Empower Sales Leaders with Data-Driven Promotions Planning

April 27, 2021 | 3 minute read
Muthu Ranganathan
Director- EPM Product Management, Oracle
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In many cases, the process for sales and promotions planning is manual and inconsistent. It’s often more of a guessing game for sales leaders and managers rather than a data-driven, analytical approach.

Yet many companies spend a good portion of their revenue promoting their products or services. According to a recent McKinsey article, consumer-packaged goods (CPG) companies worldwide invest about 20 percent of their revenue in promotions. Promotions are an important part of the sales strategy for other industries as well, including automotive, manufacturing, and retail banking.

The same McKinsey article mentions that 59 percent of companies worldwide actually lose money from trade spends, while conversely best-in-class CPG promotions see five times better ROI. These top companies invest in the right solutions that help their sales leaders, key account managers, and trade marketers collaborate. That way, they arrive at a consistent way of evaluating the best promotion strategies to guide their sales plans across markets, territories, customer segments, product groups, and channels.

Take a predictive approach

In working with our customers, we’ve observed that companies consistently benefit from moving away from manual planning to a more predictive approach as they mature their sales and promotion planning process.

Designing the right promotion strategies and the right allocation across customer segments and product groups can be a challenging task. You must be able to determine if your promotions are helping or cannibalizing profitable sales, as well as identify the best uplifts. Can you effectively account for various what-if scenarios to assess the impact of your tactics, like discounts, incentives, or free add-ons, before implementing them?

Advanced analytics can help address these questions and more:

  • Are your promotions impacting sales?
  • Are you spending on the right tactics?
  • Are your promotions for the right mix of products?
  • Are you unnecessarily spending to support products that already sell well?
  • Are you targeting the right customer segments, including new customers?
  • Are you focusing on the right channels?

Let the data drive your decisions

The Key Account Planning module in Oracle Sales Planning Cloud helps you take a more mature, data-driven approach to promotion decisions.

Key Account Planning module

You can predict your baseline plan, make adjustments for price, placements or product variants, model different promotion investments, and ascertain the uplifts across single or multiple products. This can help bridge the gap between top-down target sales and bottom-up sales plans that market sales leaders and key account managers create as they collaborate with trade marketers.  

The solution then offers various analytics, including:

  • ROI on trade spends.
  • Customer profit and loss.
  • Promoted and non-promoted views.

All of these metrics and more help facilitate collaboration and data transparency across the sales organization. 

Key Account Planning results example

The Key Account Planning module is built on a robust analytical planning platform with an easy-to-use Microsoft Excel interface and built-in data management. This enables seamless integration with various data sources and drives intelligent profitable sales performance.

To learn more about the Key Account Planning in Oracle Sales Planning Cloud, watch this brief overview.

Muthu Ranganathan

Director- EPM Product Management, Oracle

Muthu Ranganathan is driving new product innovations with a focus in the Planning, Forecasting, and Budgeting business process within EPM Cloud and contributing to the overall EPM product strategy at Oracle. He is part of the team that built market-leading planning solutions in EPM Cloud and is also the PM lead for Sales Planning Cloud that is part of CX Cloud. Additionally, Muthu has product management responsibilities for the APAC/Japan region on cross-EPM Cloud topics.

Muthu has more than 25 years of experience across enterprise software, working for companies such as Ramco, Hyperion, SAP, and now Oracle. Prior to that, he worked in the office of corporate finance/ FP&A and treasury at Pepsi, Ford, and Arvind. His experience spans across product management, strategy, business development, and delivery roles.

Muthu is a Chartered Accountant and Management Accountant by educational qualification.

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