It’s all about the CPR!
Putting our CPR spreadsheet at the heart of your sales and marketing process will keep your business focused on the highest value prospecting activities. But the acronym is not the one a Google search would give you. Rather, it means Customers, Prospects, and Referral partners. It is a means to focus on a strategic view of your most important prospecting activities.
These are the most important people for any business, and this sheet is a summary of all the activities you plan to conduct with them, at what time and date every interaction will happen, and with whom it will happen.
For all businesses, but small to medium-sized ones in particular, it’s a good idea to share our CPR tool with your leadership team, so you strategically coordinate your interactions with key contacts. Too often I have seen major referral partners forgotten, just because a less-strategic client was at the right place at the right time and got those tickets to the playoff game. For most of our clients, this is easily a single sheet with most of the activity dedicated to 10 or fewer “A-list” contacts. Maybe you’ll have between 20 to 40 in the “B-list,” and all of the rest will be “C-listers.” The ABC designations are simply about prioritizing management time.
The CPR is particularly useful for business that have a small number of major accounts, where you make large investments of time and effort in each one, and where it is important to plan a strategy of interacting with those accounts on a regular basis for the purpose of “Strategic Account Reviews” and other interactions. The CPR will supplement, rather than replace, your CRM – customer relationship management – process and other sales and marketing software. In fact, it could simply be a report that is generated by your CRM system.
The 4-step process to customize your CPR…
Categorize your business contacts. We recommend designating them A, B, or C. A’s are top accounts and important referral sources for new business. These can be existing clients, highly desired prospects, or referral partners that consistently guide profitable business opportunities your way. Referral partners are included because they supply valuable leads even if they never become clients. By their nature, they are rare but valuable partners. They are the ones that have the potential to bring you the most new business by a wide margin.
B’s are loyal contacts that are growing but not providing game-changing volume or referrals. (A referral networking group could be in this category as a single entry in your spreadsheet, and you would track regular meetings and interactions with members.) C’s are those less-strategic accounts, profitable, but not yet significant sources of new business. This is not a tool for listing individual C customers, but rather as a category and the activities associated with that relationship type.
Review your entire customer list and apply the ABC criteria using your judgement of each case history to be sure only a small and manageable number of clients are in the A group. This is best done as a sales/leadership team activity to make sure nothing is missed and to get “buy-in.” The Pareto principle (aka the “80/20 rule”) will apply here. Typically, 80% of your revenue and/or profits comes from just 20% of your clients. Remember the CPR is dynamic, and you will likely re-designate contacts between categories as you plan activities and assign tasks.
Continue the team exercise by listing all the current interactions that you have with each client, prospect, and referral partner. Using the “Proactive Prospecting Template” from your Client Builder Academy
materials, or other tools, generate ideas for potential activities, evaluating current business practices and generating new ones. These activities might include dinners, golf outings, fishing trips, business review meetings, lunch-and-learns, etc. Populate the columns of the spreadsheet with these activities and assign them commensurate with the value of the contact to your business.
Assign team members to each interaction. Be sure to connect with the appropriate level at the customer end. Synchronize and adjust your interaction calendar based on your capacity and feedback from the customer. A single line in the spreadsheet can be dedicated to each salesperson and contact pairing. Category C will likely have 80% of your customer listings, so one entry to represent them all is OK, as long as in your CRM system you plan at least one direct contact with each customer in your business cycle. (Note that usually the activities for the C category, like staying in touch with a newsletter, may also apply to the A’s and B’s). You will also likely want to create detailed account action plans for each customer.
The main purpose of our CPR tool is to give you a strategic overview of the significant activities that are taking place with parties who are critical to the success of your company.