The Conflict; Brand Management and Sales

Background:  The sales department was constantly pressuring Brand Management to promote more often and at higher discount levels.

Analysis:  Brand Management did not have credible data to support not promoting more or at higher discount levels so both Brand Management and the Sales Department felt the other department was being unreasonable and this caused a break down in the working relationship.

Recommendation:  Have incremental sales and profits from each promotion calculated by the research department who presented their results to both groups.  This not only gave everyone a common set of results to work with, but also allowed both sides to suggest modifications to the analysis to ensure that the numbers were acceptable to both departments.

Net result:  Sales understood that some promotions were unprofitable and shouldn’t be run.  Brand Management realized that some promotions were profitable and could be run more often.  Both Brand and Sales also were able to see if raising or lowering promotion amounts paid during a promotion had a positive or negative impact on sales and profits and were able to adjust the discount levels.  In cases where promotions could generate more sales volume but lose money, the two departments worked cooperatively based on their mutual objectives to find solutions to meet the overall sales volume and profit goals.

Learnings:  If hard numbers don’t exist that have credibility the conversation changes from a results and solution driven focus to one of politics and conflict.  Quantified results from the Promotions would take away the subjectivity of the discussion and allowed everyone to cooperatively work together based on hard data.