October 29, 2021
Written by
the Professional Services team at Vizibl

The importance of QBRs

In the last decade the SaaS industry has started to gain great momentum by positively impacting the way in which businesses operate globally. It brought transformational solutions that involve organisational change, automation of effort and has contributed to speeding up digitalisation all around the world. If any lessons learned throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic, digitalisation and SAAS have been essential to organisations to remain agile in times of crisis.

Hand arranging five yellow stars on a blue background

Let’s take the scenario where Buyers and Suppliers have been forced to drastically change the way in which they were used to operating. Strong relationships, trust, and visibility have definitely set apart those who have had the digital tools in place and those that haven’t.

Having a digital platform where one can see all their global suppliers in one place, their performances and capabilities and can reach out to them directly in the tool can become very useful when needing to react quickly to changes.

QBRs are of utmost importance to the overall Customer Journey with SaaS, how they reach their goals and remain prepared to face uncertainties. QBRs are the most effective methods of showing customers that they are moving towards the goals they set to achieve and also have them reflect on future objectives.

In this article we would like to touch on a perspective of how action oriented QBRs can bring client’s experiences to the next level.

1.Who should attend a QBR?

A typical QBR meeting should set a strategic agenda, not a tactical one and therefore the best customer attendees are expected to be those from the executive/leadership level. Generally, these stakeholders are involved with setting up the goals for any program and they should be assessing if the tool has delivered the value intended. They can assess if the adoption of the tool is sufficient and can allocate resources to push for goals realisation.

Technical questions, bugs, training schedules should be addressed sporadically with the dedicated support team and not during the executive meeting.

2. Why quarterly?

Frequency is key. The more the executive teams sit with SAAS sponsors through these meetings, the better the goals overview.

SAAS sponsors will act as industry specialists and they propose latest trend solutions on how to better achieve their customer’s goals. Setting up 3 months adoption and engagement goals between users and the Customer Success/ SAAS Sponsors will facilitate an action oriented implementation to realise any strategic objectives.  

If the strategies set in place don’t work out well, having quarterly meetings to assess the program adoption and the value realisation can prove more hands on solution oriented. Opting for a yearly business review or a bi-annual one might not be as powerful as Executives will not gain enough visibility to take certain actions when needed. Quarterly meetings will help align strategic goals, but also offer a very clear roadmap that will define milestones. When crises occur, it will be easier to shift goals or impose new ones having been informed on how the situation looks like from past quarters.

3. What should the QBR agenda focus on?

The Customer Success Manager should have proposed and agreed a 3 months Success Plan with the Executive team as well as the rest of the users.

Based on that 3 months Success Plan, adoption and value realisation should be measured and discussed:

Reviewing Items:

  • Feedback on last 90 days
  • Show the goals achieved
  • Show actions taken to achieve goals
  • Address challenges/ problems

Program Adoption Review

  • User leaderboard
  • Customer Use Cases
  • Suggested functionalities
  • New features

Creating a specific action plan

  • Setting up new KPIs
  • Setting up new goals/ changing existing ones
  • Think about contingency plans to roll out in a timely manner should potential crises occur

Next Steps

  • Defining action items
  • Agreeing on roles and responsibilities

4. The QBR format

If the SAAS product allows, create the QBR within the tool itself in the form of a Dashboard.

Use your platform’s widgets or other typical features to create an interactive space and display the customer’s goals and strategies.

Create customer health reports and visualise all important KPIs that tie into the customer’s goals. This will show the power of digitalisation and will allow the SAAS to display its interesting capabilities to the customers.  Nevertheless, customers can always tap into the QBR dashboard to follow the goal roadmap realisation.

Let me go back to my example of the Buyer and Supplier who have opted to digitise their collaboration and innovation efforts.

Organisations are forced by the current COVID-19 pandemic to change the way they are conducting business and interact with Suppliers on all levels. In the current climate it is not possible to have regular face-to-face meetings to discuss issues and solutions. Nor do they have the time to subtract the information from the legacy excel files or send emails at a global level to find out which supplier can have their back.

Those who are actively conducting QBRs with their SAAS Sponsors/ Customer Success Manager, will have definitely acquired a 360 degree view of how the goals can be achieved through their digital tools.They will know exactly which supplier can come up with fast and innovative solutions for the markets in need.

When those executive teams or strategic decision makers are always in the loop regarding the business cases that their tool might be able to roll out, they will have the agility to face uncertainties and the resilience to remain on top of their industries.

Authored by Alexandra Damian. Published September 2020.

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