Delivering an Excellent Quarterly Business Review

By Ashley Hall

Ah yes, the Quarterly Business Review, or QBR. These are essentially the book report on your time partnering with a client. It’s been at least since a quarter since you started providing value, and now it’s time to showcase your progress and highlight opportunities for the future.

Why are QBRs important? They are the perfect opportunity for you to reinforce the value your company is providing, a time to tout some of the “wins” you’ve achieved with your customers, and a chance to strategically grow accounts. While lot of positives can come from a well-executed QBR, a lackluster meeting can lead to your client questioning the value you bring to the table.

Here are my tips for delivering a strategic and promising QBR.

1. Prepare

QBRs are always a bit simpler when you have worked with a client since the beginning of their partnership with your brand. The goals and metrics you decide on initially can provide you with a good outline for your QBR. If you inherited a client, then a QBR is a good time to reset expectations. Glean what you can from your predecessor and your CRM. Either way, review the progress of the client over the past quarter, pull relevant metrics and reports, and check on any outstanding issues.

2. Invite Executives

QBRs are the perfect time to pull in both internal and client-side leadership and provide them with visibility into your partnership. Be respectful of their time, and be sure to provide them a candid overview of successes and challenges so far. Having executives involved can help you get the resources you need to move things forward, and can set you up for success when renewal time rolls around.

3. Provide Data

Nothing speaks louder than metrics. Come to your QBR armed with data that highlight successes and provide insight into challenges. Be sure to have visuals like graphs and reports – more than half the population responds better to visual than verbal data. Always bring more information than you think you will need, that way you don’t get stumped by a tough question from leadership.

4. Discuss Performance

Be candid. Ask your client how they feel you’ve performed so far. This will give them the chance to provide you with honest feedback and let you know if their expectations are being met. In turn, be sure to share any concerns on your side: There are things your company needs to make the relationship a success. Finally, don’t be afraid to tactfully ask if you are on track to secure their contract renewal. It’s always good to gauge the temperature well in advance so you don’t end up with any surprises at the contract’s end.

5. Plan Next Steps

You’ve hosted an excellent meeting. You came prepared, provided important data and spoken frankly about the relationship. Ensure the success of your next QBR by creating a follow up plan for any action items and determining the right communication cadence for the next quarter. Double check that everyone is clear on next steps, and that’s a wrap – job well done!

Need help building a QBR format that drives client engagement?  The Success League is a consulting firm that works with executives who are ready to build and develop a top performing customer success team.

Ashley Hall - Ashley loves to lead account management teams; from training newbies to building processes out of chaos to working directly with customers. With an eye on the future she is a powerhouse in building scaleable frameworks that support and drive growth. Ashley serves as an advisor to The Success League, and is currently working for Sparkcentral as an account manager. She holds a BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and enjoys living in San Francisco, CA.