Category Management Training

Course Outline

The demands of suppliers have never been greater. They have to understand the Category. Understand the shopper. Analyse a lot of data. Identify opportunities. And land those opportunities FAST. We are here to help. This is the only CPD accredited Category Management training course. It has helped many suppliers to identify more Category opportunities and, more importantly, land more opportunities.

Category Management Training

This is a Category Management training Course of 1+1+1 classroom days, spaced over 4 months. Specifically designed for suppliers to the UK Grocery Industry, it includes support in between training days designed to make the learning stick. Furthermore, you will experience our unique training method Sticky Learning ®.
The course will be delivered by a world class tutor that has worked in the UK Grocery Industry. In addition, like all of our training courses, it includes our ROI guarantee.
Built and refined over a decade, this unique training course is designed to meet the specific and challenging demands of sales and marketing teams of suppliers to the big four UK supermarkets.
It will improve the way Learners identify opportunities within their Category. Moreover, it will increase their ability to gain buy-in from buyers to accept and implement their recommendations. In short, it will help Category Managers to increase their Category sales.

The MBM Category Management Funnel

This Category Management training course follows our tried and tested ‘Funnel Process’ of Category Management.
We devised the funnel to help Category Managers focus, and ‘funnel down’, on what is important. The idea is that by following this Category Management process you will develop greater shopper understanding. Consequently, this will help increase the landing rate of opportunities that reach the store.
This covers the following topics:
1. Agree Category Targets
2. Understand Your Shopper
3. Know Your Supermarket
4. Turn Analysis & Understanding Into Opportunities
5. Sell £ Opportunities To Supermarket
6. Land Opportunities In-Store
7. Evaluate & Improve

Learning Objectives

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

Know how to identify and agree S.M.A.R.T. Category targets.
Understand their shopper, their preparer and their eater much better, to ensure that all are at the heart of their Category decisions.
Know their supermarkets, to make sure they can align their Category recommendations to their needs.
Turn analysis into opportunities, with more ways to interpret quantitative and qualitative data.
Sell the opportunities more effectively with better ways to engage the buyer.
Land more opportunities in-store and for longer through a better understanding of store operations.
Know how to evaluate and improve each project in order to make the next Category opportunity more successful.
Hopefully, the term ‘Sticky Learning ®’ has intrigued you. Whilst you probably also guessed a sense of what it is about.
In short, Sticky Learning ® is our own unique learning method. A method that we have developed to help Learners Realise more of what they have learnt. To help them be able to Recall more of what they have learnt. And Retain more of what they have learnt. Furthermore, in 2016 we upgraded this unique training method to include habits formation. We feel this has become a big part of helping Learners to use more of what they have learnt.
This is good for our clients. It means that the money they spend with us is better invested than with other training providers. This is because, by following our methods, the learning is put to use for longer.

Making the Learning Stick

Your tutor for the Category Management training course will be Andy Palmer

Andy Palmer:

Andy has split his career almost equally. Initially, working in management for a UK big four supermarket. Then, working at a supplier to the UK big four supermarkets. More recently, Andy has spent the past 14 years as a director of MBM.
He is a qualified HBDI ® practitioner, which means that he understands how people prefer to think, communicate, make decisions and learn. Moreover, he understands the psychology of learning retention, making him an ideal tutor.
Andy works as part of the team enabling suppliers to UK supermarkets to secure more profitable wins through people development. He specialises in Category Management Training. Furthermore, he has created the Category Management Scorecard. A tool which is used by many suppliers across the globe.

MBM really helped us to pinpoint the areas of Category understanding that offered us the greatest opportunities and then transformed how we talk about Category across our business. They are challenging and will ask difficult questions to get the best out of your team and the knowledge within. More importantly, the flexibility of their approach means the project is tailored precisely to your objectives and MBM will keep you on track throughout. Most importantly their retail experience helped us distil a complicated and broad project into simple, meaningful and actionable pieces which buyers understood and welcomed. Project Clear was hard work, great fun and genuinely business transformational”.

Tony WalshCategory Controller, Florette

Ideal Learners

Our Category Management training course is for: Category Managers, Category Analysts, Account Managers, Account Executives, Category Marketers, and NPD Managers.
We will soon be launching a ‘Category Management Association’ to create a forum for discussion. Plus, for members to be able to set a benchmark in the UK for Category Managers for what great looks like in the UK Grocery Industry.
10 Learners because this drives enough discussion between the learners to explore the skill well, whilst not too many that any single Learner gets ‘lost’ in the debate.
If you do not have up to 10 people please check out our 121 Executive Coaching, which can help just you to learn this skill.
Alternatively, contact us and we will do our best to tailor to your specific needs.

Learners Per Course

10 Learners

Training Topics Covered

Category Management training is over 3 (1+1+1) days, spaced over 4 months.

Our Category Management training will help the Learner become more valuable. We aim for them to be the first supplier called by the supermarket when the buyer needs to increase sales, gain Category insights, or understand the shopper better.
This training course will quickly and easily help the Learner to expertly understand a Category. Moreover, it will help them identify opportunities and show how to land those opportunities with their supermarkets.
After a briief refresh on ‘Learning to Learn’, the sessions will follow our tried and tested ‘Funnel Process’.
The main topics are:

1. Agree Category Targets:

Here, we discuss the 3 Legged Stool and give an overview and history of Category Management. In addition, we look at KPI and KRAsCompetency Frameworks, and Category Strategy and Tactics.

2. Understand Your Shopper:

To help understand the shopper, we use Pen Portraits and ‘SIM’ shopper insight mapping. In addition, in this section, we examine, Purchase Decision Hierarchies and Category Segmentation. Lastly, we look at different Data Sources and Metrics, discussing how to best interpret them.

3. Know Your Supermarket:

To help Learners ‘Know’ their supermarkets we take a look at Retailer Visions & Strategies. In addition, we discuss the different Category Roles and In-store operations. Lastly, we explore the role of Digital and Online and Social Media.

4. Turn Analysis & Understanding Into Opportunities:

Here, we discuss Range, Availability and Promotions. Additionally, we incorporate theory from our HBDI Training. This allows us to look at opportunities in a different way. For example, by identifying opportunities from the left brain and identifying opportunities from the right brain.

5. Sell £ Opportunities:

We look at a number of different aspects when it comes to the essential ‘Sell’ funnel layer. These include, the Trust Model, and 7 Steps for Essential Preparation. Furthermore, we help make sure all Learners Know Their Audience, and have a clearly defined End in mind.

6. Land Opportunities:

When ‘landing’ opportuniues, we encourage Learners to draw on other aspects of their soft skills. Namely, Communication Skills, and Influencing Skills. Lastly, we also discuss In-Store Opportunities.

7. Evaluate and Improve:

We are always looking to understand and improve. To this end, we encourage our Learners to do the same. We use a number of different Evaluation Tools for this. Including, Scorecarding and Dashboards. Furthermore, we encourage Feedback from the Store, Supply Chain(s) etc.

Interested in This Category Management Training Course?

Let us help you to sell it to your boss, because two heads are better than one!


£225 per Learner per day.

The total cost for up to 10 Learners for the 3-day Category Management training course is £6,750 plus vat. This includes sticky pieces, and the 5 level evaluation ‘Chain of Evidence’.
The training is held on-site at the client’s premises. Alternatively, we can organise an off-site venue and charge it back to the client.
There are many evaluation methods for training. Each tries to find the holy grail of return on investment. We use Donald Kirkpatrick’s four level training evaluation model as a base. Why? Because it has stood the test of time, since 1953.
1: Reaction: How did the Learners react to the training?
2: Learning: How much learning did the Learners get?
3: Behaviour: How much have the Learners used the learning?
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:
5: Sponsor: How much did we achieve the sponsor’s objectives?

Measuring Return on Investment

Training Course Duration

At MBM we no longer offer 1-day courses due to their limited effect.
This Category Management training course benefits from our Sticky Learning ® unique training method. This enables Learners to learn more, learn more quickly, and learn more easily.
Sticky Learning ® is a key part of the 4 month training course. It consists of pre-work, Learning To Learn 1/2 day training course, a Foundation day training course, an embedding day, and an Advanced 1 day training course (4 months after the Foundation training course).
In between the Foundation training course and the Advanced training course, the Learner will be challenged to complete ‘Sticky Pieces’. This appeals to the 70:20:10 learning model. These are desk-based activities that help the Learner to change their long term behaviour by identifying a habit that they wish to adopt to embed the new skill.
The Learner is also given:
1. Access to our skill specific and learning objective specific ‘Knowledge Vault’.
2. Email and telephone support throughout the 4-month training course.
3. An option to bolt on ‘Individual Coaching’ to support the Learner further.
4. An option to bolt on a 1/2 day ‘Annual Refresh’ to further enhance the learning in the future.

Book Now

Contact us to learn more about how Category Management training can help you.