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ART OF THE QBR
Every QBR should
do four things
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.
Let’s start by questioning
the foundation of the
QBR concept
Why quarterly?
Three months is enough time to show
progress – you can implement plans
and show real results in this time
period.
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).
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).
Who should be
in the room?
?
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
Prep work
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.
The art
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The extra perks
These meetings show the customer you
care about them and that you’re willing
to invest time in making their product
experience better.
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.
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
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.
So go forth and be an artist.

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The Art of the QBR: A Concise Guide to Quarterly Business Reviews

  • 2. Every QBR should do four things
  • 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. Let’s start by questioning the foundation of the QBR concept Why quarterly?
  • 5. Three months is enough time to show progress – you can implement plans and show real results in this time period.
  • 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. 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. Who should be in the room? ?
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. So go forth and be an artist.