Tips for a Successful CSM Quarterly Business Review

Teresa Becker

Customer Success Strategist

In the world of sales, Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) are incredibly popular for forecasting, planning, and making sure that everything is running smoothly from an operations perspective. In customer success, however, QBRs aren’t quite as prevalent, although more and more existing business teams are starting to leverage this strategic format. QBRs are a great way for customer success teams to review accounts, strategize expansion plans, and workshop any issues or challenges. 

QBRs are different from other types of sales meetings because they are truly action-oriented. QBRs are a time for customer success teams to share ideas, build plans, and collaborate with others on strategic initiatives, but they are also a time for change. Customer success leaders should be able to take the content that was discussed in a QBR and turn it into action plans for the upcoming quarter. 

Here are some tips and best practices to run a successful QBR:

  1. Tell your CSMs and other attendees what they need to prepare well in advance. For CSMs, this could mean gathering reports on existing accounts. For team leaders and other speakers, this could mean building their presentation and research. 
  2. Don’t just invite members of your customer success teams. Opening up the meeting to leaders from sales, product, and marketing, as well as your customer success team members, can stimulate the conversation and bring other viewpoints to the table. 
  3. Build a clear QBR agenda and stick to it as close as possible. It’s highly likely that your discussion will veer off on tangents as the day progresses, but you should try to stay on topic and keep your meeting succinct – no more than 3 hours or so. 
  4. QBRs shouldn’t be about calling out people’s flaws and issues, they should be about offering up answers and solutions to keep a business on track. Ask your CSMs to come prepared with a action plan to address these challenges and open new opportunities. 
  5. Even if your team has had a successful quarter and is doing well, don’t skimp on the process. Treat every QBR as a way to refocus your team’s efforts, hone in on what went right and what went wrong, and prepare for the quarter ahead.
  6. After your meeting, gather up your findings and send out a recap document with action plans to your CSMs and your executive team. Include a quick overview of successes, misses, and what was learned so that everyone is in the loop and in the know. 

After a QBR, it’s important to not let what was discussed to go to waste. Processes and procedures should change after a QBR as a sign that the meeting was successful. Once your team gets used to the rhythm of these quarterly meetings, they can begin to spend the months in between with metrics and action plans in mind. QBRs aren’t just for sales teams anymore. Existing business is an incredibly important part of any company’s revenue stream and QBRs are the perfect way to ensure customer success has the strategic focus it deserves.

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