Suppliers and Buyers are you ready for a busy period January to end March 2015?

22 December 2014 | Digital, Peto Marketplace, Sales | Comments (0)

The all-important fourth quarter of the financial year 2014/15. This is the quarter that will make a difference to many organisations and many people.

Buying organisations will be reviewing projects and procurement plans and prioritising resources around activities that will delivery savings plans.

Suppliers will know what surplus stocks they have and what they need to do to meet the revenue targets that underpin their business.

In short Suppliers need to sell and Buyers need savings. There will be some buying organisations that simply cut what they spend and ration what they use to save money. But in the most part there will be budget holders looking to spend what they have left wisely and drive a deal before budgets are closed for the financial year.

At Peto we are already working with Suppliers to highlight their special offers – offering our users unique opportunities to secure products with discounts that range up to 50% less than typical pricing.

If you’re a Supplier currently gearing up for Q4 sales we recommend you:
•    Review and update your listing on Peto Marketplace specifically for the Q4 period
•    Use ‘Peto Offers’ alongside your Marketplace listing – send product offers direct to our Users

Email and see if you already qualify for a free slot on Peto Offers as many of you do and they can raise a your brand and product profile.

If you’re a Buyer or Budget holder faced with getting as much value from your remaining budget as possible then we recommend you:
•    Login to your Peto account and search for products you buy regularly or have an immediate requirement for to see what savings you can achieve from Peto Marketplace
•    Review the current product offers we have available
•    Keep an eye out for the Peto Offers we send you to see the latest discounts Suppliers are offering you.

Have a good break and we’ll be in touch next year. Our offices will be closed from 24th December to 5th January 2015.

Helping SME's supply the NHS

8 January 2014 | Julian Trent, SMEs, Suppliers | Comments (0)

By Julian Trent | Managing Director at Peto

Bill Crothers, the government’s chief procurement officer, has argued that the “oligopoly” of large suppliers for contracts across departments excludes some of the country’s most innovative companies from the public sector supply chain. Nowhere is this more true than the NHS.

NHS procurement has traditionally been seen as a leviathan: draconian procurement policies lending advantage to big corporates with entrenched contacts. For too long, lack of innovation and flexibility has locked small businesses out of the NHS. So has the new NHS procurement review and strategy broken down these barriers? Not really, but the market is overtaking the policy makers and technology and digital channels are starting to open up this colossal market to smaller businesses. Why? New digital channels offer SMEs the opportunity to be genuinely proactive; they can promote their products alongside the usual suspects rather than just waiting to hear about opportunities through tenders.

With pressure on Trusts to save, now is the time for SMEs to exploit the new digital channels that will provide them with unprecedented access to procurement departments and budget holders.

There are incredible opportunities for proactive small business in the NHS – from supplying printer paper, to uniforms, to specialist medical products. SMEs should consider what they can offer, especially as it could be at a fraction of the cost levied by larger companies.

Small business has, in the past, been hindered by procurement processes but now the tide is turning and opportunities are opening up. Here are some of our top tips for SMEs looking to break into the NHS and get ahead of the curve.

  1. Know the market
    As NHS procurement has been the domain of big business for a long time, it is important to know who you are up against, who is leading the market and what you are benchmarking yourself against. This allows you to determine how you are different, how competitive your prices are and what you can offer NHS trusts. Do not underestimate the importance of investing in market research. It is important to know the customer and understand their needs. For example one of the most import considerations for a procurement team, is the ease of switching, as much as it is the unit price.
  2. Breaking the status quo
    Inertia in NHS procurement often means that contracts are renewed with current suppliers despite the running of tender processes. Therefore, you need to make a value proposition that will shake up the status quo. Give them an offer that will make them think twice.

    Employing the gaming technique can help:
    Give a description of how your product is better than the leading brand, for example same quality but 20% cheaper.
    Spell out the benefits, accurately and succinctly, such as improving quality of service to patients or helping to deliver real savings.
    Use real customer and/or patient feedback where possible – it’s better for a new customer to hear how good a product is from a customer than a rep.
  3. Selling
    Breaking into a new market can be daunting but it is important to speak directly to as many potential customers as possible. The product won’t sell itself and communication is key. Don’t underestimate the effort needed to build and maintain relationships with NHS trusts and the procurement departments. An open dialogue with customers allows you to respond to their changing needs and get feedback. If face to face meetings are the norm, you need to use other methods to get noticed like forums, social media or search engine optimisation.
  4. Digital
    Having an online presence is now essential for driving business development and sales. It is a cheaper and less time-intensive method of putting your product in front of the consumer. But businesses must make sure any online activity incorporates and supports your broader objectives.

    Encourage online reviews. Word of mouth is much more trustworthy than advertising and positive feedback speaks for itself. These endorsements should then be prominently displayed across all online platforms.

In today’s environment, if you know you have a great product that will improve patient outcomes and/or save the NHS money, you must shout about it. Behavioural inertia in the public sector is the biggest barrier to new entrants. To overcome this a tenacious approach is needed that will keep you and the opportunity you can offer in mind in a sustained but low cost way.

Julian Trent is managing director of Peto

This article was first published on

Redefining your sales strategy for the Digital age

27 November 2013 | Digital, Peto Marketplace, Sales | Comments (0)

Suppliers, we recently asked you: What channel do you find most successful for sales?

It was not surprising to see 55% of you favoured Digital as the channel for sales success. Face to face sales still proved to be a contender with 33% of your vote. However whilst it can convey a personal touch, it is a channel that arguably requires a considerable amount of time and resource to reach only a small audience. Only 11% of you felt telephone sales were most successful for your business.

With increased use of mobile and digital technology, and a demand for constant access to information at a consumers own choice and pace, many companies struggle to find the best channels  to position their business and to broadcast sales messages. So where to start? Ensure you incorporate a cohesive strategy that utilises multi-channels but puts digital at the forefront to maximise reach and best convey your message.

Why Digital?Peto Marketplace Online Digital Sales and Marketing

o   Using Digital sales channels is a cost-effective way to expand your reach to targeted prospects

o   Enables direct contact with both current and potential customers

o   You have the opportunity to gain and then maintain a long-lasting positive brand impression

o   Freedom to implement changes to digital content and campaigns in real time

o   Integrates with the social space of your targeted customer – more time spent online now than ever

In the future it is expected that purchases will predominantly be made online or through mobile devices, with catalogues supporting these main channels (ICS). Research from Bluefin Solutions found more than 80 per cent of businesses were not prepared for the digital age. With a focus on short-term profitability there was neglect shown when looking toward new business models centred on delivering long-term business value. New technologies must be adopted despite the cost and tough to predict returns on investment because the technology takeover is here.

“One of the main challenges small businesses face in terms of influencing—or even joining—the online digital conversation is that there is simply so much information out there. It’s difficult to know where to start, where to focus, and where to invest the money and time you have. And as you may suspect, the stakes are fairly high: If you don’t connect with consumers in the right ways and invest in the right channels, your efforts could very well have no impact—or worse, a detrimental effect—on your business.”
- Annie Tsai: Grow your company's online presence

Making a start:

Make sure you are present online: Build your own website, set up social media profiles, join directories, advertise, write content.

Listen: Keep on top of your customers’ buying behaviour and habits. Adapt to their needs, do they want to hear about your products face to face, on the telephone or do they receive them more positively when they can process the information online?

There is a need nowadays for easy access to information. This is what we aim to provide through Peto Marketplace. A platform for suppliers of all sizes to display their brand values and product range integrated into a tool that Public Sector buyers can use to search for products, send queries and take action. Whilst this may only be one part of your sales and marketing strategy ticked off of your digital checklist, it's one more avenue for buyers to find you and your products.


Peto Marketplace Competitors Digital
Image source: Enterprise East London Infographic

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