Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) have long been a popular way for businesses to review their performance, set goals, and align on strategic initiatives. They also present the biggest opportunity for a supplier to retain and grow their client relationship. However, there has been a growing sentiment that Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) have lost their effectiveness and are becoming obsolete. Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) are far from dead. They just need to be better. In this article, I will explain some of the key improvements I have seen companies make to their Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) process that deliver the most impact.
Typical pitfalls in Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs):
Lack of focus: Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) often devolve into generic presentations with minimal actionable insights, wasting valuable time and diluting their purpose.
Inadequate preparation: Without proper groundwork, Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) tend to rely on stale or incomplete messages, hindering their ability to provide an accurate representation of performance. Failing to embrace new technology can make it more challenging to manage Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) processes at scale.
Absence of engagement: Many Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) become one-sided conversations where only a few individuals dominate the discussion while others passively listen, resulting in missed opportunities for valuable input and collaboration.
Feedback is not properly measured and tracked: This can leave clients feeling that their time and insights are not being valued. This makes it challenging for businesses to continuously improve relationships, as they have no indication of where they currently
How can companies improve Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs)?
Companies I have seen effectively reinvigorate the Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) focus on the following areas:
A) Creation of reviews:
It shouldn’t just be on a time-poor Account Manager to create Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) decks. Different functions should also be contributing towards Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) experience for their clients. This may be sharing Case Studies supplied by Marketing, data provided by a Customer Experience team, or sales figures from the Commercial team. If a business is truly customer centric then all functions should support one of the most important moments in the client relationship. We also see some companies requiring their clients to contribute to the creation of the QBR, although this may only be relevant for certain client relationship.
B) Delivery Data:
Many companies are capable of creating infinite amounts of data for their clients, often this can be quite an overwhelming experience for clients who don’t live and breathe the product/service you provide. Making sure data is easy to understand is critical. If a client doesn’t understand the impact - or “so what” - of the data you are taking them through, it’s likely a waste of both yours and their time. If clients leave Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) understanding just 3 critical actionable insights from your data, you’re already ahead of the competition.
C) Measuring feedback and trends:
Measuring client feedback over time allows businesses to track changes in customer satisfaction and identify trends or patterns in their feedback. This can help businesses make informed decisions, improve their products or services, and maintain a positive relationship with their clients. Additionally, tracking client feedback over time can provide insights into the effectiveness of any changes or improvements implemented by the business. Your clients are likely requested to attend tens if not hundreds of Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) from their suppliers. The suppliers who adjust their value proposition directly in line with feedback will always get prioritised over those who don’t.
D) Making Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) a collaborative experience:
We see a stark contrast in the types of Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) businesses run with their clients; some companies we work with will sit down with their client at the beginning of each year and map out exactly how their Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) will be run, who should be involved and who needs to contribute. This collaboration helps build a deeper understanding of the client's needs and objectives. By involving the client in the formation of the Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) process, they are empowered to provide valuable feedback and actively participate.
Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) are a critical aspect of most B2B contract lifecycles, however many organisations view this as a box-ticking exercise and not an opportunity to add-value and improve their bottom-line. A lack of enthusiasm for Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) often means organisations do not invest in the tools and processes to run the process effectively which often means they do not achieve a desirable outcome from the process. Unfortunately, this can create a sort of vicious cycle. If you think your Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) don’t add value, you may be right, but it doesn’t always have to be that way!
By refining their purpose, aligning objectives, and embracing technology, businesses can ensure that Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) become quality-driven processes that deliver tangible outcomes. A revitalised Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) process will not only foster stronger client relationships and innovation, but also provide a solid foundation for sustainable growth and success.
With a background working in Customer Success across multiple sectors, George is an expert in delivering customer growth and improving retention rates. As one of Clientshare's earliest employees, he was integral in building, and now leading, our Customer Success team, and responsible for ensuring our clients get great results using Clientshare's products.
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