QBRs for All

Quarterly Business Reviews are not only for the top segment of your client base, but also can be done on a smaller scale for clients that require less formality. A QBR meeting is a special session and involves extra effort and time, invested by a company and their client, to measure their progress over a previous set time, and preview goals for the next section. Customer Success Managers or department executives are usually responsible for facilitating these meetings.

Preparation before a QBR is a must. Everything needs to be planned or structured, right from what is going to be said during the meeting, to formulating presentations that display past activities, highlight key metrics, and forecast future planning. Even after the meeting, it’s important to follow up with the clients, and discuss any issues that were overlooked, before closing the discussion.

Key Elements of Every QBR

  1. Demonstrating the value your customer is getting from your product
  2. Reviewing and assessing how successful you have been in achieving previous goals
  3. Setting new goals for the next quarter
  4. Making sure your customers still believe and trust your product to achieve their key business objectives

6 Tips to Focus on While Preparing for a QBR

1. QBR Agenda

It’s very important to keep only relevant members in the account involved or engaged in the Quarterly Business Review. Let the guest list include only essential personnel and executives from both sides: the company and client. An agenda has to be created and shared with all the attendees before the meeting.

Equal participation is expected from both your company and your client. Notify your client about what you’d like to hear from them. Specifying the topic for discussion will help the attendees to come prepared with their responses or even questions. The strategic topics that could potentially be discussed should be researched in-depth, with graphics or a presentation that should be supported with graphs or metrics. Extra focus should be made on areas like the need to adjust goals per changing market conditions and so on. The time duration for the QBR should also be specified in the agenda, as these meetings are not supposed to be long, but instead just cover high-level details.

2. Involve All Levels of the CS Department

All individuals who have contributed to the health of the account should participate in the QBR preparation, as everyone has a role to play in the success of their customer, and each one knows something particular about their interaction. A QBR is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship with the customer, show your customer how they are gaining value from your product, and create alignment on the plan of action for next quarter.

3. Measuring Growth

Three months is ample time to see whether new processes are effective, and allow you to demonstrate real growth potential. A QBR is the ideal time for your company’s key stakeholders to analyze last quarter’s results. It’s a great time to bring ROI into the picture and correlate that success to your product using hard metrics. The goal in each QBR is to have an honest conversation with your customers that helps both parties to figure out what worked, and re-evaluate those that didn’t, and work together on improving the processes that didn’t shape out. Shorter and power packed have more impact and give the impression of fast effective success, so customers feel like they have invested in the right product.

4. Speak Out

Present benchmarking data, as every company is excited to see how quickly they are scaling in comparison to their competitors. Mention campaigns that performed well in the last quarter, and cover new and innovative processes, whether they are in the initial stage or nearing completion and talk about their benefits. Give an estimation of where your high-touch customers are on the roadmap, and the journey ahead to meet their desired goals. Don’t shy away from mentioning the unfulfilled promises, but do express that you are concerned and have registered the issues that are important to your customers.

5. Lessons Learned

Along with celebrating success in some areas, be brave enough to learn from the misses and the losses from wrong decisions. Come prepared with a plan of action to set right all that went wrong. It is a great idea to conduct a review before the quarter ends to prepare and assess progress.

6. Towards the End

Schedule the next QBR before leaving the meeting. This makes the customers believe that you are keen towards delivering the things discussed by the next meeting. A QBR can be seen as an opportunity to become a business advisor for your users, as the meeting gives you plenty of insights into your customer’s business. It highlights their pain points, expectations, and future plans. With all this input, you are better placed to strategically deliver more value.

Brian Warren

Head of Customer Success, Strikedeck