Q: What’s the best way to get your product listed / promotion agreed / range extended?
A: Establish how it helps the buyer to hit their targets. Then show them.
All grocery suppliers are chasing the same thing - more products, in more stores. It’s a zero-sum game. The winners understand what the buyer needs, and how they can help.
Many buyers will tell you that they are measured on 20 or 30 KPIs (often forgetting what the ‘K’ stands for). There are 3:
These 3 actions should drive their one true KPI - quantum profit. (If they tell you that isn’t the main KPI, ask them to speak to their shareholders).
The buyer also has to do this within the retailer’s overall value proposition (covering price, quality, and breadth of range).
Buyers get bored with suppliers giving them anecdotes, opinions, excuses, or 2 inch thick brand presentations that are baffling, selective, and one-sided. Being data-led means being honest, and that can be liberating.
It’s also easy. Retailers make this data available - use it.
How many times have you heard people using terms like data-led, fact-based, big-data; or talking at length about the latest trends in machine-learning, AI, consumer and loyalty information - the ‘sexy’ end of data, if there is such a thing? (There isn’t). In my experience most suppliers don’t know the basic facts about their own sales and supply-chain. This is unforgivable, and retailers expect suppliers to know this stuff.
Large suppliers can have regular meetings, ‘top-to-tops’, JBPs, implants, and be ‘category captains’ (whatever that means), and that’s all great ...but when you become a trusted source of advice, it changes the dynamic of your relationship with a retailer, and your proposals will be taken seriously.
Buyers value most those suppliers who actively seek to partner with them to deliver their targets. There can be a very strong alignment of interests between buyers and suppliers, they both want to sell more, it’s not zero sum if you can help to grow the market.
Swimming with the current is advisable, so you are influencing the direction of travel to your own benefit without being a blocker.
Using data to bring unique insights, alternative perspectives and ideas as well as quick win correction of errors is a key point of difference for a supplier and helps to deliver gross profit growth, away from simple cost of goods deflation.
Make use of your data!
You may also be interested in our eBook: Maximising promotional success.
Be the first to see when we publish something new, subscribe to our blog today:
SKUtrak from Atheon Analytics provides a rich, visual, interactive analysis of trading performance to help consumer goods businesses build better, more valuable relationships with their retail customers.