By Jo Phan | Senior Consultant

Across many of our retail and consumer brand clients, we are commonly asked: ‘What should be covered during a trade meeting?’

To get the most from these meetings, and to ultimately maximise the value of the trade team, we explain our top three areas of focus, that should be part of every trade meeting:

 

1. Review Performance - Provide actionable insights driven by accurate data

For trade to be successful, all attendees at trade meetings should be aligned on the KPIs that matter most for the business. This is to ensure that the team are working towards the same goals and to reach an agreement on how these goals are to be measured.

It is critical that there is a single-source of truth; that the data and measurements informing these KPIs are robust and consistent across each team.

Not only should the correct data be used, but data needs to be used correctly. Poor decisions can be made, even if the logic works, when patterns are uncovered without understanding the context or cause. For example, a sudden spike in sales for a particular region or market, might be a misconfigured analytics platform accidentally counting the same user twice. 

With discipline, this creates consistency. The team will have a better understanding on how their actions are impacting performance.

 

2. Take Action - Know how to use your trade levers

There are a variety of different levers available to businesses to improve trade performance, but these vary by business maturity and market. For the trade team, the question is not only identifying the relevant levers for a business, but also to align on how to achieve these actions.

For example; one of the biggest mistakes trading teams make is to react to low trade performance by launching promotions or discounts to chase sales. In the short term, this may improve gross sales but counter-productively also lowers your perceived value — attracting bargain shoppers. Over time, the customer you're attracting is at odds with your channel strategy. You might not be reaching your ‘aspirational customer.’

When evaluating a lever, ask:

  1. What are the benefits and pitfalls?
  2. How is success measured?
  3. Is there a pattern — is this a frequent occurrence that needs a broader change?

 

3. Take minutes - Ensure all trade meeting actions are followed up

Make data-driven decisions and each decision should have an owner. All actions must be clear, based on the single-source of data mentioned above, and achievable within a given timeframe.

Actions must be circulated after each trade meeting and KPIs should be agreed upon between stakeholders — to define both how success will be measured and who is responsible. All attendees in the trade meetings should be accountable for their metrics. For example, a social team should own the social KPIs.

Actions should be followed up in the next meeting to ensure they don’t drift aimlessly. This will help the team prioritise tasks and increases the sense of urgency. If an action is left for more than a few weeks, was it a priority after-all?

 

At its most efficient, trade meetings are solely for creating and reviewing informed, actionable decisions by the trading teams. Whilst you might have the right audience in the room; broader conversations about brand, channel strategy or market should be left for their own dedicated meetings. 

To build a strong trade capability, ensure these meetings are focused, measurable and actionable on the trade and marketing levers appropriate to your business' KPIs.

Practicology’s outsourced ecommerce team can act as your Head of Ecommerce or whole ecommerce trading team, either with a single dedicated resource, or employing the skills of several consultants to match your requirements.

If you would like to find out how Practicology can help support your ecommerce team or drive your online growth, please contact us at hello@practicology.com.
 

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