Our MD Chris Farthing recently spoke with Think Digital Partners: sharing some sensible thoughts on how to avoid any catches with your G-Cloud 9 marketing.
The latest iteration of the Digital Marketplace, G-Cloud 9 (G9), has opened with a bang - but there's been quite a lot of debate and some confusion as to what exactly has changed and what's happened from G8.
This includes new Lot names, as well as the need for all suppliers having to re-apply. Subsequently, there’s been quite a bit of confusion among the supplier community. We spoke to Advice Cloud MD Chris Farthing back in February about something that could potentially help, Advice Cloud G-Cloud 9 best practice guides to maximising supplier chances of success on the Marketplace, and here Chris has jotted down some more guidance in the light of the formal opening of G9.
The guides cover compliance, optimisation and the need to market yourself better – here are some more details. Good luck!
Get compliant on…
- Pricing information – Our research shows 60% of SaaS vendors have their pricing wrong. For G9, make sure your price is clear and transparent
- Terms and conditions – 50% of vendors with ZERO sales have non-compliant T&Cs. One tip here: write your T&Cs specifically for G-Cloud if your standard ones are in conflict with the Framework and the G-Cloud Call Off Contract (see more here)
- Make sure you know which Lot you should be in – Yes, Digital Marketplace Lots have changed, and this should be much more clear for this 9th iteration of the G-Cloud. Still, make sure you don’t unexpectedly sell yourself short; for example, if you are listing under Lot 2 (Cloud Software), you might be able to list in Lot 3 (Cloud Support) as well – check it out.
Then get optimised when it comes to…
- GDPR, the next wave of EU-wide privacy regulation, is right around the corner, and buyers will more and more look at security as one of the must haves. ISO 27001 is a differentiator today, it might well be a minimum requirement tomorrow – you need to keep up with these things and make sure you are already ready to play by the rules the market says are the ones it wants to play by
- Service Definition is optional for G9, but buyers are notoriously slow to change, so why risk it? Throw in a SD and make it detailed. If a buyer can’t find a critical feature, you can’t count on them contacting you to check if it’s included, after all
- Other boxes you should aim to tick include secure networks PSN, GSi, Service, availability in excess of 99.9%, identity standards, Security Clearance (SC), API access, UK datacentre and UK legal jurisdiction (see more here).
And last but definitely not least, get marketing!
- To make public sector buyer shortlists, ensure you can be found in the first place. It’s all about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); properly load your Digital Marketplace listing with keywords, use appropriate language that’s used by your target customers, and really dial down the fluff, jargon and empty boasting
- Be easy to do business with. You might already be flexible and accessible, but for G9, make sure that’s totally obvious and transparent in your listing (see more here).
The guides I’ve mentioned in these links were developed in partnership with Lindsay Smith from GcloudSalesUK, and draw heavy from his on landmark research showing how 80% of SaaS vendors have ZERO sales and just 8% of vendors sell over £100K a year on the Digital Marketplace.
So use this guidance – and make sure your company is one of the successful 20% going forward.
The author is founder and head of Advice Cloud, a British based public sector IT procurement advisory specialist