It’s a good idea to look at things from the buyer’s perspective to find out how the process works for them. This way you can develop a strong understanding of exactly how you should list on G-Cloud!
Whilst having to deal with unclear listings, potentially hundreds of search results and long shortlisting processes – what do buyers look for in a G-Cloud listing?
How do buyers come to a decision?
The steps buyers should take sound quite simple but, in reality, it can be quite complex! The process is explained fully in CCS’ buyer’s guide and is as follows:
- Write a list of requirements, outlining what they need technically and at what cost, as well as ensuring they have the approval to spend that budget.
- Use the Digital Marketplace to search for suppliers that meet their requirements, using keywords and filters – keeping a search history and audit trail as they go.
- Assess and review the services in their shortlist, against their requirements and budget.
The problem a lot of buyers face is that their searches can give lots of results. Even after filtering by requirements, the number of search results can still be in the hundreds. As you can guess, this means they’re not going to be reading through each service with a fine-toothed comb; they will likely only read your basic requirements to begin with. Buyers will therefore be looking for succinct and relevant service summaries to avoid spending precious time reading each one.
Buyers will be looking for listings that are specific to the services that they are after, checking that what the supplier says they can provide matches with this. They won’t want to have to read through too much information to find this out, so short specific phrases unique to the industry and service would be much more beneficial for a listing.
The service definition is a MUST and written in the form of a tender response addressing method statement, delivery methodology, certification, risk, support, stakeholder’s management and value adds. This is because G-Cloud does not allow for proposal requests or mini-competition. Buyers have to evaluate using the service definition and request further clarifications if applicable.
What can suppliers do?
- Make your service summary as clear as possible, outlining what it is you do and offer.
- Don’t use marketing language! Be straight to the point about the features and benefits your service provides.
- Upload a service definition that goes into more depth about your service. This is considered optional but uploading one will add valuable information that buyers can use to assess if your service is right for them.
- Make your pricing document easy to interpret. At the end of the day, your costs are an important part of the buyer’s evaluation. They’ll want to be able to work this out easily and quickly in their process.
- Don’t just focus on forcing keywords into your listing. Yes, you want to be searchable but make sure your service summary accurately describes what your service is.
- Read through the buyer’s guide provided by CCS to get a better understanding of how it all works for them and what guidelines they must follow.
Lastly, have a go at trying to find yourself on the framework! Use the keywords and filters you think a buyer may use to find your listing. How many other listings appear in the searches? This will give you a good indication of how it will work for a buyer when finding services to meet their requirements.
So, it’s important you take a step back and look at how G-Cloud works for buyers, not just suppliers! It’s the best way to make sure your listing is up to scratch and to increase your chances of G-Cloud success.