How to Harness the Power of Trade Promotion Management (TPM) Software for CPG Companies

Unleash the power of trade promotion management software to revolutionize your trade promotions. Maximize profitability and drive success today.



Trade Promotion Management (TPM) is a strategic approach used mostly by Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies to plan, budget, execute, and optimize trade promotions.

Trade promotions are marketing initiatives aimed at retailers and wholesalers with the goal of offering the customers of these entities an incentive to purchase a product. There are many types of trade promotions including off-shelf discounts, displays, feature ads, in-app promotions, in-store demos, and retailer coupons, to name a few.

Trade Promotion Management (TPM) is a dynamic process that incorporates budgeting, allocating budgets to accounts, planning promotions, reconciling deductions, and analyzing results (see diagram below).

tthe core of Trade Promotion Management

TPM also offers a crucial way for CPG businesses to stand out, build strong connections with retailers and end consumers, and ultimately increase sales given that they compete in a highly competitive environment where product differentiation can be difficult.

What is Trade Promotion Management (TPM) Software?

As you can see, TPM is unquestionably an essential tool in a CPG company's toolbox but also a very sophisticated one given its potential to have a direct impact on bottom-line results. It involves planning promotions, tracking budgets, and reconciling expenses - which can be a complicated ask if trying to manage in spreadsheets! Using effective and comprehensive software is essential for the success of TPM activities.

What are The Benefits of Using Trade Promotion Management Software?

Overall, TPM software can be a valuable tool for companies of all sizes looking to improve the effectiveness of their trade promotions.

Here are some specific benefits of using TPM software:

  1. Increased productivity: Data entry, forecasting, and reporting processes may all be automated with TPM software. Employees will have more time to commit to other activities, including analyzing the effectiveness and creating more efficient promotion strategies.
  2. Improved forecast accuracy: TPM software paired with the right data models will enable an organization to more accurately predict sales - both everyday and promoted. Getting the right product, in the right places, in the right quantities is less challenging with accurate consumption forecasts!
  3. Increased transparency and visibility: TPM software can assist businesses in enhancing transparency in their trade promotion data. This helps businesses with tracking the success of their trade promotion campaigns and discovering areas for improvement.
  4. Reduced risk: TPM software helps companies reduce the risk of financial accrual errors, preserve audit trails and reduce financial surprises.

How to Know if You Need a Trade Promotion Management (TPM) Software

Let's think about it.

The ultimate goal of Trade Promotion Management Tools is for organizations to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and make more informed, data-driven trade promotion decisions to maximize return on investment.

Despite the clear advantages, many consumer goods companies still use outdated spreadsheets- or antiquated software, which limits their productivity and decision-making capability.

Spreadsheets must go!


If you want to maximize your productivity- spreadsheets must be a way of the past.

You can spend countless amounts of time manually updating your forecasts and promotions, yet still lack the transparency and analytical capabilities for effective revenue growth management.

 Manually updating spreadsheets requires your employees to spend time:

  • Forecasting
  • Re-forecasting 
  • Answering questions
  • Justifying your promotional spend

This is the opposite of productive.

What happens when an employee who managed a spreadsheet leaves your company? Your team is left stranded trying to make sense of the data. And trying to roll up all of the spreadsheets across users compounds the number of error possibilities.

Implementing new software into your TPM business strategy can be intimidating. Before you start seeing the benefits, you must get your team to buy in. Successful TPM user adoption is key to your teams’ success, so let’s make sure you get it right with the help of our CPGvision experts.

What Can the Right Trade Promotion Management (TPM) Software Do for Your Business? 

The correct Trade Promotion Management (TPM) software can completely change how your company runs by automating labor-intensive activities, boosting competitiveness and agility, and simplifying efficient long-term planning.

Here's how it can help:

  1. Save time by reducing labor-intensive tasks

The right TPM solution generates accurate sales and spend forecasts, helps you manage your monthly budget and accrual process, and is simple and easy for your sales team to use.

You want a solution that does the heavy lifting for you, providing granular insights without working at a granular level. You want your team to spend less time inputting data and more time taking action on intelligence. 

When your team isn’t tied to spreadsheets and manually inputting and extracting data across different systems, they’ll spend less time tied to their desks and more time acting on the data and more importantly – more time selling to customers.

  1. Improve your competitiveness and agility

Plans change, often. You need a system that enables users to change, replan and re-roll forecasts quickly and align on one source of truth across all stakeholders - sales, trade development, finance, and revenue growth management. 

  1. Lay the foundation for advanced capabilities

At some point, your organization will want to look beyond TPM. Whether TPO and RGM are in your plan immediately or somewhere down the road, make sure you are implementing a solution suite that works together. 

Your RGM functions are related, and your solutions should be too – they need to talk to one another. Base and uplift factors feed TPM, but if you change pricing, base projections will also change, affecting your overall trade spend. Managing the interrelationships in one solution suite can help your organization be nimbler and make smarter decisions. You should ensure your TPM can grow with your organization.

Key Trade Promotion Management Software Capabilities and Features

We have talked about the way a TPM software implementation will enable you to get more out of your spending from a promotional efficiency and effectiveness perspective.

Now, let's examine the features your TPM software should include to help you accomplish tasks faster, and increase daily productivity.

  • Transparent account planning and budgeting

A robust TPM tool allows cross-functional visibility into promotions, plans, budgets, analytics, and P&Ls, ensuring sales, marketing, and finance alignment. 

  • User-friendly

You will need a user interface that provides powerful capabilities AND ease of use. Look for “EZbuttons” - single and multiple promotion cloning, system spreads for funding, and planning with user override capability. The system should predict volumes for the user but still allow for user overrides where necessary. You can have it all if you do the right research on user interfaces!

  • Effective deduction management

Minimize labor-intensive deduction settlements with auto-settlements functionality, allowing the AR team to focus on exceptions. Look for a user-friendly UI for manual settlements and in-app collaboration features for faster communication.

  • Forecasting accurate consumption and shipment

Choose a TPM with promotional and non-promotional volume reporting, including statistically modeled base and uplift factors. Look for systems that allow side-by-side reporting of planned sales, shipment forecasts, and actuals.

  • Data management

TPM systems are data-hungry, it's important to choose software that can efficiently integrate and harmonize data sources. An in-house data science team is a plus.

  • Funding commitments and accruals

TPM solutions should allow the user to make financial commitments at the promotion level. This allows the system to take the burden of spreading the liability to the granular level (products, accounts, and weeks) and provide a view of liability at any level of the account and product hierarchy. 

  • Reports and dashboards that are simple to use

Your TPM solution should provide you with clear and actionable insights. This should include reports geared towards each function; finance, sales, and management, with key KPIs related to promotion performance, spend efficiency, trade promotion effectiveness, accruals and deduction aging, gross to net financials, etc. 

Visual dashboards with drill-down capability will help your team react quickly to see what’s working and what isn’t, so you can adjust accordingly to drive positive outcomes. 

  • Onboarding, change management, and continuous support

Finally, a good TPM provider should offer separate technical support and customer service teams, including CPG industry professionals for effective onboarding, change management, and ongoing support.

How Can I Switch from Spreadsheets to TPM Software?

Switching from spreadsheets to TPM software requires a shift in mindset and adjustments in work processes. Outdated spreadsheet solutions limit the effectiveness of trade dollar management. Convincing your team of the benefits and preparing for the switch is essential for a smooth TPM implementation.

Here are key steps to consider:

  • Select a strong head of change management: Having a committed individual leading the change process is crucial. An executive sponsor that stresses compliance with new business processes is key.
  • Communicate the benefits: Use real data to actively communicate why the switch is advantageous.
  • Have a plan: Define goals and success criteria for the switch to benefit your team, business, and TPM vendor.

How Can I Ensure Strong TPM User Adoption?

To guarantee successful user adoption of TPM software, tailor the approach and consider specific business goals:

  1. Understand your objectives, expected results, and vision of success.
  2. Choose a TPM vendor that can tailor the implementation process to your specific needs.
  3. Set expectations and collaborate closely with the TPM vendor from the start.

To drive user adoption, focus on key aspects when selecting a TPM vendor:

  1. Scalability: Ensure the vendor's plans align with your business growth.
  2. User-value: Look for built-in reports and dashboards for better data visualization and market responsiveness.
  3. Accuracy: Customized functions and accurate data mapping increase credibility.
  4. Best Practices: Learn from the vendor's experience with other clients, especially in your sector.

How Can I Support the Implementation Process?

Implementation is not the place to skimp on costs and effort! During the implementation process and beyond, consider these factors when choosing a TPM solution:

  1. A defined blueprinting process with resource requirements on both sides clearly laid out
  2. Clear documentation and excellent customer support.
  3. Hands-on training and a user-friendly interface.
  4. Expertise and support from a dedicated customer success team.
  5. Accessible database with FAQs to help users troubleshoot issues.
  6. Vendor track record

By following these steps and selecting the right TPM vendor, you can successfully transition your operations from spreadsheets to software while ensuring strong user adoption and maximizing the benefits for your business.

Here is How to Successfully Implement a TPM System

Make sure you have the right data

First, you need to have the right data, including details on accounts, products, pricing, and at least two years of historical sales data. Foundational modeling will require sell-out (POS) data and good historical promotional data.

Devise an internal communication strategy to support TPM implementation

Second, an internal communication strategy is necessary to keep key account managers, stakeholders and team members informed and involved in the process. Their support and commitment can help identify potential challenges and ensure the program's success.

Develop an MVP or phased-in approach

Third, it's beneficial to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or phased-in approach. This strategy allows you to launch the software, identify any gaps, and implement short iterations to align the system with your business processes, strategies and revenue goals.

Effective change management

Finally, effective change management is crucial. Setting SMART goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help manage expectations and track progress. Leaders need to ensure new processes are being followed and keep the team motivated throughout the change.

Devote the right resources

Make sure you have the right subject matter experts (SMEs) involved in the project. You will need IT, Finance, and Sales input throughout the implementation time.

How to Leverage TPM Software for Better Trade Spend Management

Trade promotion management (TPM) software can be leveraged for better trade spend management in a number of ways.

Here are some specific ways to do it:

  • Use TPM software to track trade spend: TPM software consolidates all promotion-related data into a single platform. It can be used to track a variety of trade spend data, including billbacks, scan downs, lump sums, trading terms, EDLP. This data is linked directly to the activity and is used to identify areas where trade spend can be optimized.

  • Use TPM software to forecast trade spend: With the help of historical data and machine learning algorithms, TPM software can forecast the potential outcome of various promotional strategies. This predictive analysis enables you to optimize your trade spend by directing resources toward the most promising opportunities and avoiding overspending. It also enables you to increase the accuracy of your financial accruals and avoid surprises.

  • Use TPM software to report on trade spend: TPM software can be used to generate reports on trade spend and help identify where there are overspending situations as well as unused funds that can be recycled to generate volume.

  • Use TPM software for post-event analysis: Post-event analysis is a critical component of trade spend management. TPM software allows you to compare the projected results of a promotion with the actual results, helping you understand what worked and what didn't. This can inform future promotions, making your trade spend more efficient over time.

By harnessing these capabilities, TPM software can help you manage your trade spend more effectively, ultimately leading to improved profitability and a stronger competitive position.

Introducing CPGvision: A Powerful All-in-One Trade Management Software

CPGvision is 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 Trade Promotion Management (TPM), Trade Promotion Optimization (TPO), and Revenue Growth Management RGM). 


What Can CPGvision for Your Business?

With CPGvision you'll be able to:

  1. Generate accurate sales forecasting- Say goodbye to manual forecasting processes and errors. CPGvision applies modern machine learning techniques to generate and leverage the right historical data and make accurate promotion predictions.
  3. Gain real-time visibility into your performance- Analyze actual results as soon as the data becomes available, and make adjustments to the plan accordingly.
  4. Resolve deductions faster- Manage your reconciliation process in a state-of-the-art UI to clear deductions faster, and reduce that AR aging, all while preserving the audit trail with in-app collaboration, communication, and document attachment!
  5. Cut planning time- Combine your top-down and bottom-up plans, and analyze and close gaps for one source of truth on the forecast.
  6. Generate promotional predictions all in one place- Increase your ROI on trade spend with artificial intelligence-driven optimization and scenario planning and see the impact on your volume, revenue, and profit immediately.

What Features Does CPGvision Provide?

Some of CPGvision’s"easy buttons" are:

  1. Advanced Product Search: Utilize Salesforce's powerful search capabilities, including global search, lookup fields for associating records, and the "where is this used" function for comprehensive visibility.
  2. Mass Cloning Capability: Simplify the cloning process by copying promotion parameters and dynamics, allowing users to clone promotions, plans, or accounts quickly.
  3. Mass Approvals: Efficiently review and approve multiple promotions or settlements simultaneously, with automated workflows and auto-settlements for added efficiency.
  4. Predictive Planning: Plan promotions using a configurable calculator, customize key performance indicators, and visualize the projected impact of parameter changes on KPIs.
  5. Chatter Function: Facilitate collaboration, data sharing, and documentation with audit trails, enabling effective promotion reconciliation and seamless communication.
  6. CRM Analytics - CPGvision takes full advantage of this Salesforce Tableau-based functionality for reports, visualizations, and in-app functions as well as collaboration tools and alerts throughout!
  7. Scenario Planning - create side-by-side scenarios and immediately see the impact of different promotional strategies on sales, spend, and profit.

CPGvision Training and Monitoring

CPGvision employs a "train the trainer" approach alongside live end-user training. Internal experts participating in training ensure better coverage and knowledge transfer of internal standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Monitoring tools utilized by CPGvision include:

  1. Hypercare: Establish office hours during the first planning cycle to address user questions promptly and revise SOPs as needed.
  2. Usage Reporting: Monitor login activities, promotion creation, etc., to identify users requiring additional assistance and ensure the completion of plans.
  3. Post-Planning Recap: Conduct a team discussion after the initial planning round to gather insights, identify improvements, and enhance the planning experience.

CPGvision offers a comprehensive solution for trade management, empowering Consumer-Packaged Goods businesses with advanced functionalities, enhanced visibility, and streamlined processes.

Let's Improve Your Trade Promotion ROI Together!

Taking control of your trade promotion spending is a critical aspect of increasing profitability and driving growth in your business.

With the right strategies and TPM software in place, you're well-equipped to handle the demands of trade promotion management, maximize ROI, and carve out a competitive edge in the increasingly competitive consumer packaged goods market.

Remember to:

  • Choose the right TPM software: There are a number of different TPM software solutions available. It is important to choose a solution that meets the specific needs of your company.
  • Implement TPM software properly: Once you have chosen a TPM software solution, it is important to implement it properly. This includes training employees on how to use the software and ensuring that the data is entered correctly.
  • Use TPM software regularly: TPM software is most effective when it is used regularly. This will help you to track the performance of your trade promotions and to identify areas where you can improve.

We are ready to help you improve your trade promotion ROI! To ensure that you're utilizing the right tools and Trade Promotion Management (TPM) software, reach out to our team of TPM and CPG experts.

By adopting CPGvision’s best-in-class trade promotion management software suite you can harness advanced functionality, real-life problem-solving, and a range of applications that will help drive your promotional success, and keep your customers coming back for more.

At CPGvision, we take pride in our commitment to your goals. Our dedicated team consists of CPG industry professionals who are fully equipped to support you with your trade promotion management.

To learn more about how CPGvision can help you achieve successful trade promotion management, get in touch with us today.

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