Your trade budget combined with the setup of new promotional displays can be one of the most effective growth tools your sales team has in its arsenal to drive incremental revenue. Not only does it provide an immediate sales spike, but it can also be the foundation for long-term sustained distribution and velocity growth.
Promotional planning is often completed well in advance of rollout, however, there are still plenty of ways boots on the ground retail execution teams and key account managers can squeeze more sales out of each display promotional cycle as it occurs.
Here are a few tips and tricks we have learned from working with leading CPG companies:
No. 1: Real-Time Scorecarding Is a Must
Visibility and measurement are unfortunately still a gap for most teams. Lack of knowledge on how to deploy some of the latest measurement techniques, or the misconception that the cost of doing so is too high is one of the top reasons we hear leaders have gaps in this area. Thanks to the latest in technology, including crowdsourced data collection and automated reporting capabilities, promotional scorecarding is easier and less expensive than ever before. And best of all, it can give you the immediate and actionable insight you need to find low-hanging sales opportunities.
No. 2: Systematic Prep and Prioritization Is Possible With Integrated Systems
It’s very common for team execution cycles and promotional plans to be misaligned. This is not a surprise as it can be very difficult to manage the timing of many different activities across teams, products, and accounts. However, the money being spent on trade, particularly on display promotions, is such an important asset to be leveraged for sales growth that you don’t want to drop the ball simply due to a lack of team communication. This means that a systematic process that helps the team keep track of and manage priorities across a promotional calendar is critical. Having automation, promotional, and execution systems talking to each other is foundational to keeping teams in sync and gaining an advantage over the competition.
No. 3: Fact-Based Education Works
Getting product and displays set up on time is one of the key promotional period opportunities. However, it’s usually possible in some accounts for good sales teams to gain even more incremental space or get the retailers to take increased inventory in support of the promotions. The promotion is the trigger for a conversation that may not have been possible otherwise. Equipping your sales team with easily accessible data that provides a fact-based rationale to the retailers, or in some cases, the distributor can result in 20 percent-plus higher sales in each cycle!
The money being spent on trade is such an important asset to be leveraged for sales growth that you don’t want to drop the ball simply due to a lack of team communication.
No. 4: Closed-Loop Communication Mitigates Sales Loss
Even when teams do everything right, they can still lose a lot of value during and after their promotional periods if they lose track of open communication. In some cases, companies invest in large field teams that are out driving new incremental displays and orders but then have no way to determine whether it was actually executed after they initially communicated the order to their distributor. Having closed-loop communication within the team and within your external partners is a key component of world-class execution.
This is easier said than done, but using communication tools, analytics, follow-up automation, and alerts together effectively can make a significant impact while minimizing how much individual sales team members need to track independently.
No. 5: Incentivize and Celebrate Every Cycle
These cycles are never-ending. Before the last one ends, another one is beginning. It can feel like a hamster wheel for teams trying to manage it all. The best teams create a culture where reward, pride, and opportunity for team success exist with each cycle. Small things like leaderboards, photos, and spiffs go a long way to helping the team feel recognized for their hard work and keep up their enthusiasm for the next promotional opportunity.
We wish you much success at the shelf. If you have a new display promotion you are preparing to run in the coming year, Wiser may be able to help you maximize the revenue tied to that promotion.
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published by Shelvspace. Shelvspace was acquired by Wiser Solutions in early 2021 and this blog has been revised and repurposed for a global audience.