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Senior Director Strategic Customer Planning

Job ID 24-584 Category Sales Posted Jun. 07, 2024
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Who We Are  

At Lindt, we are a global fast-growing consumer goods company, enchanting the world with premium chocolate. We are driven by our passion for excellence and go the extra mile ensuring that every Lindt experience is nothing short of exceptional. Our collective efforts are geared towards making a positive impact, not only in the world of premium chocolate but also in the lives of our employees, customers, and communities. Our company embraces a culture defined by the core values of Excellence, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Responsibility, and Collaboration, fostering a dynamic and collaborative environment where these principles drive our success.

Position Overview:

The Senior Director Strategic Customer Planning at Lindt USA is a pivotal commercial leadership role responsible for driving category growth and profitability through strategic planning, analysis, and execution. This position leads a team of 25 people that includes two Directors of Category Management; Director of RGM; and the Senior Category Insights & Analytics Manager. The role ensures the integration of data-driven insights into category strategies.

This is a hybrid role that requires three days per week in our Stratham, NH corporate office.

Role Purpose:

  • Lead a large and diverse team of functional leaders to create a common vision and set aligned priorities that drive commercial success.
  • Owns all facets of strategic growth planning for the commercial function including assessing market trends and shopper behaviors, identifying growth opportunities, analyzing the competitive landscape and translating strategy into successful commercial execution.
  • Lead all aspects of the Sales Planning process including: Sales Forecasting, Annual Sales Plan development, New Item Objective Setting, Oversight of pricing and promotional strategy.
  • Member of the company extended Leadership team, contributing to the overall planning and direction of the overall enterprise.

Essential Job Functions & Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership

  • Formulate and implement the overall commercial strategy and growth roadmap for the wholesale function, aligning with the company’s short and long term goals.
  • Develop and own category & insights strategies to drive sales growth and increase market share. This includes:
    • Development and implementation of the Category and Merchandising vision to support Perfect Store growth initiatives.
    • Develop and own the fact-based narratives that are shared with retailers to increase influence across the category. Collaborate with key sales teams to ensure alignment on these strategies and execution against them at the retailer level.
    • Shopper insight learning plan and budget management to continuously build the Lindt insights library. Includes leadership of key shopper research projects.
  • Partner with Brand Marketing and go to market to support innovation efforts, utilizing Category research and insights to ensure shopper triggers are met and barriers are overcome as part of new item development. Guide the commercial inputs of innovation and key brand initiatives – from strategic pricing and promotional plans to pack size and item design to support market success.
  • Lead the holistic business planning process for the Sales function, including short, mid and long term growth plans to support company objectives. This includes development and implementation of best in class planning processes.
  • Own OBPPC Pack/Price architecture.
  • Oversee pricing strategies to ensure profitability and strategic fit based on shopper behavior.

Team Management

  • Oversee and mentor the broader team of category and RGM managers, category insights and data analysts, fostering a collaborative and high-performance work environment. 
  • Provide clear direction, set performance expectations, and conduct regular performance reviews to ensure team members meet their goals and develop professionally. 
  • Facilitate continuous learning and development opportunities for the category team to enhance their skills and knowledge.
  • Promote a culture of innovation and accountability within the team, encouraging proactive problem-solving and creative thinking.

Revenue Growth Management

  • Lead RGM initiatives to identify growth opportunities across various categories.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to optimize pricing strategies, promotional effectiveness, and product assortment.
  • Lead sales planning and revenue forecasting.

Category Insights and Analytics

  • Utilize advanced analytics to understand market trends, consumer behavior, and competitive landscape.
  • Provide thought leadership on category trends and translate insights into strategic action plans.
  • Effectively communicate on responsible subject matters towards various stakeholders across the company (including the CEO, senior leadership, global leadership, peers and individual contributor level) to ensure insights are incorporated into overarching brand, sales and company plans.
  • Develop the mid and long term commercial strategies, founded in fact based insight, to support growth objectives. This includes direction of data mining, insight development, presentation creation and communicating the strategy and insight to top customers at executive level meetings.
  • Manage the strategy for data investments, ensuring dollars are maximized while supporting company and customer growth objectives.

Collaboration and Communication

  • Work closely with key functional teams to align category strategies with overall business goals.
  • Present findings and strategic recommendations to senior leadership and key stakeholders. 
  • Foster strong cross-functional relationships to ensure integrated approaches to category management and revenue growth.

Performance Monitoring

  • Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of category strategies and initiatives.
  • Regularly review category performance and adjust strategies to ensure continuous improvement and achievement of financial targets.

Innovation and Best Practices

  • Stay abreast of industry trends and best practices in category and revenue growth management and Insights.
  • Introduce innovative approaches and tools to enhance category performance and efficiency.

Customer Relationship Management

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with key retail partners to enhance category presence and performance.
  • Negotiate and manage category initiatives with retail partners to drive mutual growth.

Qualifications & Requirements:

Experience:

  • 10+ years of experience in category management, with a proven track record of driving category growth.
  • Strong expertise in revenue growth management, pricing strategies, and promotional effectiveness.
  • Strong expertise in converting Insights into powerful selling stories

Skills & Knowledge:

  • Strong expertise in revenue growth management, pricing strategies, and promotional effectiveness.
  • Excellent analytical skills with proficiency in data analysis tools and techniques.
  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills.
  • Strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  • Ability to work collaboratively across functions and influence senior stakeholders.

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing, Economics or related field; MBA preferred.

Other Requirements:

  • Demonstrated leadership experience with the ability to manage and develop high-performing teams.
  • Experience managing multiple direct reports, including senior-level directors.
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