April 12th, 2020

According to a recent Gartner CSO report, customer engagement remains critical in addressing both market downturns and demand rebounds. Because of this, executing a scheduled or emergency Business Review (e.g. QBR) is one of the most powerful strategic actions sales, marketing and service line leaders have to strategically re-plan, communicate and set focus on the activities that will drive revenue outcomes for their organization.

Unfortunately, there is typically a disconnect between the strategic intent and the actual execution of a QBR. Sellers oftentimes view the session as a management task, lazily filling out a template the night before their session, and disregard the content and takeaways immediately afterwards so ‘they can get on with their day job’. Presenters drone on, leaving their sales audience glossy-eyed and multitasking. And leadership oftentimes struggle to remain focused and provide consistent, detailed and actionable feedback as the parade of territory and opportunity reviews span multiple hours or days.

So, we all need to flip the script to make your next QBR as strategic as we intend, whether its delivered in-person, remote, or some combination thereof.

Here’s what sales leaders need to do now:

  • In a virtual setting, the break-out of the focus and effort should be as follows: 3/5 for pre-work, 1/5 in-session, 1/5 follow-on, and keep your in-session review to a maximum of 1 day, with 50% of that day spent on ‘state of the union’ and other important updates, and 50% of the day on upskilling and up-leveling your team.
  • Move your account and territory reviews into pre-work two weeks prior to the business review. Having your sellers record their presentations and talking points will force them to prepare and helps identify gaps in critical thinking. MindTickle’s video role play capability provides a forum for practicing, getting automated feedback, and submitting a final presentation that hits the mark while staying on-time.
  • Plan ahead and ensure your reviewers explicitly carve out time to complete the reviews at least 1 week before the live session. This ensures ample time to provide quality reviews. MindTickle accommodates reviews on web or mobile, making it convenient for reviewers to squeeze in the time they need to complete quality reviews. MindTickle also allows for in-line comments with the video recording to deliver targeted feedback that emulates live-session interaction. Pre-built reviewer forms and templates also promote consistent, in-depth, and personalized feedback.
  • For the live-session QBR – implement a 3/5 presenter rule: push presenters to condense their presentations to 3 slides and a maximum of 5 minutes which forces them to tailor crisp and concise messaging specifically to the sales audience. Also ensure that each presenter outlines a maximum of 3 takeaways or action items. Use these to formulate post-presentation quiz questions to ensure these items are internalized by the sales team.

At MindTickle, we’re keen practitioners of the concepts I’ve laid out in this blog–regular business reviews like QBRs are an anchor of our revenue planning and alignment processes. Whether you’re a front-line sales manager responsible for a small team or a seasoned CRO managing a global sea of RVPs and seasoned enterprise account executives and have wondered how you can optimize your upcoming virtual business review initiative, I hope you found the read worth your while.

The MindTickle team has prepared a comprehensive guide to assist enablement, marketing and sales teams in executing an effective virtual business review. For more information, download our Complete Guide and watch our short video demo to learn how to run an effective virtual business review.