Part II: Trade Promotion Management Change Management: How To Gain Sales Team Acceptance

When it comes to ditching Excel spreadsheet in favor of a Trade Promotion Management solution, implementing change management and embracing a new way of doing things creates a ripple effect. Last time we discussed how change management impacts Sales and Supply Chain groups. Today, the spotlight turns to Finance, Management and IT. Finance Team Finance sees a solution to the question of ‘when’ and ‘how much’ money should I accrue to an SKU or brand for a given period or month rather than a “peanut butter” spread approach of spending to the GL. In the spreadsheet world, some SKU’s get too much spending accrued to them and other SKU’s don’t get enough funds accrual assigned. Insight into this sort of real time information will provide finance with a much better appraisal of the profit and loss situation for each SKU, brand, customer and channel, and they will surely find the new TPM system to be a benefit over the static spreadsheet approach. Many companies manage their trade investment fund balances, based on variable rates, in spreadsheets; so the ability to see accumulated trade funds for all 150 spreadsheets is huge. Not to mention seeing what has been planned against those funds all prior to the events happening, or what has been spent against those funds as a result of the settlement process. Sales management has a difficult time trying to synthesize all of the trade investment accrual funds, the commitments and spending against those funds in a static spreadsheet environment. Therefore, sales management will see great benefit from a dynamic TPM system that provides them drill-down functionality and real-time...

Trade Promotion Management Change Management: How To Gain Sales Team Acceptance

So, you have made the decision to leave spreadsheets behind and you are moving to a trade promotion management software solution. What will it mean to your sales organization to get out of spreadsheet hell? The whole issue of change management is a huge one that will impact the success or failure of the TPM project. Let’s look at the issue from a couple of perspectives – Sales, Supply Chain, Finance, Management and IT. Each of these departments may see a benefit, threat or a little of both. Sales Team Sales may see the departure from Excel as a potential increase in workload, and that there is a new piece of software that they will have to learn and manage. Many companies adopt the mantra that they want to see their sales teams “selling” rather than sitting behind a computer; yet they want those same sales people to evolve to be thoughtful, proactive, collaborative ‘business managers.’ It is a paradox in that many Sales Managers don’t understand or fully realize the upstream and downstream implications (and importance) that their business plans have on the broader organization, and often times they view a TPM tool as just ‘too much work.’ Consider the following: The sales account manager creates a new promotional plan in a TPM tool…what happens? The combination of base volume and incremental volume is captured in a common tool and format that helps drive the demand and production plan. When the system calculates the planned spending and that planned spending gets assigned to a fund, the finance people suddenly have visibility to future promotional liabilities and the ability...