Trade promotion management has come a long way since the days of juggling Excel spreadsheets. Software products like SalesAtWork's provide a wide range of features and functions for managing and monitoring trade promotion campaigns, but it seems organisations are failing to make the most of these - and it's the human factor that's to blame.
Consumer Goods Technology (CGT), a US media company serving consumer goods industry executives, surveyed a wide range of US companies on their use of TPM products and concluded, "Zero percent of respondents rated the effectiveness of their TPM use as excellent." It blamed inadequate staff training, saying: "This is a missed opportunity for companies who have moved from manual data entry and analysis to software-based solutions if they have not paid due consideration to the processes or trained their people."
The results of the study are available here. When asked how they rated their effectiveness in using their TPM system, no respondents rated this as excellent. Thirty two percent claimed to be above average, 44 percent average and 18 percent below average.
The survey found a strong correlation between the involvement of a company's IT department and the reported effectiveness of its TPM system usage. "By comparing the difference between companies who reported below average effectiveness to those with above average effectiveness, we found that in companies where IT was more involved, TPM usage is substantially more effective!" it said.
CGT concluded: "Technology doesn’t necessarily solve problems when it comes to trade promotion management. For consumer packaged goods companies, people and processes cannot be discounted in terms of achieving success. Without a plan to address these two areas, purchasing technology will not help you attain either effectiveness or efficiency; regardless of how user friendly and intuitive that user interface appears to be!"
It even went so far as to suggest that the use of a TPM system could be counterproductive, by amplifying inefficiencies: "Keep in mind that, if the people charged with trade spending are currently engaged in inefficient practices, TPM software will allow them to be inefficient a whole lot quicker. And, if your processes are marginal or poor, an application can definitely help you become more efficient at being ineffective."
It concluded: "Organisations that realise that the foundation of success is rooted in people, processes AND technology are ultimately the ones that achieve success.... Silver bullets don’t exist when it comes to TPM applications and, for that matter, with practically anything else associated with process of trade promotion."
SalesAtWork embodies all the necessary features required to deliver industry 'best sales practise', SalesAtWork sets the standard to allow different industries to consistently focus on, evolve and improve sales processes.