Head of Commercial Strategy and Planning

Gauteng, Full Time Deadline: Not specified


The Sales Strategy ’ Planning Manager is responsible for driving the Commercial Strategy, policy and business development, monitoring and enforcement of the Strategy and action plan execution within the department. This role defines and activates business development opportunities, manages and improves organisation profitability, creates and sustains the company brands’ competitive edge, drives operation efficiency, manages the route to market strategy and effectively manage pricing and promotions by brand and format.

Strategy and Planning

Develop the department’s strategy, structures, and KPI’s, and cascade them to the team
Continuously provide direction to the team
Take accountability for the quality of the technology and processes within the department, and implement changes and best practice as required
Drive change and lead the implementation of best practice
Manage and monitor adherence to best practice and performance
Understand and define areas for improvements within the department
Review the weekly KPI reports, comparing with other CBU’s, and define and follow up improvement action plans (internal/external)
Compare KPI’s with other SA FMCG companies and lead improvement
Analyse/present retail audit data and identify key opportunities per Channel, Key Account, per region, per brand, and recommend actions and next steps with focus on 4 Ps
Lead the marketing interface and communicate information to the team that could effectively improve brands performance
Support the monthly forecasting process (demand planning, S’OP, spend)
Lead, with Marketing involvement, to create an effective and proactive promotion strategy and agenda
Support KAM in tailoring and initiating trade promotions that deliver high share of stocks and accelerate push
Study and recommend sales incentives that best fit and motivate team against company priorities and KPI’s
Develop actions to sustain a motivated sales force

Finance and Budgeting

Manage the Sales Development calendar and budget, and recommend spending priorities
Identify and improve profitability by channel
Monitor channel contribution and highlight key elements to improve it
Lead the pricing strategy (Including price increases, reset) and implementation by channel
Provide input into the budget setting process, and take overall accountability for working within budget
Oversee the day-to-day management the department’s budget
Give feedback against the budget tracker

Trade Marketing

Understand and monitor trade dynamics evolution, and communicate trade structure changes that could affect company route to market strategy
Define Key Channels under company coverage and identify parameters and Route to Market
Identify Brand/Category KPI channel and how it can be achieved
Identify the service package per channel

Category Management

Develop with marketing, a category vision with consumer, shopper action plan in order to drive PCC
Enforce implementation of the vision internally and externally
Develop and maintain best in class shopper to maximize shopper preferences during the “path to purchase”, and drive the top line team to become Shopper 1st Choice
Develop and implement merchandising and in-store activity strategy
The ambassador of the “1 yoghurt a Day” category vision to Modern Trade and contribute to gain category captainship

Field Sales Execution

Define the trading calendar requirements down to FSEM/Merchandiser level
Ensure organization performance efficiency is in line with Global and local standards
Recommend, manage and leverage tools that improve performance and reduce cost
Import and implement best practice tools from Dan Sales, Direct contact with other CBU’s

Market and Product Development

Lead brands action plan within overall Top Line growth plan
Create effective tools that support new launches and existent brands growth
Define brand strategies per channel to create end endure push
Create programs that build and sustain trade loyalty and satisfaction
Identify POS strategy per channel and monitor implementation
Manage communication (To sales Force) and Trade effectively and simply
Monitor brand awareness life time, and create sustainable communication to make company brands perceived profitable and attractive to the trade
Optimise availability of product to meet customer needs – Review category and department performance on an ongoing basis- Influence all replenishment and forecasting processes and system requirements
Product and category reviews
Conduct competitive marketing research projects
Analyze competitive strategies through analysis of product, solution, services, customer, channel etc


Lead and manage a team of planners to achieve the maximum possible on shelf availability of product across the portfolio
Provide guidance and support to team members and senior management and identify potential improvements
Effective management of the team to ensure most accurate forecasts possible, to meet customer expectations and minimise costs
Create and manage new line forecasts based on business estimates

Leadership and Management

Manage and motivate the team in the delivery of team objectives
Conduct internal performance management and IDP processes fairly and consistently,
resulting in transparent succession planning and specific development areas
Recruit for vacancies within the team
Facilitate the setting of team objectives
Mentor and coach team members , as required


Define the long-term Strategy for Portfolio / Pricing by Channel,
Sets KPI’s for implementation and builds customer selling rationale
Defines the long-term Strategy, KPI’s ’ investment for Promotions by Channel ’ builds customer selling stories
Defines the long-term Strategy for Trade Terms by Channel ’ Customer, including Channel specific incentives
Responsible for keeping the business on plan by partnering with the Commercial Team to construct pre-evaluation P’L / KPI metrics, track performance through a set of distinct scorecards and performance review forums
To drive the development, execution and implementation of a new operational way of working across the Commercial functions, from a Pricing, Promotions and Mix perspective.
Price management (by: driving positive profitability and additional profits by changing price points for shopper on the shelf and developing price architecture for the entire portfolio- based on the analyzes of the category and the market)
Promotions effectiveness management (by: managing promo ROI and CO% in a consistent and rigorous manner to bring additional profit by managing mechanics, SKU mix, client mix, competitors),
Portfolio management (link it to the shopper needs, occasions in the channels etc.),
Trade terms management (Monitoring effectiveness and provide the improvement recommendation, review trade terms strategic negotiations planning and implementation process)


Relevant tertiary qualification
Post graduate qualification is an advantage


Minimum of 10 years in the Key Account and trade marketing environment within the FMCG industry
Computer skills (MS Office, Powerpoint and Advanced Excel)
4 – 5 years of managing individuals or team
Knowledge of statistical forecasting and how to apply in inventory management
Advanced interpersonal skills, resulting in the ability to guide and inspire


Strategic thinking and problem solving abilities
Ability to express views, in a constructive manner
Ability to communicate with senior management, troubleshoot and process improve
Commercial acumen
Ownership and accountability
Attention to detail
Enthusiastic and action orientated
Ability to work in a multicultural environment
Flexible and adaptable with ideas, when changes occur within the plans and/or work environment
Ambitious and driven to succeed
Passionate about the product / product portfolio
Able to stay focused and clear minded under pressure
Proven ability to influence others positively