In the world of customer success, Quarterly Business Review (QBR) aims to understand the desired outcomes and potential of the business. QBR is a great way for customer success teams to review, strategize expansion plans, and prepare for any challenges that the organization may face.
The Quarterly Business Review is one of the most important activities a Customer Success Manager must perform to offer value for their clients. So we came up with tips on how CSMs can nail your next QBR.
What is a Quarterly Business Review?
A Quarterly Business Review or QBR is a discussion meeting that you have with your clients on a quarterly basis. The focal point of the Quarterly Business Meeting revolves around the business of your clients, what can be done to escalate the growth of the business. It aims to understand the desired outcomes and potentials of the business. Making recommendations accordingly based on the understanding of the desired outcomes of the business. As Customer Success Managers, you will act as a business advisor to the clients and customers in guiding them towards success.
Here are some tips and best practices to run a successful QBR:
Know who the attendees are
The big question to ask is, who should attend the QBRs? Opening up the meeting to leaders from sales, product, and marketing, as well as your customer success team members, can encourage the discussion and bring more points of view to the table.
Prepare your materials in advance
This may involve compiling information for CSMs on current accounts and it could mean setting up their presentation and analysis for the team members and other speakers. Ensure that this not only focuses on the past year but also the year ahead.
Set a clear agenda
Starting a QBR without a clear set of targets would not be an efficient use of anyone’s time. It is very important that you keep your QBR meetings within the timeframe.
Encourage attendees to participate
Don’t just invite members of your customer success teams. You can invite people from the client-side to participate. Give them a part of the agenda to present or to discuss shared successes. Let every participant know what you expect from them in advance. Make them feel that they are part of this activity.
- Develop a contingency plan
Plan for any technical problems which can arise in advance. Check the approach with the team before the meeting. Be sure to send invites, with instructions on how to attend the meeting a few weeks in advance.
Create a visually engaging presentation
Keeping the audience interested is a big challenge for any presentation. Provide them with well-designed and professional slides to keep them engaged. If you need a basic QBR template, here are some slides that you can download for free.
Focus on the Positives
Highlight successes rather than dwelling on any shortcomings. Turn problems into conversations about solutions.
Conduct a Recap of the Presentation
It is very important that everyone should be on the same page. A recap can serve as a quick way for them to appreciate what was accomplished in the QBR.
Give a chance for the participants to raise some questions and be sure to address these during the meeting.
Provide Copies from the Session
Give copies of the presentation, screenshots, and notes from the session.
Ask for Feedback
It is essential to ask for critiques or observations about the session. For instance, what did they like and/or not like about conducting the QBR? How can you make the experience better? Would they prefer that future QBRs be conducted remotely or on-site?
Schedule the next QBR
Don’t leave the meeting without setting up the next QBR. This shows that you intend to follow everything discussed and that you will deliver results by the time you meet again.
There is always that urge from clients and customers to know what’s next with their journey with you. Quarterly Business reviews make customers feel that they are being valued by keeping them well informed of the status and products that they are using. Conducting QBRs confirms that you are the perfect partner for them who always thinks ahead in keeping them on the right track. A partner who always prepares a plan to help them innovate and reach their desired outcomes.
As Customer Success Managers, do the extra mile you need to make sure that you offer additional ways to interact with clients not just rely solely upon business reviews so that you can better understand how the customer is doing and offer value so that you don’t have to do it on a quarterly basis. Business reviews are not just the only way to reach out to your clients and make them feel valued. You can always call and check the status of clients and schedule a sit-down or zoom meeting to discuss ways and strategies to improve and develop their business. Don’t just stop after having them sign a purchase or a subscription agreement, your role as a CSM does not stop there, you are on the same journey together towards success.
Create a cadence for your strategic customers and your high-touch customers in a manner that aligns with what the customers desire their experience to be like. Don’t push QBR just because it’s a requirement or part of your engagement model to do it on a quarterly basis if it doesn’t work with the client then don’t conduct a QBR for that certain client. Always look at the bigger picture and assess the situations and the status of your clients to clearly identify what they really need in order to achieve their goals and desired outcome for their business.
How can CSM Practice Help!
Our experienced team is ready to help you design an effective and scalable Customer Success practice that’s fully-aligned with best practices including proper and world-class assistance in your QBR journeys.
CSM Practice is here to help you tailor an appropriate customer experience and maximize value to retain more customers, promote expansions, and grow advocacy.
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