What Is a QBR? – A quarterly business review, or QBR, is when you sit down with customers on a quarterly basis to review how well you’re contributing to their success. They ensure customer satisfaction and keep engagements on schedule, at or under budget and on track to meet agreed-on KPIs.
Here, we’ll discuss the elements of both annual and quarterly business reviews, sometimes called “executive business reviews” or “health checks.” You can mix and match elements from each category, but in any case, these should be topics of regular conversation with your clients — because you don’t want to be just a service provider.
You want to be a partner in your customers’ businesses such that they see you as intrinsic to their success. That increases client stickiness and opens the door to expanding the relationship. Get a quick overview of quarterly business reviews and how to use them to solidify client relationships:
Is quarterly business review the same as executive business review?
What is EBR? – An executive business review is held annually to understand the company’s service path and whether the C-suite leaders are aligned with the goals. Companies choose EBR meetings to showcase what they learned, what has worked, and what has not, and prioritize opportunities and improvements.
What is the power of the quarterly business review?
A Quarterly Business Review (QBR) is a strategic meeting held every three months between a company’s key stakeholders to assess the overall health and performance of the business. It offers an opportunity to align objectives, review progress, identify challenges, and implement improvements.
A well-executed QBR can drive continuous growth, improve communication, and foster better decision-making. This article will discuss the best practices for crafting a successful QBR, focusing on partnerships, and provide examples that tell a cohesive company story. Establish Clear Objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) The first step in crafting a successful QBR is establishing clear objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) aligning with the company’s overall goals.
This will ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same targets. Company Story: DataMarvel, a growing SaaS company, wants to improve its market position and revenue. They identify revenue growth, customer satisfaction, product development, and strengthening strategic partnerships as their primary objectives for the quarter.
- They define specific KPIs for each objective, such as a 15% increase in revenue, a customer satisfaction score of 90%, the launch of three new product features, and securing two new strategic partnerships.
- Involve Relevant Stakeholders and Partners Involving the right stakeholders, including key partners, is crucial to the success of a QBR.
Ensure that critical decision-makers, those responsible for executing the objectives, and representatives from strategic partners are present in the meeting. This will facilitate open communication and encourage collaboration across departments and organizations.
Company Story : DataMarvel invites the heads of sales, marketing, customer success, product development, finance, and representatives from their two most significant partners to participate in the QBR. DataMarvel ensures that every department and partner is represented and contributes to the discussion by involving these stakeholders.
Review and Analyze Performance Data Before the QBR, gather and analyze performance data related to the established objectives and KPIs. This will provide valuable insights into the company’s performance and the performance of partnerships and inform decision-making during the review.
- Company Story : DataMarvel compiles data on revenue growth, customer satisfaction scores, product development milestones, and partner contributions over the past quarter.
- They identify trends and patterns, such as increased revenue due to successful partner collaborations, which can be discussed and further optimized during the QBR.
Celebrate Successes and Recognize Contributions A QBR should include time to celebrate successes and acknowledge the contributions of team members and partners. This not only boosts morale but also encourages continued high performance and collaboration.
- Company Story : DataMarvel exceeded its revenue target by 20% in the last quarter, partly thanks to its strategic partnerships.
- The management team recognizes the outstanding efforts of their sales team and partners during the QBR, celebrating the successful collaboration that led to significant new client acquisitions.
Identify Challenges and Opportunities for Improvement A QBR should also be a forum for discussing challenges and identifying opportunities for improvement, both internally and within partnerships. This helps the company and its partners adapt and make necessary changes to ensure continued success.
- Company Story: DataMarvel notices that their customer satisfaction scores have plateaued.
- They discuss this issue during the QBR and, together with their partners, identify a need for better partner product integration and customer support.
- They brainstorm solutions and agree to invest in joint development and support initiatives to address these challenges.
Set Actionable Goals and Assign Responsibilities To ensure that improvements and changes are implemented, set actionable goals and assign responsibilities to specific team members, departments, or partners. This creates accountability and ensures everyone knows their role in driving the company’s success.
Company Story : DataMarvel aims to improve partner product integration and customer support. They assign their product development team to collaborate with partner teams to streamline integrations, while the customer success department works closely with partner support teams to enhance the customer experience.
Schedule Regular Check-ins To maintain momentum and ensure progress is being made, schedule regular check-ins between QBRs. These check-ins help address any issues or obstacles and ensure that the company and its partners stay on track to achieve their goals.
- Company Story : DataMarvel schedules monthly check-ins with department heads and partner representatives to discuss the progress of their joint goals.
- This allows the management team to offer guidance, support, and resources as needed, ensuring that any challenges are addressed promptly and collaboratively.
Document and Communicate Outcomes After the QBR, it’s essential to document the outcomes, decisions, and action items discussed during the meeting. This ensures that all stakeholders, including partners, clearly understand their responsibilities and can refer to the information as needed.
- Company Story : DataMarvel creates a detailed QBR summary document that outlines the critical discussions, decisions, and action items, including those related to their partnerships.
- They distribute this document to all stakeholders and store it in a central location for easy access and reference.
- Review and Reflect on the QBR Process Finally, take the time to review and reflect on the QBR process itself.
Gather feedback from participants, including partners, to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to ensure that future QBRs are even more effective. Company Story : DataMarvel conducts a post-QBR survey to gather feedback from participants about the meeting’s structure, content, and effectiveness.
- They use this feedback to adjust their QBR process, adding more time for partner-specific discussions and incorporating additional data sources for joint performance analysis.
- A well-executed Quarterly Business Review is essential for driving growth, improving communication, and fostering better decision-making within a company and its partnerships.
By following these best practices, you can craft an effective QBR that aligns objectives, reviews progress, identifies challenges and implements improvements. Remember to involve the right stakeholders, including partners, set clear objectives and KPIs, analyze performance data, celebrate successes, identify opportunities for improvement, set actionable goals, schedule regular check-ins, document outcomes, and continuously refine the QBR process.
Who should attend a quarterly business review?
QBR Meeting Agendas: Best Practices for QBR Prep How to Make Your QBR Meeting Agenda Count A quarterly business review (QBR) allows you to bring together your executives and your clients’ executives to assess the of their business and your relationship, discuss their future goals and plans, and strategize how you can deliver more value to them.
- These meetings can play a crucial role in your customers’ overall health and success.
- However, a QBR meeting agenda can be challenging to plan and execute.
- In a recent poll, we asked customer success professionals what their top challenges were for performing QBRs.
- According to the responses, the number one challenge was engaging customers (37%), followed by creating a success plan (33%) and pulling relevant data (29%).
Let’s take a look at why these challenges are essential to the success of a QBR and what you can do to overcome them. Read on to learn what you need to know to make your quarterly business review agenda count. We’ll cover:
- What QBR meetings are
- How to prepare for one
- Who should attend your QBR meeting
- How to run your meeting
- How to structure QBR meetings effectively
- Keys to engaging customers during your QBR
- How to create a customer success plan
- What data to pull during your QBR review
- Best practices for effective QBR meetings
- Tips to prep for QBRs more efficiently
Use these tips to make your QBRs count and improve customer satisfaction and retention. What Is a QBR Meeting? A is a periodic meeting between your team and your client’s team to assess how your product is helping them achieve their business goals and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- An assessment of client progress toward goals set in previous QBR meetings
- An analysis of factors influencing performance
- An update of goals, strategies, and KPIs to plan for future improvements
For SaaS B2B clients, QBR meetings tend to focus on assessing value as measured by performance benchmarks. On the client-side, the input may come from multiple parties, including managers who work directly with software users and other decision-makers and stakeholders such as procurement managers, chief financial officers, CEOs, and investors.
- As the name implies, traditional quarterly business reviews have been held every three months.
- However, with today’s digital technology, scheduled QBRs may be supplemented by unscheduled reviews based on ongoing monitoring of customer account performance.
- This allows you to make adjustments between scheduled QBRs to ensure closer alignment of performance with client goals.
How Do I Prepare for a QBR? To prepare for a productive QBR session, you can take several proactive steps. These include:
- Designate who should lead the QBR meeting and who should take notes
- Use a QBR template to review a checklist of possible items to cover
- Review your last QBR with the client and identify which goals and action steps had been agreed upon
- Generate a report summarizing KPIs benchmarks from the last QBR and progress toward them
- Analyze your KPI data to identify any noteworthy trends
- Create a list of possible recommended action steps to propose to the client
- Prepare any presentation aids you want to incorporate, such as illustrative stories or graphs summarizing data
- Prepare a contact list of who needs to attend the QBR meeting or otherwise contribute
- Send meeting invitations, and distribute a summary of your KPI report, analysis, and recommended steps to those on the meeting contact list
Doing this type of preparation for your QBR meeting will help ensure a productive session with forward-looking action steps rather than unfocused discussion. Who Should Attend a QBR? A QBR can include as few as two people or multiple parties from your company and your client’s company.
- A QBR should consist of one representative from your customer success team and one from your client’s company.
- Beyond this, attendees should be determined by who needs to be involved for you and your client to evaluate progress, analyze performance, develop future plans, and, on your client’s end, make buying decisions.
For SaaS B2B clients, possible attendees may include:
- Managers of end-users
- Managers of specific departments using your apps, such as marketing or sales managers
- Tech support personnel
- Chief financial officers
- Procurement managers
- Other stakeholders such as investors
In general, the larger the client’s company, the more potential attendees may be involved. However, don’t invite people just for the sake of asking them. Meetings will go smoother when limited to those who genuinely need to attend. Some individuals may need to be kept in the loop to provide input without necessarily needing to attend.
- To make attendance manageable for busy executives, consider sending out notes in advance and placing priority items in an executive summary at the front of the presentation.
- When considering attendees, bear in mind who will be making decisions for your client on whether to renew their product subscription.
These decision-makers should be involved in the meeting, either as attendees or as being kept in the loop for input. How Do You Run a QBR Meeting? Following a few guidelines will help you run your QBR meetings more effectively:
- Make sure to invite the right attendees
- Send out an agenda and notes sufficiently in advance for participants to prepare
- Start by reviewing performance, with a focus on KPIs
- Use your performance review to broach a discussion of wins, challenges, and opportunities
- Develop an action plan with new goals, strategies, and performance target numbers
- Agree upon who will be responsible for implementing components of the action plan
- Conclude by scheduling the next QBR meeting
What you do after your QBR can be equally important for the success of your meeting. Be sure to follow up with your action plan. Use ongoing KPI monitoring to flag any developments which require attention before your next scheduled QBR. How Should a QBR Be Structured? A QBR meeting structure should be organized around three main themes:
- Performance review
- Performance analysis
- Strategic planning
These can be broken down further as follows:
- Start with KPIs and metrics to show the performance of previous QBR periods
- Lead into the wins from the previous periods, emphasizing what was accomplished, both in terms of work put in and the results of that work
- Discuss the challenges and difficulties experienced in the previous period and facing the business currently, referencing the competitive landscape if there have been any noteworthy developments in this area
- Discuss the client’s opportunities moving forward
- Create an action plan for the next quarter and beyond to tackle the challenges and opportunities discussed, including goals, strategies, KPIs, and target benchmarks
Within this general QBR agenda sample, you can introduce specific points as needed. Engaging Customers in a QBR Quarterly business reviews allow you to strengthen your relationships with your clients and demonstrate the value you provide and will provide to them in the future.
- However, if they are not engaged in the process or even interested in having this review with you, that could mean that they are not engaged with your product or service, which could eventually lead to churn.
- It’s important to segment customers to deliver more personalized experiences and offers to keep them engaged daily.
A QBR, however, is a chance for you to sit down with your customers and have an elevated discussion about their current and future needs and the value that you can provide them. To get your clients engaged in the QBR process, try these tips: 1. Create a Detailed Agenda Create a well-developed agenda and distribute it to all parties involved well in advance.
- 2. Use Data to Tell a Story
- Remind the customer why they purchased your product or service and use data to show them how you have fulfilled those needs over the past quarter.
- 3. Be Transparent
A QBR is designed to build trust and strengthen relationships, so be honest about your successes and failures. Tell them where you’ve missed the mark and what you’re going to do to make it up and do better in the future. This will show your customer that you’re on their team and you’re willing to put in the work to help them reach their goals.
- A very clear list of the goals and KPIs for the next quarter.
- Defined strategies for how you will overcome any roadblocks or solve any issues that would prevent these goals from being achieved.
- Any new opportunities or other products or services you discussed and how those will provide additional value to their business.
Pulling the Right Data Bottom line: If you don’t have data to show your customers, don’t even bother having a QBR. Your words mean nothing if you don’t have the numbers to back them up, so you need to be able to gather, analyze and display data effectively. But not just any data; you need to show the right data. Here are three tips for pulling relevant data for your QBR:
- 1. Demonstrate ROI
- Showcase the numbers and data that demonstrate what value you have provided to your customers over the past quarter.
- 2. Use Benchmarking Data
Clients love to know how well they are doing compared to similar companies or competitors and themselves quarter-over-quarter, so pull any correlating metrics and numbers to demonstrate that for them. It’s helpful to build a dashboard to ensure you are looking at the same data each quarter.
- This will help you compare apples to apples and help you identify trends, check in on real-time performance to troubleshoot any issues, and save time pulling the data each quarter.
- Plus, you can share the dashboard with the customer to create transparency and build trust.
- This also provides an opportunity to shed light on areas that customers are underutilizing and could be getting more value from.
If you provide a certain feature or service that has high value but low adoption, bring it up for discussion as they may not be aware of how best to utilize it.3. Communicate Their Customer Health Score A customer health score takes multiple dimensions of customer data metrics and classifies them into a single green, yellow, or red representation.
This shows how much value you are providing to your customer and how much value they are providing back to your company. An open and honest discussion about your customer’s overall health is a great way to show how you are providing value and discuss expansion opportunities for other products or services you can provide to increase that value.
QBR Best Practices A quarterly business review can be an excellent tool for building rapport, strengthening relationships, and ensuring renewals. Here are a few very simple best practices to follow to help make sure your next QBR is successful and engaging.
- 1. Invite the Right People
- Ensure you have executive representation from both your company and your client’s.
- 2. Have the Meeting Face-to-face
Whether it’s a video call or an in-person event, you need to be able to see your client and share visual data representations. A phone call will not do.
- 3. Keep It Short and Sweet
- A QBR does not need to run longer than one hour.
- 4. Be Honest and Open to Feedback
Both negative and positive. Remember, this is a two-way conversation, so don’t get defensive and take any criticisms as an opportunity to improve.5. Encourage Collaboration People don’t want just to be presented to; they want an engaging conversation. It’s important to make time for questions and remind your clients that this is a two-way discussion.
- 6. Schedule the Next Call
- It’s important to schedule your next call to review the progress outlined in your customer success plan.
- Tips for Preparing for QBRs
The preparation you put into your quarterly business reviews helps determine their outcomes. You can improve your outcomes by following a few guidelines when preparing. Here are some tips to help you prepare more compelling QBR presentations.1. Use Pre-optimized Templates for QBRs Generating a new QBR agenda from scratch every time you meet takes time.
You can save time by working from a pre-designed template. Your template can cover items such as a list of possible KPIs to review with your client, predesigned report forms displaying selected KPIs, a checklist of potential issues to review, and a list of suggested solutions. You can modify your template and fill it in for individual clients and QBR sessions.
Storing your template digitally will make this easier and allow you to automate some aspects of the updating process.2. Begin Gathering Data for KPIs and Metrics Early from All Team Members One of the most time-consuming parts of preparing a QBR review can be assembling the KPIs and metrics you need to review and analyze.
- In some cases, the data you need may reside among multiple apps and in the accounts of various team members.
- Waiting until the last minute to get the data you need will cause stress and reduce your ability to prepare an effective presentation.
- Start assembling your data early to save time and avoid the hassle.
A customer success platform that syncs your data automatically is the most efficient solution. The Totango CS platform makes it easy for you to sync data from multiple apps and view dashboards and reports from a central location.3. Review and Compile Data to Highlight Business Wins and Challenges How you present the data you gather will help shape the outcome of your QBR.
A good rule of thumb is to organize your data to emphasize wins before addressing challenges. This ensures that your QBR communicates the value your product is delivering. It places challenges in a more positive context, promoting a more constructive discussion. Otherwise, if you lead with challenges, you risk overshadowing the value your product is providing.4.
Have Your Customer Success Team Preview the Presentation Your customer success team can deliver a more effective presentation if everyone is prepared. If team members go into the meeting without having reviewed key information such as KPI data, your delivery may come across as lacking insight, expertise, or authority.
- Schedule some time for your team to review KPI data and discuss their analysis and suggestions.
- This will help ensure that everyone has a good grasp of the data and provide opportunities to spot trends and brainstorm ideas that otherwise would have been overlooked.5.
- Memorize Presentation Highlights A well-delivered QBR presentation pivots around communicating certain highlights, such as important KPI numbers, key points of analysis, or actionable recommendations.
If your team members are struggling to recall these highlights during their presentation, it can distract and dilute from their delivery. Taking the time to rehearse your presentation, especially its highlights, will result in a smoother, more persuasive QBR delivery.
Plan Your QBR Meeting Agenda to Promote Customer Satisfaction QBR meetings allow you to showcase the value you’re delivering to customers and bring performance into better alignment with customer needs and expectations. Careful preparation of your meeting agenda and delivery can result in more productive QBRs, which promote greater client satisfaction.
Following the tips in this article and using tools such as QBR templates and customer success platforms can help you implement best practices that make the most of your quarterly business reviews. Totango’s customer success platform includes built-in KPIs for each stage of your customer lifecycle, which you can use to trigger automated workflows that integrate your QBR strategy into the ongoing monitoring of KPI metrics.
Why have a quarterly business review?
2. Review Specific Goals Of The Organization – While your monthly reports review progress made within the month, a QBR helps you review your progress in line with your annual or overall goals. A QBR ensures your teams work towards the same outcomes and solutions—specific to your business needs.
What should be in a quarterly review?
Consider including these things in your quarterly employee review: Evaluation of skills, behaviors and performance over the last quarter using a rating system or series of questions. Review of the employee’s goals from the previous quarter. Adjustment of goals or setting new goals for the upcoming quarter.
What is QBR in agile?
✔Excelling in Enterprise Transformation, ✔Unmatched experience in Agile Organisations & Change,✔Digital Technologies & Acceleration is our core DNA – Published Dec 5, 2019 Organisations who practice Agile need a structured way to plan work within and between Tribes.
What is another name for a quarterly business review?
A QBR is a process by many names. It can also be called an Executive Business Review or a Business Review, but in practice, they’re all the same thing.
What is the purpose of quarterly review meeting?
A quarterly business review (QBR) is a touchpoint meeting that you hold with customers. Within the meeting, the customer reviews the impact of your product or service on their business. Customers can also use a QBR to discuss their future goals and outline how your product impacts them.
What to expect in a business review?
During the review itself – Different managers have different approaches to performance reviews, just like every other aspect of business. Ideally, you’ll be able to guide the face-to-face conversation, so you should be prepared to give a summary of your written assessment.
If you didn’t have to complete an employee self-assessment, writing down and memorizing notes on your own performance will help prepare you for this part of the process, so you should still take the time to do it. This way, if your manager asks you about your achievements or contributions, you’ll have concrete examples at your fingertips.
Your manager will give you feedback on your performance, both positive and negative. Hopefully, nothing they say will shock you: if you’ve successfully identified your weaknesses, they should agree, and give additional comments and suggestions for improvement.
Be ready to ask follow-up questions — for both positive feedback and constructive feedback — to understand what your manager considers optimal levels of performance. Together, you and your manager might come up with new ideas for action plans to increase or maintain your performance over the next year — that might mean anything from increased check-ins to more creative solutions.
If you have other lingering questions about your position or your role in the company, ask them. This is your time with your manager, and you should make the most of it. One of those questions might be about the possibility of a raise. Unless your company has another preexisting setup for raises, your meeting can be used to broach the subject of a raise and possible promotion with your manager.
What to expect from a quarterly review?
8. Relax and look forward to your review – Remember, your quarterly review is all about you and your development. It should be a conversation you look forward to, not something to fear. Even during times when it feels more things have been going wrong than right, a review offers an opportunity to have an open and honest discussion around that.
- And to get some advice and ask for support.
- Your manager would far rather help you and see you flourish than struggle in silence and ultimately fail.
- So, head into your next review with a sense of purpose, knowing what you’d like to get out of it.
- Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy.
- Get more from our latest best practice guide: How to have more effective performance conversations.
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What is the goal of a quarterly performance review?
What’s the purpose of a quarterly performance review? – Also known as “performance snapshots,” since they tend to highlight short-term goals, quarterly reviews let managers address performance issues quickly. Well, more quickly than an annual review. They make space for both the employee and manager to collaborate on a plan that helps the employee grow, providing space to check in on a regular basis, and ensuring that performance is trending upwards.
- Quarterly reviews are opportunities to reward good behaviors and practices and address challenges.
- This is also a great time to reinforce the connection between individual performance, team goals and company vision.
- Start setting quarterly goals if you haven’t already, and tie them back to the company’s goals.
By finishing off the quarterly review cycle with a collaborative review meeting that aligns with each new set of goals, you’ll be equipped with an impactful way to review performance against those goals — making it a more objective process. This not only allows employees to feel part of the team, and to take ownership of their role, it’s a chance for you, as a manager, to be a supportive force in their growth.