How to Achieve These 4 Strategic Priorities

Posted by Sue Nicholls, CPSA Founder & President CMKG | Nov 16, 2015 11:26:28 AM

Your success depends on you and your team’s abilities to utilize rapidly-advancing changes in data, technology and the Shopper.

Improve Your ROI on Data and Technology Purchases.

Why is your organization operating like it’s 1999 when it comes to maximizing data and technology?

Category Management has now been around for over 30 years. Data and technology continue to evolve and advance, pressuring organizations to invest heavily in new data sources, advanced technologies and market research to better understand their changing and increasingly sophisticated Shoppers.

Most data and software tools are designed to extract information from the data you purchase for a specific purpose, tactic or process. This all-too-linear and tactical business approach excludes opportunities for insight, discovery and competitive advantage in the marketplace.

What’s the real ROI on your data and technology?

At this year’s Category Management Association’s conference, Doug Osborne’s presentation predicted the demise of store clerks and the rise of replacement robots. This technological trend was reflected in the multitude of solution providers at the conference — offering more advanced data and technologies than ever before.

If these data and technology “solutions” are really the answer, then why aren’t organizations reaching their strategic priorities? It’s because tactical tools and solution can never replace organization-wide strategic understanding of your business by individuals and teams. They are a part of your toolkit that will help you achieve your goals through their effective and efficient use by the people in your organization.

Equipping and developing the people with the most up-to-date knowledge, analytic skills and strategic expertise is the only way to continually adapt and maximize the value of your data and technology investments.

Increase Fact-based and Strategic Decision-making

A fact-based approach to making strategic business decisions depends on people.

Clear and consistent understanding of your business, your competitive landscape and ability to make informed decisions are the keys to unlocking insights and opportunities. Category Management is at the center of building organization-wide and individual abilities that work effectively toward meeting your strategic goals.

Providing a path and means for people to understand and interpret data and information, unlock insights and improve selling skills can rapidly improve business results. And, unlike investments in data and technology, people’s effectiveness will continue to build and improve over time.

Create an Aligned and Collaborative Approach Internally.

Get everyone working toward the same goals through an aligned approach.

Lack of alignment and understanding across an organization severely impedes fact-based, strategic decision-making, but is too often the case when organizations restructure or consolidate. Level-setting these newly formed teams within an organization significantly elevates and quickly aligns knowledge, skills and expertise.

Organization-wide goal alignment across multi-functional teams focuses everyone on achieving the same strategic priorities from different perspectives. This newly-aligned internal collaboration fuels external collaboration, Shopper-Centric initiatives and improved Shopper satisfaction.

Retain and Develop Your Best Talent.

Team and organizational development builds morale, loyalty and happiness.

Keeping your best talent engaged relies on successful onboarding and individual development programs. Professional development helps managers move to a more strategic and fact-based approach, improve ROI on data and technology, create alignment across teams, and help attract and retain top candidates. Giving people the skills required to effectively do their work supports their success which ultimately drives business success by lowering the cost of recruiting and training new employees.

Take a look at the numbers before accepting or making excuses.

People are the biggest expense of almost any type of organization, but they are also the creators of the most value. Failing to equip them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise through the industry-leading training is at best throwing their salaries to the wind, and at worst undermining the success of your organization at every level.

“We don’t have a budget for more training”, “Senior management cut our training budget when we consolidated”, and “We just don’t have time to train our organization” are illusions when you consider people’s abilities to impact your bottomline. For a fraction of the cost of data and technology, your organization can transform the way strategic decisions are made and achieve the most important priorities. 

Ready to take the first step? Together, we’ll brainstorm how you can best develop and build your team, achieve your Strategic Priorities, and transform your organization.

I look forward to talking with you — email me at


Sue Nicholls, CPSA
President & Founder

Topics: Category Management Training, Category Management

Written by Sue Nicholls, CPSA Founder & President CMKG

Category Management is my passion.

Since beginning with P&G in the late 1980s, I have dedicated my work life to building and sharing this passion with others through active involvement in the industry, including long-term business relationships with large Retailer and Vendor executives, development and influence on Category Management Association certification standards and curriculum, thought leadership publishing and presentations at CSP News’ Convenience University, CMA’s Annual Conference and LinkedIn, and as a member of DePaul University’s Center for Sales Leadership Advisory Board.

Through this blog and other channels, I share this expertise and believe that an open and ongoing conversation can improve any team’s capacity to implement business strategies that achieve their strategic priorities.