Have you gained a placed on an organisation’s framework agreement? Learn how you can capitalise on this opportunity. Vicki Stewart, director of Tender Victory, a tender writing consultancy, reveals all…

If you have you successfully won a place on a framework agreement, you will need to attract eligible buyers under this framework agreement to buy your products/services.

To attract new customers to place business with your organisation under the framework, first you need to understand your position on the framework. For example: Is it a single supplier framework? If not, how much competition do you have in your lot on the framework from other suppliers?

If you are not the only supplier in your lot, do you know how you scored in the tender process? Understanding the scoring in terms of price, technical ability/quality and lead times will enable you to appreciate how well your company is ranked. This could be useful information going into a mini competition stage and inform your bid strategy for that stage. This information may also assist in forming a marketing strategy for engaging with potential customers under this framework. For example, if you know from scoring that your organisation is the most cost effective, or achieved the highest quality score – these would be important messages to relay in your communication.

To identify your potential customer base under the framework, you should consult the contract documents in order to identify the list of potential framework customers. This list can then be used to create your own framework database, which can be organised and targeted with specific comms.

Factors to consider in developing a communications strategy for each customer include: Does the framework holder have a marketing plan or strategy that you could be part of and use to your advantage? Any local/regional contacts your sales team may have with the customer – could these be exploited? Also, consider the development of a framework-specific targeted promotion to go to framework buyers – which sets our your USPs and why they should move to you.

When communicating with new prospects, consider the inclusion of information or case studies on any neighbouring sites, or similar customers with similar requirements that you currently have contracts with. This will demonstrate experience.

Always ensure the communication provides the potential buyer with the details necessary to use the framework agreement. For example, do they need to sign up with the original buying authority prior to place orders or run their mini competition with you?

By engaging with frameworks customers as sales prospects and through good regular communications, a good relationship can be formed with potential buyers, making it more likely that such buyers will work with you in the future.

Remember, once the framework has been awarded and the lots have been shortlisted to potential suppliers, no additional suppliers can be added to the framework (this differs under a Dynamic Purchasing System).

Adding value

If you have a place on a framework agreement and have not yet been awarded a contract, there are still things you can do to promote your presence on it. For example, establishing points of contact for the customers who can and may use the framework throughout its life, publishing marketing material and offering incentives and value adds, such as providing marketing support for events or sponsorship opportunities. Knowledge sharing is also seen as a value add and whilst you may not be successful in the first instance, building those relationships and evidencing your capabilities and willingness to provide assistance and expertise, will most likely pay dividends.

Your next steps, in order to gain new and additional customers under the frameworks you have been awarded, are to understand your place on the framework and how it will operate and to develop a communications strategy for promoting your organisation.