How to Find the Best Trade Promotion Software Vendor

Discover our guide on selecting the best Trade Promotion software vendor; essential tips, strategies, and criteria to make an informed decision.

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CPG Manufacturers are looking for options to drive revenue growth management with greater efficiency. As the number of channels consumers can shop from and engage with is continuously increasing, you might be facing more pressure than ever to take these channels into account to maintain profit margins and improve trade spending.

You need the right partnership and vendor to allow you to systematically manage, adjust, and optimize your promotions, as well as manage the entire planning, execution, and reconciliation cycle. 

While finding the right trade promotion software features and functionality is important, finding the right vendor fit is essential to ensure your ongoing success and allows you to grow as your needs evolve. You need a partner that not only has the right features and functions but has the CPG industry expertise to work with you on best practices and procedures.

What to Consider in a Trade Promotion Software Vendor 

To help you find the best trade promotion software vendor, we’ve compiled a list of 9 factors to consider below.

1. Size of the vendor 

Before you decide which trade promotion software vendor works best for you, it’s important to consider the size of the vendor to accurately assess their expertise. With large-scale vendors, TPM is typically a small part of what they do. This means that instead of having deep industry knowledge of trade promotion management in the CPG industry, they likely work across a variety of trades. 

Some vendors may just be too small - make sure the vendor has a stable of ongoing clients, low churn and financial strength. It can be good to be a big fish in a small pond, but you don’t want to outgrow the pond either!

Mid-size vendors may just have the right balance, with a deeper understanding (and focus on) of the CPG industry. Some might even have employees who have walked in your shoes. When thinking about whether to partner with the smaller to mid-size vendors, consider growth, investment in the product roadmap, churn and the quality of the people they put in front of you.

On the latter, you’ll want to speak to the people who will service your business after the sale!

2. Tech stack and platform 

Another factor to consider in a TPM vendor is the platform the solution is built on. The technology the solution stems from should be backed by the utmost security and compliance. The tech stack should also have:

    • Multi-language and multi-currency capabilities
    • Open APIs for easy integration 
    • A high level of configurability (so you aren’t always paying for customizations)

3. Reliability and security 

The platform your TPM vendor is built on should also give you peace of mind in that you can rely on the system’s availability. This means that it should have near 100%% uptime, so you can count on the platform any time, at any hour of the day. 

Data protection and security should also be you vendor’s #1 priority. Your information should be backed by a comprehensive set of certifications and standards you can trust. 

4. Data management, health, and modeling

The vendor you choose should have the skill and tools to help you manage your data health, one of the most difficult aspects of any TPM/TPO system. Without a solid foundation of data, the system will not produce the reliable forecasts and insights you need.

Look for a vendor that harmonizes information from multiple data sources in one seamless UI so your team has ready-to-use trade promotion intelligence at your fingertips. They should have the ability to do modeling and predictive analytics which is the data foundation you need to drive accurate forecasts and trade spend efficiency.

5. Product roadmap 

Your vendor should offer their clients a robust and thoughtful product roadmap with the right team of technical architects, developers, engineers and data scientists to deliver the roadmap items.. This will ensure that the solution will grow alongside you as your organizational needs evolve. A few questions to ask the vendor to get an idea of their product roadmap include:

    • What future capabilities will be available?
    • How are your capabilities typically priced?
    • Are regular product upgrades included in my price or additional?
    • What is your track record on accomplishing your product roadmap items? 

A comprehensive roadmap will also give you an idea of the vendor’s vision and strategy so that you have an understanding of their future offerings, ensuring you won’t pick a vendor who can meet your needs now, but that you can grow with later

Another factor to consider is the vendor’s customer service record. To really understand this, analyze is the vendor’s retention track record and look for reviews that mention their reputation for customer support. Don’t just rely on references and testimonials the vendor might provide.

You may need to do your own research by checking their reviews on software review sites such as Capterra and G2 and getting in touch with industry peers who may have worked with them in the past.

6. Opportunity to grow

You’ll also need to assess whether the vendor you’re considering has the capabilities to grow alongside you. Will they allow you to follow a “crawl/walk/run” path if that is best for you? For some companies, its best to start small and your organizational readiness requires. 

7. Implementation and onboarding

Implementation can come with significant costs and investment in personnel time on your end. Make sure the team implementing the solution is experienced and has a track record for success.

A highly configurable solution where most features are “out of the box” comes with a lower implementation cost and shorter timeline so consider that. Questions to ask your implementation team:

    • Who will be managing my implementation, and what is the team’s experience?
    • What data will be required from me and in what format?
    • What is the experience of the system integration team? What ERPs and other internal systems have you successfully integrated with?
    • What resources do I need to provide from my organization? What is the schedule for meetings, testing etc.?
    • What’s included in my implementation?
    • How will the training be handled? How will new users be trained on an ongoing basis?
    • What is the onboarding and change management process?
    • Do you have a train-the-trainer program so we can do our own training after the initial onboarding process? 

Look for a Lasting Partnership

When you find the right vendor fit, you ensure that your organization will have a trusted advisor by your side throughout the entire partnership. The system should also grow with your evolving needs as your organizational readiness requires and ensure your ongoing success beyond just implementation.

Your success should always be their top priority, along with a commitment to helping you be more efficient with your trade spend. They should be able to empathize with problems as true CPG industry experts and understand how to solve them. At the end of the day, your vendor shouldn’t just provide technology, but help you solve your overall business problems. 

Meet CPGvision: the best-in-class, fully connected, and integrated TPM and RGM solution suite for Consumer Packaged Goods, built on the Salesforce platform. With the most advanced functionality in the industry, CPGvision equips you with real-life problem-solving applications for TPM, TPO, and RGM. 

Your success is our success- CPGvision proudly provides a dedicated customer success team staffed with CPG industry professionals. Regardless of where you are in your RGM journey, you’ll be fully equipped with the solutions you need for profitable revenue growth. Contact us today to learn more.

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