What is a Certified Professional Manufacturers Representative (CPMR)?
Presented by the Manufacturers’ Representatives Education Research Foundation (MRERF), through its educational subsidiary, the Institute for Professional Advancement.
Third party Certification builds a better salesperson and a better rep firm.
Graduates with third party certification are unified by the common body of knowledge. Participants have taken positive action to enhance their professional development, are committed to life-long learning and continual improvement of their companies. Customers, factories and distributors understand the value of certified vendors.
The fields of law, medicine and accounting are examples of other professions that use third party certification.
The CPMR designation identifies independent manufacturers representatives that exemplify the highest standard within the sales profession. The CPMR concept was begun by forward-thinking reps. And MRERF, the Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation was created to bring the certification program to life. The result: improved independent manufacturers representatives.
The question then became, “What should agency owners/managers do regarding the sales professionalism and improvement of our field sales force?” The answer: Certified Sales Professional, otherwise known as CSP! About CSP …
Salespeople attend CSP because they want to be one of the best in their market and their industry. They refer others to the program because it is a course that makes a significant impression on them.
Requirements to maintain certification, including continuing education and the annual Certification Fee, reflect the requirements of the International Association for Continuing Education and Training; and encourage life-long learning.
CPMR: The Distinguishing Mark
The letters CPMR, after the name of an individual, signal that the person who bears that mark has made a commitment to the highest standards of business professionalism. Completion of a three-level executive education course must be attended and examinations passed to earn the CPMR designation.
CPMR designees have taken the positive action to enhance professionalism and productivity for themselves,their firm, their principals, and their customers. Reasons are both internal and external – to improve their own performance and knowledge base, but also to demonstrate to business colleagues the extra degree of commitment that certification confers.
Just as professionals in other disciplines, such as accounting or finance, pursue education to establish proficiency and increase business acumen, so too the CPMR has engaged in a course of study and examination. Earning the designation demonstrates drive for excellence beyond the ordinary. The CPMR designation provides positive assurance to principals and customers alike that the individual exemplifies the highest standard within the sales profession.
What CPMR Certification Entails
The CPMR program is a three-year educational program for seasoned owners and managers of sales agencies. Candidates for certification spend a week on campus at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, USA for three annual sessions. University professors & consultants, providing a high level of instruction in all areas of study, teach academic classes. In addition, study groups are encouraged offering a high level of interaction with peers from many industries and locations around the world. Business management skills are enhanced making participants more productive and effective in their organizations and on behalf of customers and principals. The curriculum covers the following core subject areas:
Strategic Planning & Change Management
Globalization & World Economics
Sales & Marketing Management< Customer Service & Solution Management Communication & Presentation Skills Succession and Valuation Planning
After certification has been granted, annual continuing education credits must be earned to maintain the designation.
How the Customer Benefits from Working with a CPMR
The customer has the assurance that the CPMR knows how to manage his or her own business. They are aware of the importance of well-trained personnel who can supply vital customer services at the level they need and deserve.
You know that the CPMR has taken extra steps to demonstrate commitment to the territory, the industry, the factories they represent and the customers they serve.
You know that sales calls will be doubly productive, both because they will cover a group of related products in which you are interested, and because the presenter has been trained to use your time efficiently.
You know that you are dealing with someone who subscribes to the CPMR Code of Ethics, calling for the highest standards of integrity, confidentiality, and excellence.
How the Principal Benefits from Working with a CPMR
The principal has the assurance that the CPMR is committed to creating a total quality sales and marketing firm. Serving their principals and mutual customers with high standards of professionalism is a mark of a CPMR managed company.
The CPMR has demonstrated the organizational management skills to participate in the demanding certification program while still maintaining the orderly conduct of business.
The CPMR managed company has demonstrated continuity and stability in the past, and has taken affirmative action to assure it will continue into the future.
The CPMR managed company also understands the importance of providing solutions to your mutual customers by using portfolio synergies on your behalf.
The CPMR managed company subscribes to the stringent requirements of the CPMR Code of Ethics.
How the Participant Benefits from Becoming a CPMR
By seeking and earning the CPMR designation you benefit from the elevation of respect that the CPMR mark provides you and your profession. As a business manager you enhance your own knowledge base and skill, making yourself a more effective executive, trainer and sales person.
During the three years of the executive education program you develop a network of peers from many industries. That peer network is a perfect forum to discuss trends and issues impacting your profession and, jointly, find appropriate solutions to challenges.
By earning the CPMR designation, you provide business contacts an unbiased third party testimonial to your expertise as a business professional.
Above all, you have the satisfaction of knowing you are a leader. You are in the vanguard of your profession.
How the Certification Program Operates
The certification program for manufacturers’ representatives, brokers and agents was inaugurated in 1989, following seven years of research and development. The program is managed by the Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF), a not-for-profit organization sponsored by more than 30 manufacturers’ representative associations in a variety of industries.
MRERF mission: To instill and enhance public awareness of the value of independent multiple-line selling organizations–with the involvement of the business and academic communities–through research, education and professional certification.
MRERF also develops programs and resources to improve the effectiveness of constituent association members. Manufacturer resources are also published by MRERF. Additionally, MRERF grants the Certified Sales Professional (CSP) designation.
For further information go to www.mrerf.org or contact the MRERF office at 303.463.1801.