It’s QBR season again. Normally this would mean getting all of your sales reps and sales leadership into one room for 8 hours (sometimes for more than one day) to recap the previous quarter and plan strategies for the next one.
But this year, things have been different. Due to COVID, many teams will be running virtual sales QBRs.
Sales QBRs don’t have a great reputation even at the best of times. They are not always known to make waves, and many leaders and SDRs often view them as an obligatory exercise that comes with the job, like the occasional dinner with your in-laws. This will make your virtual sales QBR all the more challenging.
But your sales QBR can add tons of value. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with your team, which is even more important in socially distanced times. It’s a place for leadership to provide direction and vision, and for the entire organization to learn from the experiences of your sales reps who are on the frontlines.
QBR is a quarterly business review. It is a meeting / bunch of meetings held every quarter, for key members of the sales organization to discuss deals that were won and lost, trends, lessons learned, and priorities/opportunities for the next quarter.
Usually these meetings are held in person, and that has its advantages for sure. For many sales teams it is an opportunity to bring together reps who spend a majority of their time out in the field, and for the frontline salespeople to mingle with the leadership.
But sometimes, mitigating circumstances make physically meeting difficult or impossible. COVID is just the most recent (and drastic) example, but teams may not be able to gather for a variety of reasons. Luckily, a virtual sales QBR is always a viable option.
Here’s how to get the most out of your virtual sales QBR.
Preparing each stakeholder with data that is relevant for them will help the team to focus on why something happened instead of what happened (because that data is already on a slide).
One of the gifts of the digital age is its ability to make conversations asynchronous. Important information can be consumed in small chunks, whenever it suits you.
“I’m really looking forward to the 8 hour Zoom call!”… said no one ever.
It’s unreasonable to expect people to pay attention through long meetings at the best of times. It’s even more unreasonable to expect them to pay attention through long virtual meetings, especially when it’s so easy to open a cat video in another browser window.
But it is often necessary for QBRs to run for a long time. The previous 3 measures will help you save a lot of in-meeting time. Now here’s how you can make the most effective use of that time.
Figure out what works best for your team. You want to get the most impact out of your meeting time, which means that the information needs to be retained by everyone.
It’s human tendency to meander and get lost in infinitely interesting side discussions. If you have a meeting plan, you can maintain focus and limit segments with hard stops.
This encourages everyone to stay on point and not waste precious meeting time.
What you learn during the meeting or series of meetings is meant to bolster the productivity of your sales force. Don’t let it just sit on the shelf!
But they don’t need to be seen as a box-checking exercise. They are an absolute gold mine of insights to help drive your sales forward.
If your sales QBRs have been a drag in the past, then here is an opportunity to shake things up and make your QBR an occasion that creates a lot of value. In fact, in-person meetings can benefit from these tips too, once we get back to them.
To summarize, here’s what you need to do:
By shifting a lot of focus and energy to pre-meeting preparation and making proper use of technology, you’ll be able to get the best insights and learnings out of your team and make your virtual sales QBR an occasion to look forward to.
Spencer is the product marketing manager at LevelJump. He comes from the world of content and loves helping B2B SaaS companies find exactly the right people who love a product, and figuring out exactly how to tell that product story so it resonates and compels action. You can find him on LinkedIn.