We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: your QBRs suck and your clients think so too.
The problem with your lackluster quarterly business reviews is that they’re long, boring, and not perceived as valuable by the clients sitting through them. In fact, our own studies showed that only 28% of respondents found QBRs to be valuable. Ouch! Rather than seizing the opportunity to strengthen the relationship with a key account, you often demonstrate just how little you really know your client.
But your QBRs don’t have to be this way! They can be a powerful and effective way to demonstrate how valuable you are to a client’s business and show off the many ways you’re working to help them achieve unprecedented success.
Here’s how to make your QBRs more effective and valuable to your clients:
Talk to your customers about their goals.
An easy, yet often forgotten, aspect of an effective QBR is simply asking a client about what they want to achieve in the next quarter. Goal setting (and achieving) is a critical part of the key account relationship, and it should be a critical part of any QBR.
Instead of presenting a QBR that focuses on your own goals for the account, focus on your client’s needs and what you can (and will) do to support them. Ask them questions and engage them in a meaningful and strategic conversation about what they’re looking to achieve with you. This brings us to our next point.
Most QBRs adopt a lecture-style presentation. This not only bores your customers, but it also keeps you from listening to them.
Try to limit your speaking time to under 10 minutes per presenter, if possible. Ask questions during your presentations, and actively write down the answers. Paying attention to detail and showing that you care enough to write those details down will go a long way toward showing that you are dedicated to understanding your client’s needs.
Furthermore, you may hear that your client wants you to check in with them more often than once every 90 days at the QBR. Showing that you will listen and respond to their needs will matter more than any PowerPoint presentation you come up with.
Discuss your progress on the things that matter to them.
The best way to demonstrate your value to your customers is to show them what progress you’ve made toward their goals and the things they’ve identified as important.
Provide them with concrete details about what you have achieved together in the last quarter. If there are certain product features or new services that they’ve been promised, discuss where things stand and what steps you’ve taken to bring those to fruition. It’s also important to discuss the specific steps you will take to work toward goals in the next quarter.
Implement a “Voice of Customer” ideology.
In a nutshell, VOC is a powerful approach to account management that allows you to map out the decision-makers within an organization and better understand how their individual interests influence the overall company goals.
As a key account manager working with multiple points of contact within an organization, it can be difficult to rank which goals should be worked towards first. VOC allows you to do just that, elevating you from an average key account manager to a great one.
Don’t talk about your company—talk about the customer!
While tip number three says you need to prove your value, be careful about talking too much about your company and all the great things you’ve done for your customer. As a key account manager, the client wants and needs outweigh your own. Yes, you should mention what you are doing for them, but it needs to be framed in a way that highlights you as a strategic partner working toward their greater success. Everything should circle back to your client, always.
In order to craft a QBR that is both effective and valuable, you have to truly understand your client. This means understanding their needs, goals, successes, and even their failures. Utilizing these tips in your next QBR will help you strengthen your relationship with your key customers, thereby strengthening your own business.
Ready to learn more and take your QBRs to the next level? Download our QBR ebook for more practical tips!