcements offer you access to a lot of key information and connections you can use to identify new contracts, partnerships and funding. In addition to applying to existing opportunities, you can leverage vendor portals and RFPs for possible networking opportunities by reaching out directly to corporate contacts with any questions you may have. Once you are registered on the vendor portal of a corporation, you also become eligible to receive communications directed only to registered suppliers and engage with the corporate contact monitoring the portal. For more information on vendor portals, please refer to the article on the topic in this tool kit.

4. Attend trade shows and networking events

Attending trade shows and networking events can open up opportunities to connect and engage with key decision-makers from large corporations. By establishing these connections, you can gain insights into potential opportunities and trends within the industry.

Trade shows can be a cost-effective way for small businesses to:

  • Generate sales leads

  • Build brand awareness

  • Market to new audiences

  • Forge new business relationships

  • Learn about the industry

  • Scope out competitors

Networking events can help with:

  • Brand recognition

  • Relationships

  • Knowledge

  • Job opportunities

  • Reputation

Four ways to evaluate the strategic fit of your offerings

Your company’s products and services will not be the best fit for every corporation. It’s imperative to find the best targets that are a strategic fit. Here are four ways to evaluate the strategic fit of your offerings for the opportunities you discover:

1. Identify complementary capabilities

Align your products, services or expertise with the needs and goals of potential corporate partners. Finding out each corporate sales target’s capabilities increases the likelihood of building an excellent partnership. What does the corporation need that it doesn’t want to do in-house? It also helps build a solid foundation for shared growth.

2. Analyze corporate strategy

When looking for a potential partnership, you need to understand your target company’s goals. Consider looking into its mission and vision statement, as well as any long-term goals posted on its social media channels or website. This can give you insights that will help determine whether you share similar goals and if there is any opportunity for your company to help.

3. Assess financial stability

Evaluate the financial health and stability of your potential corporate partners. Analyze their financial reports, credit ratings and reputation. It is crucial to work with companies that have a secure financial position to ensure longevity in the partnership. Reading a company’s financial reports can help you make informed decisions based on how the company handles growth, operations and how much profit is made.

4. Review existing supplier relationships

When you consider a partnership with a company, you need to see if it has a history of working with suppliers for the long term and that it is committed to collaboration. Seeing a company that values longer business relationships increases the chances of a successful partnership. It’s risky to partner with a business that changes partners and suppliers frequently.


You can expand your company’s market reach and boost revenue streams by identifying and evaluating strategic corporate sales opportunities with large corporations. However, not all corporations are going to be the right fit for your company. It’s best first to identify and evaluate potential partnerships to find the right strategic fit.

Further Reading:

  1. Levitch, David, et al. “Landing the Megadeal: Seven Keys to Closing Big Sales That Make Money.” McKinsey Quarterly, McKinsey & Company, 12 Jun. 2017,

  2. Porter, Britney. “Accept Or Decline? How To Evaluate And Respond To Opportunities Strategically.” Forbes, 31 Oct. 2023,

  3. Ray, Linda. “5 Steps to Evaluating Business Opportunities.” Chron, 17 Oct. 2018,

Full toolkit bibliography.


Let us know what you think of this Toolkit article.