Transforming the Customer Conversation on Business Plan Compliance

Transforming the Customer Conversation on Business Plan Compliance

Written by Andy Foweather

The first quarter of any new calendar year is an exciting time in the CPG industry, with new sales targets being set and the focus shifting to executing the plan in the market. Joint business plans that have been prepared and negotiated for many months are hopefully being used as a framework to drive the conversation with retail partners.

These business plans should contain all of the levers that will affect the brand owners’ ability to drive incremental sales. Success or failure in growing your business in CPG has always hinged on your ability to effectively execute the plans with your retail partners. In today’s fast-evolving retail marketplace, promotional strategies can change, which requires the joint business plan to be adapted to reflect the new approach. This can be a time-consuming process with a heavy reliance on individual Excel files to support customer development teams’ analytics.

Each of the sales drivers from a business plan needs to be measured to ensure the agreed levels of activity are being fully executed. Underperformance versus the anticipated plan needs to be assessed and compliance issues addressed as quickly as possible. This can be achieved in a collaborative manner by using the retail partner’s EPoS sales data to track performance, and to agree to a balanced scorecard of KPIs. These should include compliance KPIs as well as the hard commercial KPIs to ensure the commercial implications of poor compliance are mutually understood.

Data Science and digital technology can be harnessed to analyze EPoS data and provide actionable insights to valuable resources on performance issues in-store. Analysis of the EPoS data can identify whether an issue is endemic across a retail partners estate, or is only apparent in a limited number of stores. Arming the customer development team or the field sales resources with these insights can enable action to be taken in real time to address them. StayinFront RDI provides a suite of solutions that automatically alert on performance issues and enable teams to focus on resolving the issues rather than being immersed in analytics trying to understand the root cause.

With 32 years’ experience, Andy Foweather is a Commercial Director for StayinFront Retail Data Insight. Andy is an accomplished sales leader with expertise in delivering profitable sales growth through developing winning strategies and organizations.

Andy has operated at the Board Director level for over eleven years, leading substantive change in the UK and across European markets. He has been successful at influencing and driving alignment in matrix organizations and leading cross functional projects.

Follow his posts and activities on LinkedIn here:

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