In brief

In brief

  • Sales organizations have been radically disrupted over the past two years. Those that had previously embraced digital had an advantage.
  • Consumer behaviors changed and online shopping increased, forcing CPGs to rethink their routes to market and outlet engagement strategies.
  • Many CPGs have a renewed focus on strengthening customer engagement, irrespective of a direct or indirect route-to-market model.
  • We discuss how companies can drive engagement with a holistic, customer-centric RTM model using digital, customer service, and salespeople.


Most CPG companies are operating with dated route to market (RTM) strategies or have implemented RTM technologies in a piecemeal way without looking holistically at the picture. Accenture’s research and experience confirm that CPG companies with top quartile sales and profit growth are pursuing a Liquid Outlet Engagement Strategy—an integrated, customer-centric RTM model where customers enjoy a personalized, seamless experience across Face (salesperson), Voice (customer service), and Digital (B2B technology platform).

"If you haven’t had an expansive route to market, you are going to be exposed. The challenge is: How quickly can we learn and shape the business for the changing market? That will be the secret to our future success."

— CSO, Global Food Company

Three common stumbling blocks

1. Not understanding the customer

“The customer is always right”, but we often don’t know what they really want.

2. Working in silos

“Digital” is here, but “face” and “voice” are not integrated.

3. Overlooking Change Management

“Terminator” is an option, but “Ironman” is better.

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What does success look like?

Companies need new ways to build and own relationships with customers. This requires identifying the critical points along the purchase journey, understanding the customers’ pain points and identifying solutions to maximise customer satisfaction and service. Digitalization needs to be an enabler of that strategy, as well as data-driven processes.

Ultimately, the outlet engagement approach should include an integrated face, voice and digital engagement strategy that embeds the voice of customers as a standard way of working, is interlinked with technology platforms and data science, and engages all elements of the organization.

Build customer relationships based on insights

High performers are 2 times more likely to have implemented a granular, targeted approach to servicing outlets.

High performers are 2X more likely to have implemented a granular, targeted approach to servicing outlets

Commit to action now

This approach is not simple. Yet, companies need to act now because multiple players are already pushing into this space. Customers will likely have limited tolerance for numerous different digital tools across different platforms, with multiple chat bots or retailer apps. However, by strategically and holistically approaching RTM, companies can help drive revenues, improve productivity and generate greater customer satisfaction.

Martin Adkins

Managing Director – Accenture Song, Sales and Commerce


Kaus Rajnish

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Consumer Goods & Services


David Holtmann

Managing Director, Accenture Strategy Consumer Goods Lead – Germany, Switzerland and Austria

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