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

In the end, the Sales Team and account managers are the critical lynchpins for accurate, timely, reliable customer shipment and planning data; so how can an organization gain their acceptance and endorsement of a new TPM tool? The following are a few considerations that might address the issue with your organization: Are you doing any trade planning at all? If you are not doing trade planning today, or if it is not happening on the back of a cocktail napkin, then any new software solution for Trade Promotion Management would require a change in organizational process and Sales behavior. A TPM tool is a terrific facilitator to help your organization review, change and perfect your promotion planning process, but senior management must clearly define the process, expectations and hold to those expectations throughout the whole change management process. While change and enhancement is a given, senior management cannot relent on the journey through the process of changing the organization. Is your current trade planning process too complex? Spreadsheets can accommodate all sorts of exceptions to the rule and different twists to the rule, but a software tool may not be able to accommodate all of those possible exceptions to the rule without being heavily customized; but that costs money and takes much more time to implement than a relatively out-of-the-box solution. Get the basic process grooved in before you start layering on all of the exceptions and accommodations for promotional contract variances. You may find out that all of those complex exceptions were not really needed in the first place. Find a champion for the TPM tool in the...