What suppliers need to know about the DOS framework
The DOS framework has been around for a while now, and we see still suppliers struggle. Here's some tips.
Digital Outcomes & Specialists can be a tricky one to get right. We’ve heard from many suppliers not doing any business. In fact, many of the 3300 currently listed on the DOS framework don’t win any of their bids. Why is this?
There are different factors of course, but one reason is a lack of understanding of how the framework works. So what do suppliers teams need to know?
The DOS framework isn’t a source of inbound leads
You may have heard us say it before, but the Digital Marketplace (where DOS sits) is an enabler for business. It’s not a way to get more sales, it’s somewhere to direct your potential buyers and a way for you to bid on opportunities that are relevant to what you can provide. Many suppliers we’ve spoken to don’t realise this, or have sales teams that don’t quite fully grasp this. Ending with them applying for everything and anything just to get to Stage 2 of applications. This isn’t going to be the best way forward…
Pick the right opportunities to bid on
As we said, a scatter-gun approach is not the best way to tackle a framework like Digital Outcomes and Specialists. Take your time to qualify the right opportunities. Check out this guide we have on how to do this here.
Applying for anything that might be relevant is a sure-fire way to max out your staff and time. Spend the time perfecting bids on more relevant opportunities. Quality over quantity!
How buyers buy on DOS
There’s a common evaluation process to suppliers’ bids on the DOS framework. Stage 1 of the process includes 100-word written responses to criteria and requirements. Essential and Nice-to-Haves. Each one of these responses is scored by the buyer between 0 and 3. Get a single 0 or 1 in your responses, and your whole application is rejected!
This is why it’s good to know what buyers are after, to spend your time on your answers and not waste your time on bids you know you’ll never win.
Next up, successful bidders will get to Stage 2. Which includes a shortlisting stage, featuring either proposal, pitch, interview… whichever is required by the buyer. This is a whole different area to tackle and has its own demands.
How suppliers sell
By understanding the framework. To put it bluntly. Get to grips with how buyers buy and what they look for in a great DOS bid, how to qualify out bad opportunities that will waste your time, and understand that the business isn’t going to fall into your lap.
Make sure you’ve fully incorporated the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework into your public sector strategy. As with £2.4bn+ being spent through it to date, the business is there – you’ve just got to know how to win it.