Selling IT services for the Finnish public sector
Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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International Design Business Management
Master’s Degree Programme in International Design Business Management (IDBM)
AbstractThe public sector has become increasingly dependent on information technology (IT) services. However, the tendering process can cause great challenges for both the procuring entity as well as the IT vendor, since this process is rigidly regulated by law. To ensure success in this process, IT vendors need to be able to recognize the most crucial steps in the tendering process and to develop best practices for their sales operations. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to develop a framework for guiding the efforts of vendor sales teams prior to and during the tendering process. The framework was based on Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas and was constructed using a constructive research approach combined with participant observation, theme interviews and analysis of customers’ tender documents in the public sector. The framework was designed for a specific case company and was taken into use by the case company’s sales teams as a sales tool. The framework identified seven focus areas specific to the case company: the tenderer-customer relationship, evaluation criteria for bids, relevant customer references, pricing strategy, special qualifications required from the vendor, the scope of the procured services and the vendor’s technical solution. One benefit of using this framework is that it enables the vendor to assess their chances of winning the bid, thus avoiding the use of time and money on futile tenders. Furthermore, the framework would allow sales team members not only to more effectively direct their sales efforts, but also to improve internal communication. Future work should focus on validating this framework by training the salesforce in using the framework, more widely implementing it and comparing the benefits gained against those of other tools currently used in the case company.
Thesis advisorAhola, Tuomas
sales, IT services, public sector, public procurement law, tendering process