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Art of the Quarterly Business Review

The quarterly business review is one of the best ways to create healthy, long-term relationships with customers. Learn about how to do it right.

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Art of the Quarterly Business Review

  1. 1. ART OF THE QBR
  2. 2. Every QBR should do four things
  3. 3. Reinforce the value the customer gets from your product. Review whether you met your goals for the previous quarter. Establish new goals. Establish exactly where you stand in your customer’s mind.
  4. 4. Let’s start by questioning the foundation of the QBR concept Why quarterly?
  5. 5. Three months is enough time to show progress – you can implement plans and show real results in this time period.
  6. 6. It’s short enough that neither you nor your customer are likely to miss big changes such a executive leadership swaps or business pivots (six months, for example, would allow more room for major changes).
  7. 7. It allows you to show progress without demanding a constant time commitment from your customer (companies have a hard enough time getting the right people in the room for internal monthly meetings).
  8. 8. Who should be in the room? ?
  9. 9. At a minimum: the primary day-to-day contact for the account. Ideally: the VP, director, or leader of the business unit associated with your product. Bonus points: C-level executive such as the CEO or CTO. Primary Contact VP, Director or LeaderCEO or CTO
  10. 10. Prep work
  11. 11. Give the customer a primer ahead of time: one way to do this is to review your deck with your day-to-day contact (assuming there will be other people in room) to make sure you’re on the same page.
  12. 12. The art
  13. 13. Start by reinforcing your value Talk about the good side of how your customer used your product in the past quarter and the ROI they got out of it. This is a great time to give qualitative anecdotes about value added and quantitative metrics.
  14. 14. Then review your progress against the goals you agreed upon. The idea is that you’ve set clear goals in your last QBR for both you and your customer. If one goal isn’t met, it isn’t reactive or defensive because you’re working to reach these benchmarks jointly.
  15. 15. Be down to earth and transparent about what you did well and what you didn’t, and invite feedback from the customer on those points as well.
  16. 16. Next, set goals for the following three months Establish what you’re both going to work on over the next three months, and what the intended results of that work are. This will mean you know exactly when you need to follow up with the customer or deliver on a certain request. 1 2 3
  17. 17. You should never have to go to your clients and say “Hey, how are you doing? How can I help you?” From the QBR, you’ll know exactly what they want, and you’ll have set a timeline and a plan follow ups over the next quarter to confer on progress.
  18. 18. Last, ask your customer where you stand By this point, you’ve talked candidly and planned for about an hour, and you’ve earned the right to ask something like “Hey, you’re up for renewal in six months. Is there anything you know today that would prevent you from doing that?” Don’t ask this with a quivering voice, or in any suggestive, seedy way. Just ask it – simply and clearly, and take the feedback you get to heart.
  19. 19. The extra perks
  20. 20. These meetings show the customer you care about them and that you’re willing to invest time in making their product experience better.
  21. 21. If the meeting goes well, it can be one of the few times it’s not awkward or pushy to ask the customer to be a promoter on your website, or to give a recommendation to a prospective customer.
  22. 22. It’s a great excuse to set aside a half an hour to have a working session on a new feature or a part of the product the customer isn’t using optimally. NEW
  23. 23. It’s one of the few times you get to talk about strategy rather than answer day-to-day tactical questions or field complaints. Use that to your advantage. Show the customer all the cool things you have in store in your product roadmap and learn as much as you can about their wants and needs long term.
  24. 24. So go forth and be an artist.

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The quarterly business review is one of the best ways to create healthy, long-term relationships with customers. Learn about how to do it right.


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