Sales organizations of consumer products companies have traditionally focused on satisfying retailers, but in the digital era, it’s consumers who rule. Consequently, consumer products companies and retailers are caught up in a tug-of-war over who “owns” the consumer. However, empowered consumers aren’t about to let anyone control them. According to this IBM Center for Applied Insights study – involving 356 senior sales executives at consumer products companies spanning 10 product categories – the most successful firms realize the best way of winning consumers’ business is to serve them as discrete individuals. This involves their sales organizations putting the focus on consumers, not just their retail customers, collaborating more extensively with suppliers and colleagues in other functions, and having enough analytical horsepower to make better sales decisions.