Quarterly business review (QBR) is one of the most effective tools for establishing transparency and keeping customers updated. It also ensures that the executive management gets the best of new growths of businesses.
QBRs revolve around what a managed IT service provider can do to scale the growth of your business. It aims to understand the desired outcomes and potentials of the business, delivering recommendations based on the understanding of those desired outcomes.
A managed IT service provider will help you build a strong and long-lasting customer-business relationship. The better the quality of work and value, the stronger the relationship. QBRs is critical to your business as it provides a platform to best understand the value of healthy, and strong customer relations.
This article will focus on the basics and importance of quarterly business review, the structure of QBR meetings, and what you need to make the meeting effective and successful:
What is a QBR?
The Quarterly Business Review is among the most important meetings you’ll have with your clients. It’s like a managed service provider wellness check that lets you know what is working and what is not. The meeting presents an opportunity to build relationships with clients while showcasing your services and ensuring an ongoing healthy and productive partnership.
When it comes to business-managed services, you want to ensure transparency and efficient communication because they are the key ingredients of customer satisfaction. And this is why a quarterly business review is an effective tool in the management of the business.
The main focus of the technical aspects of the quarterly business review services is to provide key opportunities for MSPs to connect with customers, and highlight the value of the services rendered. It also highlights the agenda of the plans that focus on supporting business customer relationships while improving the needs of the customers.
During a quarterly business review, the managed IT service provider has the opportunity to understand the short and long-term goals of the client as well as prospective plans. On the other hand, the managed service providers can evaluate the needs of the business and demonstrate how their services can help you meet your objectives and goals.
Why are Quarterly Reviews Important?
As a managed IT service provider, why is QBRs so important to you? Do you think the review is beneficial to your clients as well?
So far, we have seen that quarterly business review provides an open platform for communication and transparency. This is essential in understating the progress of the project and the plans in the pipeline for both the service provider and the business.
For the service provider, the QBR provides an opportunity to sell your services and show your client that you have an in-depth understanding of the business and are well equipped to deliver value. They can do this by stating their understanding of the business, stating existing problems, and possible shortcomings in their scope as well as recommended plans as per the goals based on KPIs. The service provider should also be able to present their ability to plan for future projects.
With a 90-day-timeline, the review is essential for creating concrete dates designed for specific deliverables. You can use this avenue to evaluate performance with plans and end goals. This will help in establishing the best possible way to deliver value for customer satisfaction.
Tips on Preparing a Successful Quarterly Business Review
For successful customer satisfaction, a managed IT support service provider should make plans as per the goals of the client. The goal is to turn customer expectations into deliverables. This is why the most integral part of QBRs is ensuring that businesses have an opportunity to state and define their goals. To get the best out of a quarterly business review, consider including the following recommendations in your outline:
Identifying and setting the end goals of the business helps in creating the road map and identifying a clear vision for the business. It makes it easy for both the business and the service provider to keep tabs on the progress of the work.
With every meeting, review the previously set goals and the milestones alongside the KPIs. State the most important KPIs that may include new leads and acquired customers.
Keep Track of the Progress Vs. End Goal
It is important to highlight the progress that has been made while comparing it to the goal of the plan/project. To enable the customer to follow up on the milestones accomplished, use relevant facts and stats.
Outline the Challenges
Besides the achievements and milestones covered, it is also important to ensure that the clients are aware of the challenges that you have encountered. This kind of transparency opens channels for open communication and trust. It also opens a collaboration opportunity that may yield effective solutions.
Once the comparison between progress and end goal has been tracked and established, it is important to suggest possible solutions that can be used to bridge the gap towards achieving the goals. The suggestions should highlight ways on achieving the end goals against the time limit.
Mistakes to Avoid in Quarterly Business Review
Often, quarterly business reviews provide little or no value to the customer. This may be attributed to a lack of focus, accountability during the project meeting. As an effective managed IT service provider, it is your job to ensure that quarterly business review is successful.
Below are some of the most common mistakes in QBRs meetings and how best to avoid them.
Lack of Clear Agenda
Agendas are essential for providing the roadmap to how the meeting will run. It sets expectations, keeps the meeting on the right track, and establishes accountability. Lack of a clear agenda makes achieving goals hard. It also creates the risk of wasting time by running a meeting with no content. Moreover, key executives need to know beforehand what they are expecting and the value of the meeting.
Inadequate QBR Planning
Investing in proper planning sets you and the customer for success. Proper planning will, first of all, help you determine if the meeting necessary or just a checkbox. Ask yourself: will the meeting result in actionable insights? Do you have deliverables you need feedback on?
Use the planning time to acquire feedback on the most likely-to-be asked questions, outline challenges, and list possible solutions as per their priorities. Also, look into the list of attendees to ensure you touch base on what matters the most.
Lack of Built-In Engagement
A lot of presentation without engagement is exhausting. Built-in engagement promotes active client participation. A two-way conversation between the service provider and the client is essential as it allows quick real-time feedback. It also encourages open communication between possible suggestions that should be prioritized which increases the value of the solution.
Some of the questions you can throw in your presentation include: “What is your opinion? Do you think this is a good idea? How can we improve on this? Will this align with your goals? “When structuring built-in engagement, consider all the gaps you need to know to deliver the best value from the solution.
Lack of Solid Suggestion/Stand
As a managed service provider, your work is to be valuable to the customer. That means taking the time to understand the business, researching, and gathering enough information to either help the customer make decisions or delivering a consensus for the course of action. With CSM, there is room for discussing challenges, recommendations, priorities that will narrow down the options for a valuable decision.
Lack of Follow Up
For the successful execution of the recommendations suggested during the meeting, MSPs need to do a timely QBRs follow-up. This is shown activeness and engagement in the project and ensuring the goals are attained.
Remember to always summarize the meeting by aligning its effectiveness with a plan, follow-up, and accountability as they all contribute to the success.
Tips to Effectively Structure Your Quarterly Business Review (QBR)
While KPIs and an effective plan essential for an effective QBR, you should also consider other factors like time, attendees, and agenda. To ensure your QBR presentation is top-notch, consider the following factors:
- Rather than calling it QBR, use a description that better analyses the objectives.
- Be mindful of time with approximately 30 minutes of reviewing and 30 minutes of recommending. Strive to use at most 15 slides with surplus data being moved to an appendix.
- Translate the data into a narrative that describes the present situation and how you intend to achieve the goal.
- Be visual by incorporating charts, images, diagrams, and icons for attention, easy communication, and make remembering easy.
- Stick to strategy by expounding on ROI, progress towards goals, challenges, and recommendations.
- Make QBR an event and send the invitation in advance.
- During the presentation, read the room by paying attention to verbal and non-verbal cues.
Who Should Participate in QBRs?
The first step to an effective QBR is choosing a convenient time for the highest number of attendance and maximum attention. Ensure every member of the team that is relevant to the agenda of the meeting attends the QBRs. Some of the top stakeholders that should attend the meeting include:
- Technical Account Manager: They manage the account and therefore have an in-depth understanding of the business. They are essential in helping put together a report, create agenda and determine the course the meeting will take.
- Point of Contact: This is the person who is in regular contact with every member of the team because of their knowledge of the daily operations of the project.
- The Boss: Depending on the size of the structure, it is important to have the top boss from the customer’s side.
- Finance Person: The person who signs off the cheque needs to see the value for the money and how the money will be used. With this participant, you have to prove that your services are worthy of the investment.
- Heads of Department: This includes members of leadership teams and every leader who is relevant to the discussion. Consider the departments you intend pitching to with new ideas or changes while creating this list.
For an inclusive managed IT service provider, go for a company whose deliverables include an exhaustive and well-structured QBRs. With the new technologies, most service providers have included quarterly business review templates that make the process even easier.
As a reliable service provider, SYNERGY IT has a unique format, tools, and technological content that helps us align with the short and long-term goals of the client. Our experience has smoothened how we establish transparency, trust, and open communication with our clients through our partnerships.