Chapter 2: Digital investments streamline account management

Because of the disruption in supply and customer demand during 2020, CG companies needed to stay proactive with key accounts while building relationships with new suppliers and vendors to get merchandise to their retail partners. Based on our survey, investments in telesales, digital customer service, and trade promotion management were prioritized the most in 2020.


Telesales paid dividends for CG companies to manage their route to market in an environment where agility mattered and new relationships and contractual agreements became necessary in a remote environment. If we take a look at the best performers during 2020, the companies that implemented telesales early benefited the most, with 73% of CG leaders that implemented this capability prior to the pandemic seeing more than a 25% growth in sales.

Digital customer service

Similar to telesales, companies that outperformed on sales also implemented digital service capabilities to handle the exceptional jump in B2B customer inquiries and service needs. Key digital capabilities such as self-service knowledge bases, chatbots, and mobile services were deployed to provide the guidance that B2B customers needed during a hectic year.

Telesales and digital customer service

Trade promotion management

When it comes to account management trends, we were surprised to find that many CG companies shifted heavily into trade spend during 2020, regardless of how they performed sales-wise during the year. Given the increase in spending and the changes in consumer shopping behavior, we are watching closely how trade programs are managed in the future.

Industry-wide increase in trade promotion spend


Chapter 3: Retail and field execution goes virtual

Find out what CG leaders are saying about the future of retail and field execution.

Get timely updates and fresh ideas delivered to your inbox.