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Sales Must Have A Seat At The Portfolio Strategy Table
Last week we delved into the topic of ‘Opportunity Assessment’. Refer to blog http://www.superiorsales.com.au/ranking-your-opportunities/ Portfolio Strategy has largely been the domain of the Marketing Department. We contend that Sales must proudly take a seat at the table and ensure that the customer is at the centre of the strategic process.
Building a strong, integrated portfolio means coordinating all of our assets(brands, customer relationships, innovation and packs) into a coherent position in the market that enables us to drive and capture category growth and our business growth within it. This means solving distinct challenges: how to grow the business you want given your resources, how to balancedefending the business you have with investing in growth and how to ensure you are capturing all the value you can – aligning the benefits offered with prices charged.
Pursuing Growth Opportunities / Risks
All of our assets – our brands, packs and channels – must be aligned to deliver on our Growth Opportunities / Risks with the right consumers / shoppers in the right occasions. While at first this may seem like a complex task, the Superior Integrated Way process provides us with a set of business choices to structure our thinking step by step that help brands, packs and channels stay aligned to growth.
Balancing Growth with Health
The very foundation of long -term growth is the health of our assets – our brands, packs and channels. Fundamental to the success of any growth strategy is the strength of the asset that you are using to unlock the potential; a brand with weak equity is not going to enable you to effectively enter a new relationship.
This will lead to sustainable profitable revenue growth for the business. We would not build a house without a solid foundation; in the same way we should not build our growth strategies on struggling brands, packs or channels. Therefore, one of the first things to understand in Portfolio Strategy is which of our assets, if any, are underperforming and why incorporating a plan to improve asset health alongside our plans for growth will lead to the maximum profitable revenue for the business.
Building the foundation for profitable revenue growth:
A core discipline for the business is to define the benefit or value offered by brands and packs versus the price being charged to the consumer. A clearly defined price – benefit relationship enables the profitable revenue management team to justify target prices. If a price change is needed the benefit offered by the pack or brand should change accordingly. Maximizing the value we extract from the market does not stop here, we should ensure our pricing strategy captures the maximum value for the benefits we create for shoppers / customers. We can do this by analyzing our brand, pack price architecture and asking ourselves are there any pricing changes needed to close gaps with competitors capture category value or deliver on the growth opportunities / risks identified
Critical to the success of our commercial strategy is our ability to translate the decisions made in Portfolio Strategy to the individual brand and channel strategy teams. In Portfolio Strategy we make important connections across the brands, packs and channels that together deliver our growth goals. In order to win in market it is imperative to maintain these connections throughout the strategy development.
No business has unlimited access to resources. Therefore, an important context for making portfolio decisions is balancing investment and performance. Before finalizing the portfolio strategy it is important to understand the gaps that need to be addressed to align the forecasted performance for the business if nothing changes and the additional goals set by the business for growth.
How do we use the outputs of Portfolio Strategy?
There are several key outputs of Portfolio Strategy – roles & challenges, price ladder and phased allocation of resources. These outputs act as a brief to brand and channel managers and ensure clear line of sights between the decisions made in ‘Where to Play’ and the individual strategies developed ‘How to Win Strategy’. In addition some of the growth opportunities / risks may not be addressed with the current portfolio of assets and are fed into the innovation pipeline for further exploration
At Superior Sales we build programmes leveraging all the core drivers of capability – organisation, people, process and culture, not just skills. Refer to our white paper at http://www.superiorsales.com.au/storytelling/whitepaper/
At Superior Sales our capability experts work extensively with companies to equip sales teams, and indeed the whole organisation, to deliver a better customer experience. Please get in touch at http://www.superiorsales.com.au/contact-us/
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