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Leading consumer packaged goods companies experienced 3.6 percent sales growth over and above category average while reducing their sales costs as a percent of sales by 6.1 percent over two years, according to the 2008 Customer and Channel Management (CCM) Survey: Doing More with Less: Winning Sales Strategies to Navigate a Challenging Market released yesterday at the GMA Merchandising, Sales, and Marketing Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and McKinsey & Co.
The survey, which has been conducted since 1978, links companies' self-reported practices with financial performance and in-market results to pinpoint winning practices across the industry.
"This comprehensive report serves as a valuable tool that helps CPG makers identify gaps and opportunities in their customer and channel management practices, as well as gain insight into important industry trends," noted GMA director of sales and sales promotion Brian Lynch. "What's interesting about this year's results is that top performers varied widely in terms of size, distribution models, go-to-market models, and their brands' market position, suggesting that there are valuable lessons for every type of company in the sector."
This year's survey concentrated on four aspects of customer and channel management: sales coverage and execution, pricing, trade promotion, and shopper marketing, and categorized companies by three performance tiers in each realm: the "best of the best," "winners," and "others." Detailed quantitative benchmarks on coverage and service models for retailers such as Walmart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Walgreens, CVS, and 7-11 were also incorporated into the 2008 survey.
"The key theme that emerged from the CCM data is that companies can reduce costs and still grow, despite the challenging economic and retail climate," added Lynch. "For example, by carefully prioritizing and holding retailers accountable, top performers in the trade promotion category reduced trade investments but grew sales. Under the sales umbrella, we found that winning manufacturers build fewer but stronger account teams to service key customers."
The report is based on survey responses from over 450 executives at 45 large and mid-cap manufacturers from across the food, beverage, personal care and home care categories, and point-of-sale data from Information Resources, Inc. A complete copy can be downloaded at www.gmaonline.org/publications/index.cfm.