Category Management Workshop Training with Making Business Matter              Making Business Matter - Logo


MBM’s proven Category Management workshops helps suppliers like you sell greater volume and a broader range of products into the UK Grocery Industry.

You and your team of up to 10 colleagues will develop a greater understanding of retail categories, how to interpret large scale data, plus both identify and land more retail opportunities than ever before.

Our custom 2+1 format Category Management workshop will quickly get you up to speed and up to date on all the latest opportunities in the UK Grocery retail marketplace.

We will solidify that training over a six month period so you and your team can dynamically enhance your understanding of not only product categories but also the critical factors affecting shoppers and retailers in 2018 and how you can work with UK Grocers to sell greater volume.

  • Understand Categories in Depth
  • Analyse & Interpret Big Data
  • Sticky Learning
  • World Class Tutors
  • ROI Guarantee

This is the only Category Management workshop independently accredited for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) by The CPD Standards Office. It has helped many suppliers to identify more opportunities and land more opportunities.

The demands on suppliers to understand the category, the shopper, analyse big data, identify opportunities, and land those opportunities at a fast pace have never been greater.

This Category Management training course comprises our custom 2+1 classroom days, six months apart, with additional support in between the training days specifically designed to help make the learning stick.

You will experience our unique MBM training method Sticky Learning ®, the course will be delivered by one of our experienced world class tutors that have worked in the UK Grocery Industry and our ROI guaranteed or your money back promise is included.

Built and refined over a decade, this unique training course is designed to meet the specific and challenging demands of sales & marketing teams of suppliers to the big four UK supermarkets. It will improve the way Learners identify opportunities within their category, and increase their ability to gain buy-in from buyers to accept & implement their recommendations. In short, increase category sales.

The MBM Category Management Workshop Details

Ideal Learners

For Category Managers, Category Analysts, Account Managers, Account Executives, Category Marketers, and NPD Managers.

Category Management Workshop Duration

Our Sticky Learning ® unique training method enables Learners to learn more, learn more quickly, and learn more easily. Sticky Learning ® is a key part of the 6 month training course consisting of pre-work, our Learning To Learn 1/2 day training course, a Foundation 2 day training course, and an Advanced 1 day training course (6 months after the Foundation training course).

In between the Foundation training and the Advanced course, the Learner will be challenged to complete “Sticky Pieces”, which appeal to the “70:20:10” learning model. These are desk based activities that will help you to change long term behaviours by identifying a habit that they wish to adopt to embed the new skill.

The Learner is also given:

Learning Objectives

By the end of this Category Management training the Learner will be able to:

  • Identify their current category competency framework level and what is required to move up the levels.
  • Identify more ways to interpret quantitative and qualitative data in order to identify more opportunities that drive category growth.
  • Communicate thoroughly the key principles of current Category Management.
  • Demonstrate new language that improves their Category Management credibility.
  • Better understand the shopper, the preparer and the eater, to ensure they are at the heart of their decisions.
  • Understand how to better implement opportunities that have measurable benefits for the shopper, the supermarket, and their business.

Training Topics Covered

These three days, six months apart (2+1), will help you to be the first supplier called by the supermarkets when buyers need to increase sales, gain category insights, or understand the shopper better.

This Category Management training course will quickly and easily help you to expertly understand a category, identify opportunities, and show how to successfully land those opportunities with your supermarkets. The sessions follow our tried and tested “Funnel Process”, covering all the core topics as detailed below.

To help you absorb this crucial training, we will start with a quick refresh of “Learning To Learn” before  deep diving into the core Category Management process.

1. Agree Category Targets

  • 3 Legged Stool including overview and history of Category Management
  • KPI and KRA/s
  • Competency Frameworks
  • Category Strategy and Tactics

2. Understand Your Shopper

  • Pen Portraits and ‘SIM’ shopper insight mapping
  • Purchase Decision Hierarchies
  • Category Segmentation
  • Data sources and metrics

3. Know Your Supermarket

  • Retailer Visions & Strategies
  • Category Roles
  • In-store operations
  • Digital – online and social media

4. Turn Analysis & Understanding Into Opportunities

  • Range, Availability and Promotions
  • Identifying opportunities from the left brain
  • Identifying opportunities from the right brain

5. Sell £ Opportunities

  • Trust Model
  • Define your end in mind
  • Know your audience
  • 7 Steps for Essential preparation

6. Land Opportunities

  • Communication Skills
  • Influencing Skills
  • In Store Opportunities

7. Evaluate and Improve

  • Scorecarding
  • Dashboards
  • Evaluation Tools
  • Store feedback, supply chain etc.

Making the Learning Stick

Hopefully our signature term “Sticky Learning ®” has intrigued you, whilst also giving you a clear sense of what it is about and the direct benefits to your bottom line.

In short, Sticky Learning® is our own unique method that we have developed to help Learners Realise more of what they have learnt, be able to Recall more of what they have learnt, and Retain more of what they have learnt.

This unique training method also includes “habit formation” as a big part of helping Learners to use more of what they have learnt.

This is good for our clients because it means that the money they spend on improving Category Management and ultimately sales with us is a better investment because the learning is used for longer.

Learners Per Course 

10 Learners because this drives enough discussion between the learners to explore the skill well, whilst not too many that any one Learner gets ‘lost’ in the debate.

If you do not have up to 10 people please checkout our one on one custom Executive Coaching, which can help just you to learn this skill.


  • £225 per Learner per day.
  • The total cost for up to 10 Learners for the training course of 3 days, including sticky pieces, and the 5 level evaluation ‘Chain of Evidence’, is £6,750, plus vat.
  • Either held on-site at the client’s premises, or a an off-site venue can booked and charged back to the client.


“Following my attendance of the Category Management course I picked up valuable skills and techniques that I have been able to put into practise within my category teams. It has really strengthened my credentials and we are starting to see some real results.  The courses are relaxed, informative, modern in delivery, whilst at the same time challenging.

I’d recommend them if you are looking for personal development needs for individuals or your teams and looking to engage and challenge your categories, you won’t be disappointed.”

Carrie Smith, Customer Marketing Manager, Continental Fine Foods.

For more testimonials, please visit our MBM written testimonials or video testimonials.

MBM’s World Class Tutors

Your tutors for the Category Management course are Andy Palmer and Darren A. Smith. They have combined careers of over 45 years.

Andy has spent almost equal time between the UK big four supermarkets, as supplier to the UK big four supermarkets and his time with MBM.

Darren’s is a game of two halves; 12 years as a Category Manager at one of the big four UK supermarkets and then 12 years managing as the founder of Making Business Matter.

They both ensure a relaxed, experienced and fun training environment where Learners are challenged & encouraged.

Measuring Return on Investment

There are many evaluation methods for training, each trying to find the holy grail of positive return on investment (ROI). We use Donald Kirkpatrick’s four level training evaluation model as a base because it has stood the test of time, since 1953.

Level 1: Reaction: How did the Learners react to the training?

Level 2: Learning: How much learning did the Learners get?

Level 3: Behaviour: How much have the Learners used the learning?

Level 4: Results: How much effect did the Learner’s learning have on performance?

Few training providers measure the return on investment beyond the level 1 reaction. We have added one further level:

Level 5: Sponsor: How much did we achieve the sponsor’s objectives?

Read more about our 5 level evaluation tool and see an example report here – ‘Chain of Evidence’.

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