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Often, CPG companies enter a planning cycle a little behind the eight-ball, so to speak. This means that Sales is often left without enough time to analyze past performance to enhance future plans and without knowing the goal they are marching towards.
This results in plans that don’t meet objectives, and in projections that are not only inaccurate but that were provided past the deadlines they were needed to be set up for success.
How to prepare for a new trade promotion planning cycle
To successfully get ready for a new trade promotion planning cycle, CPG companies should prioritize transparency, consistency, and accuracy across their processes. It all starts with consistent foundational data that will help you deliver the right product, at the right time, with the right offer to end-consumers.
Below are a few ways you can prepare for planning cycles and yield better financial results across your entire team.
1. Establish a planning calendar
Before each cycle, you’ll need to start planning at least 2 months ahead of time. This ensures you’ll be aligned with sales as they start entering plans. Make it a priority to start early and work backward from the date the first annual rollup is due and provide clear and consistent direction to the sales team.
Each cross-functional team should sign off on the calendar so that everyone is aligned. Visibly reward team members that are improving their account plans and account P&Ls. Finally, best-in-class promotions from the current year should be highlighted to enhance visibility and provide actionable insights across your organization.
2. Build an integrated AOP
Next, you’ll need to generate targets down to the granular level needed by sales. This means systematically comparing bottom-up plans to the top-down targets generated. By analyzing all supporting data from the year prior and how it fits into the year moving forward, you can narrow in on opportunities to improve for the upcoming year and the tasks each team needs to own to get there.
3. Ensure system readiness
Before you roll out a new plan, you’ll need to ensure your actualized data is integrated and provided on a timely basis and accurately update your sales structure and account owners. To do so, you’ll need to review post-event analytics for improvement recommendations and review baseline projections for the new year.
Review all product and account structures. Make sure account owners are accurate and your organization is aligned around planning accounts. If the product structure of PPGs has changed, have the realignment in place before the team plans to avoid any re-planning.
4. Ensure organizational readiness
For a successful trade promotion planning cycle, be sure to assess any training needs for new personnel and schedule any refresher training (process and systems) your team needs.
5. Review, update and communicate SOPs
Make sure SOPs are clearly communicated across the team. Before disseminating, you’ll need to review and update standard operating procedures around:
- Authorized products
- Planning Accounts
- Analytic requirements
- Budgets and account allocations and GL codes
- Attaching contracts and other documentation
- Naming conventions
- Indirect planning
- Contracts, terms, EDLPs
- Planning guardrails
- Approvals and workflows
- Promotion cloning
6. Develop go-to-market materials
Ensure that your sales team understands key promotional priorities as well as the corporate marketing calendar, and communicate any process required for exceptions.
The guidance you need to enable system and organizational readiness
Meet CPGvision: the best-in-class fully connected and integrated RGM solution suite for the CPG industry, built on the Salesforce platform. With the most advanced functionality in the industry, CPGvision equips you with system and organizational readiness for planning involving TPM, TPO, RGM, and beyond.
Your success is our success- CPGvision proudly provides a dedicated customer service 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. Learn how you can nimbly react to today’s ever-changing economic environment by downloading our resource here.