You’ve done the hard grafting to submit your application before the deadline and you just heard you made it – you’ve been accepted onto the framework! But there’s more work to do yet to maximise your chances of winning contracts. Here are the next steps suppliers should take once listed on a public sector procurement framework.
1. Understand the framework
This should have been part of your application strategy, which is why we’re putting it first and foremost now. Suppliers should thoroughly understand the procurement framework, including the types of contracts available, the selection criteria used, and the procurement process itself. This can help suppliers to identify the best opportunities and tailor their bids accordingly.
It’s crucial that not only the procurement team understand the ins and outs of the framework, but the entire organisation. For example, if your sales team don’t understand how it works, how can they let buyers know you can be procured through it? Public sector customers will be more inclined to work with you if they know where to efficiently procure your products and services.
2. Fine-tune your overall public sector strategy – or create one!
Now that you’re successfully listed on a framework, you need to think about how this fits into a wider public sector strategy. If you haven’t devised a strategy, you need to jump on that! There are many frameworks out there and in fact other routes to market such as Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPSs) that may complement the framework you’re currently on. Buyers will likely look into procuring through those routes, too, and you’ll miss out if you’re not listed – it’s as easy as that!
What’s more, getting onto a framework is a great step in your overall journey but it should never be the end goal. It is an enabler for sales and success, not a guarantee. Various areas of your strategy you need to consider are:
What role does each department in your organisation play in your venture into the public sector?
It may be worthwhile finding training for your teams, sharing knowledge throughout your organisation and perhaps involving members of various teams in planning your framework strategy.
Sales and marketing
If you haven’t already, you must ensure this framework is part of your overall marketing and sales strategies. It should be treated the same as any other route to market with potential leads. Your marketing and sales teams need to fully understand how it works so that they can tell buyers you can be bought through it! Getting to this point will require lots of engagement – attending events and boosting your presence so buyers know who you are before finding you on the framework goes a long way! Internally, your team can be working on your social media strategy, seeking training for your teams, sharing knowledge throughout your organisation and perhaps involving members of various teams in planning your framework strategy. You might be tired of hearing it, but it doesn’t make it any less accurate; getting listed is just the starting point!
Understanding your position
Why does the public sector need your solutions? Now that you’re on a framework, it should be part of your research into that route to market to find out why it was created. Who needed/ needs it most? If it’s not a new framework, who has typically bought through it in previous iterations? Who has recently indicated a need for the products or services available on this framework – and your offerings in particular? Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll be in a better position to be able to position your offering correctly. If there is any public sector organisation you would like to partner with in particular, you may even have the opportunity to adjust your listing to directly target them.
3. Monitor opportunities on the framework
It’s important you now regularly monitor the procurement portal – not just leave it be! New opportunities may be consistently posted. Keep up with them and ensure you meet the criteria requested by the buyer before submitting a bid. It’s also important to keep track of any deadlines or requirements for submitting bids.
4. Tailor bids
Each opportunity will have its own specific requirements, and suppliers should tailor their bids to meet those requirements. This may involve providing additional information, demonstrating relevant experience, or highlighting specific strengths that align with the needs of the contracting authority. It also means addressing your experience with social value in a lot of cases.
5. Follow up
After submitting a bid, it’s always helpful to follow up and get feedback. Especially if you’re unsuccessful, or haven’t heard anything from the buyer. You’ll want to know what you can improve on and what you’re doing well. This can also help suppliers to build relationships with contracting authorities, which can be beneficial for future opportunities.
6. Be Patient
There’s definitely a whole lot more to do once you’re listed – there’s no time to kick back and relax just yet! You may be providing some crucial solutions for the public sector to become digital. But you can’t provide these if not doing the work alongside being listed on the framework. It’s also important to maintain good relationships with buyers, as this can lead to future opportunities.
So, we just want to finish off by saying it can take time to win contracts. Whilst there’s work you can be doing to support your time on the framework, suppliers should be patient and continue to monitor opportunities and tailor their bids as needed. If you’d like to look into our services and chat about how we can help you get the most out of the framework you’re now listed on, don’t hesitate to book a consultation with us here.