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On Your Feet crafts a winning client strategy with Copper

Refining their consulting firm’s relationship-building and sales strategy using Copper

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On Your Feet is a Portland-based consulting firm specializing in professional development and skill-building through improvisational theater. The team has been using Copper since 2018, and growing the whole time. We caught up with Brad Robertson, Partner at On Your Feet, and Beau Brousseau, their Operations Manager, to explore how Copper has impacted their client management and business operations. Here are a few highlights:

  • Copper serves as their one-stop rolodex for quickly reviewing their history with different clients

  • They use two pipelines to track business processes: Business Development and Job Delivery

  • They review contact ownership for visibility into team members’ activities and the volume of new relationships they’re generating

  • The team uses tasks to collaborate closely with other team members, including the company bookkeeper, to keep accounts up to date as jobs evolve

  • They’ve added custom fields and tags for easier contact segmentation, including tiered categories for clients, and a checkbox for people that live in the area labeled “Invite to local events”

  • They review Won Opportunities to inform their business development strategy on the what types of clients are the best fit; and Lost Opportunities to identify potential areas for re-engagement

A conversation with Brad and Beau from On Your Feet

Here’s the consulting firm’s story, in their own words:

Copper: Brad, can you tell us about On Your Feet and its unique approach?

Brad: On Your Feet has been around since 1998. We focus on training and events with a twist of improvisational theater. We believe it's an improv world out there — so we help professionals and business leaders develop the skills to “think on their feet.” COVID was a big pivot for us, moving more into virtual workshops and engagements, but we saw it as an offer to seize new opportunities. We discovered how to create a truly interactive training virtually, and it’s actually enabled us to reach an even wider audience. The cool thing is that it’s made our services more accessible for companies around the world who wouldn’t have been able to work with us otherwise.

What prompted the shift to Copper, and how did it align with your needs?

Brad: Back in 2018, we’d just migrated to Google from Microsoft and we needed a CRM that integrated seamlessly with it. We used to use Highrise, but it was no longer the best option for us. We wanted to modernize our processes, and Copper emerged as an ideal choice. It’s a very useful tool for our distributed team, because it’s easier to keep track of what everyone’s working on when we’re not in the same place at the same time.

Beau, as the Operations Manager, how do you ensure Copper works effectively for your team?

Beau: I manage the Copper pipelines and make sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Because we have a lot of creatives on our team, organization doesn’t tend to be their strong suit. So I help make sure everything is input into Copper. The goal is, if someone does a deep-dive on an account or project, everything is there. I own the master calendar for the company too — and those Google Calendar events are tied into our Copper records for high-level visibility.

One super benefit of Copper is that it serves as our one-stop rolodex, eliminating the need to ask around for contacts. Before we started using it, each consultant’s contacts lived on their individual computers — so we had to take extra steps to go and ask someone for a contact’s phone number or email address, and we relied heavily on each individual for the history with that client. Now it’s all accessible inside Copper.

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One super benefit of Copper is that it serves as our one-stop rolodex, eliminating the need to ask around for contacts. Now it’s all accessible inside Copper.
Beau Brousseau, On Your Feet Lead Facilitator

Can you describe how your team uses Copper on a daily basis?

Brad: We operate two main pipelines in Copper, Business Development and Job Delivery. We love how we can customize it using our own language in the system. So for example we’ve defined the names of the pipeline stages to reflect our own processes. After a proposal is won, we have an automation set up so an opportunity automatically gets moved from the Business Development pipeline to the Job Delivery pipeline, which we use for project management until a job is completed.

And on the people management side, it’s been helpful too. I have more high-level visibility into team activities. I can easily see who’s driving the most sales, and who might need to be doing more. Because our work is all about creating and maintaining relationships, to us it’s really important who owns a relationship.

I like to look at the breakdown of who owns what relationships in Copper to get a snapshot of the state of equity across our firm. This gives me a snapshot of who’s pulling their weight on the team, who’s adding new relationships frequently and is following up with them regularly. By looking at the date someone was last contacted, I can get a good sign of the health of our client relationships.

Beau: I collaborate closely with our bookkeeper in Copper to keep track of changes in scope on jobs. We’ll assign each other tasks as a way to keep the other person up to date. Say a client adds an additional virtual session to a job, then I create a quick task pinging our bookkeeper to update the price on the invoice.

Another way we’ve customized our account is by adding additional fields to a contact record. For example, for contacts that are local here in Portland, we’ve added a checkbox labeled “Invite to local events.” Occasionally, we’ll plan an in-person event and we want to make sure that we invite all of our current clients and prospects who are in the area. This makes it really easy to filter those contacts.

How has Copper influenced your client engagement and business development strategies?

Brad: Copper has given us more intelligence on what drives our success. It’s been really insightful to review our Opportunities and the dollar amount each job is bringing in. When we see that three out of eleven opportunities are contributing 75% of our revenue for a single quarter, it makes our decision clear to focus our energy on acquiring those types of clients.

It’s also helped us refine our approach to business development. For 10 years, our strategy simply involved going back through old client emails and figuring out who to reach back out to. It worked, but it was time consuming and not very efficient. Copper allows us to be more sophisticated about that. Now, I can simply go in and pull up our list of clients, see who we haven’t engaged with lately, and reach out. This also helps us make sure that valuable client relationships don’t slip through the cracks after a job is completed.

Something we’ve started doing recently is revisiting Lost Opportunities, which is a new and beneficial approach for us. In a few cases, we would discover that there was a missed opportunity or maybe simply the timing wasn’t right; and this prompted us to get back in touch with the contact and potentially reopen an opportunity.

Beau: On my end, Copper really helps in maintaining a deep history with each contact. We used to hold these team status meetings where everyone went around and shared an update on who they’re meeting with and what they’re working on. Copper has pretty much eliminated these meetings. Now we have a much more streamlined process in place for managing and nurturing relationships, and there’s clear visibility into what everyone is working on.

Are there any specific features of Copper that stand out for On Your Feet?

Brad: The biggest value feature is the Google Workspace integration. We use the Gmail extension to pull in leads directly to Copper, and the Google Drive integration automatically connects proposals and files to the right records in our system.

We also really like the ability to categorize contacts with custom tags. We have a tiering system for clients to keep track of our highest-value clients that need those extra touches, so we’ve added categories like Top 15/Top 75 tier clients, and then we have different contact types for other types of people in our network, like “Emerging Client,” “Connector” and “Potential Client” for people we want to keep tabs on and maintain relationships with. Then we can easily filter on these tags when we need to, or we’re planning a specific type of campaign or event.

Finally, what measurable impacts has Copper had on your business?

Brad: Copper has shifted us from a less structured business development approach to a more sophisticated method of managing contacts and opportunities. It’s not just about tracking sales; it’s about understanding the health of our relationships and strategically focusing our efforts.

Beau: The system has really streamlined our operations. It’s significantly reduced the time we spend on administrative tasks and allowed us to focus more on our clients and growth strategies.

Copper has shifted us to a more sophisticated method of managing contacts and opportunities. It’s not just about tracking sales; it’s about understanding the health of our relationships and strategically focusing our efforts.
Brad Robertson, On Your Feet Partner

Looking ahead with On Your Feet

As a team of creative consultants, Copper satisfied On Your Feet’s need for a flexible, easy-to-navigate client relationship platform. “For visual people, if you can’t see it, it’s not there. We like to be able to see everything on one screen, and Copper does that for us,” explains Beau. Here’s a list of the top Copper features the team uses on the regular:

  • Gmail integration to automatically pull client communications into Copper

  • Google Drive integration to attach client files to Copper records

  • Pipelines for new business and renewals

  • Custom tags for contact types

  • Tasks for team collaboration

We look forward to seeing what new opportunities await the team in the years to come.

If you’re a service-centric business looking to enhance your client relationships, Copper may be the right fit. Sign up for a free, 14-day trial, no credit card needed.

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