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How do I Sell Technology to Local Gov?

Master the essentials of selling technology to local governments, from market research to building lasting relationships.

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There are many reasons why it may be valuable for your organisation to partner with local government bodies and councils. The innovative technologies being regularly produced can improve services and efficiency for local governments. However, the public sector often faces difficulties in adopting these solutions due to a lack of knowledge and low accessibility.

Whether you have a particular council in mind or not, there are various steps you need to follow so that you can begin business with them fairly and competently. This blog will outline the basics to begin selling to local gov, but don’t miss our pointers to our other blogs that cover some of the topics we touch on in greater depth!


Understanding Government Procurement

First things first, if you’re just beginning to branch out into the public sector market, you need to get a firm understanding of how UK government procurement operates. There are specific guidelines and regulations at both central and local levels, including compliance standards and decision-making structures unique to each government tier.

The local government landscape includes county councils, district councils, and unitary authorities. Many parts of England have both a county council and a district council. County councils run public services such as education, libraries, roads and social care, while district councils are responsible for matters such as waste, environment, and housing. In other areas, a single ‘unitary’ council is responsible for all these services.

Local Gov tends to face more challenges than central government bodies. They often face tight budget constraints, meaning systems are rarely updated. The technology used can no longer keep up with the fast pace of technological advancement and public demands. These legacy systems lead to greater concerns, as outdated technology increases the risk of cybersecurity breaches.


Conduct Market Research

Conducting thorough market research is essential to ensure your efforts are focused on the right opportunities and that you understand the specific needs of local government entities. Here’s how you can effectively conduct market research:

1. Identify Challenges and Pain Points:

Begin by identifying the specific challenges and pain points faced by local government entities. This involves understanding the unique needs and constraints of various councils, including budget limitations, outdated technology, and regulatory requirements. By pinpointing these issues, you can tailor your technology solutions to address them directly, making your offerings more appealing.


2. Assess Market Demand:

Research what technologies are currently being utilized by local governments and identify gaps where your solutions can make a significant impact. Use resources like the UK Government’s procurement pages to understand current demands and trends in technology adoption. The websites Tendering for Public Sector Contracts and Find Local Council can provide valuable insights into ongoing and upcoming projects.


3. Analyse Competitors and Partners:

Your market research should also focus on competitors and partners. Are they already selling in the sector? Luckily, the UK government is transparent about what contracts are awarded. Frameworks such as G-Cloud and Digital Outcomes publish their data monthly, and solutions such as Stotles (our partners) collect Contract Award notifications from across the web into a handy place. Using this data, you can see what’s being bought, by who, when, and how much! Which is very useful when figuring out your Value Proposition and market positioning.

4. Refine Your Value Proposition:

Using the data gathered from your market research, refine your value proposition. Clearly articulate how your technology solution addresses the specific needs of local governments, offers superior value compared to competitors, and fits within their budget constraints. A well-defined value proposition can significantly enhance your market positioning and increase your chances of securing contracts.


Navigating the Procurement Process

The process for selling to local government isn’t too far removed from the wider public procurement process. There will be particular routes based on either the type of technology or the industry in the form of frameworks or Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPSs). If you want to do business with a particular council, search their website for ‘procurement’. Most will have a ‘selling to the council’ or ‘doing business with the council’ guide detailing how the council will publish their tender opportunities, usually on a tendering portal.


We wrote an article recently on where to find UK Gov Tenders – you can give that a read here to understand where best to look!


Councils also buy through several Professional Buying Organisations (PBOs), for example, ESPO, NEPO, YPO, and CCS, which all provide expertise and knowledge to assist the sector. It is worth also looking at their websites to see opportunities.


Compliance is crucial when it comes to UK public sector regulations and requirements. These routes to market will ask for particular documents detailing your offering, security, social value adherence, etc. Without these, you will not get access to the tenders on offer.


Cultivating Relationships

Building relationships with key decision-makers is pivotal in central and local government sectors. More often than not, you’ll find buyers decide to go with suppliers they’ve built trust and familiarity with, so the main takeaway here is becoming known long before any sales opportunities arise. Make an effort to attend industry events, participate in networking opportunities, and leverage social media platforms to connect with local government bodies. Establishing personal relationships can significantly influence procurement decisions in your favour.

Industry bodies provide a great platform to do this – linking technology and the public sector is techUK for example. While providing an online platform, techUK frequently hosts various types of events, both virtual and in-person. You can find out what’s coming up soon in their events calendar.

You will find many more organisations hosting conferences and exhibitions for public sector tech suppliers. Start by finding out which ones are relevant to your business – a quick look on Google is as good a place to start as any. It’s also worth checking out buyers (if you have their names) on LinkedIn. Many will promote or comment on posts of future events they will be attending.



Ready to start selling your technology to local governments? We hope this article has provided insight into how to get going. For more in-depth insights and additional resources, be sure to check out our Knowledge Hub for other blogs and guides.


The Advice Cloud team of ex-public sector buyers are also on hand to help you get started on this journey. We can help you understand the various routes to market and what would suit your offering best, as well as devise and execute a foolproof strategy. Whether you’re looking to expand your client base, showcase your expertise, or gain a competitive edge, partnering with us is a sure-fire way to boost your public sector efforts. Book a free chat with one of our experts today and we’ll assess your current position and what we can do to help!

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