CBRs > QBRs: Introducing the Continuous Business Review
How many of us have been on the giving or receiving end of a completely unproductive quarterly business review? When the QBR was first conceived, the idea was for account managers to sync up with their customers every few months to gain a deeper understanding of their future plans and to strategize around goals and objectives.
On the surface, it’s a seemingly worthwhile venture, but the reality is that the approach is antiquated and unproductive—in part, because while the process is ostensibly for the benefit of the customer, more often than not, it is simply about gaining visibility into retention risk.
The world of B2B is evolving at breakneck speed and it’s not enough for suppliers to gain alignment with their buyers on a quarterly basis. Innovations are made, competitors pop up overnight, and global pandemics change entire go-to-market strategies. In order to deliver real value, suppliers must keep in lockstep with their customers to ensure they are achieving their desired outcomes. They must understand their customers’ struggles, offer solutions, and above all else, help them win.
Where QBRs Go Wrong
The quarterly business review has become a frequent line item in sales proposals, added as a way to communicate a supplier’s commitment to each customer relationship. It’s more symbolic than anything else. In practice, the QBR falls short.
Does the following scenario sound familiar? One of your customer success managers (maybe it’s even you) realizes that a key account has a scheduled QBR quickly approaching. Your team looks back on meeting notes and CRM data to try to remember what the account wanted to accomplish through the partnership. You find minimal information, but enough to attempt to pull together some presentable slides. In the presentation, you outline high level goals, a few product updates, and “data”—aka arbitrary product metrics related to customer activity.
The meeting date arrives. You present your information, ask for feedback, and try to drum up a conversation about the customer’s future goals and how your team might be able to help. There’s not as much discussion as you’d hoped for and your customer ends up repeating some of the same desired outcomes they communicated during the sales cycle. The meeting ends and very little follow-up occurs.
The next quarter—lather, rinse, and repeat.
The fact of the matter is that traditional QBRs offer little value to the customers they are supposed to be serving. Most often, QBRs tell customers very little about whether the supplier has delivered value, rarely lead to real action on either side of the supplier/buyer relationship, and often focus on the past instead of the future.
So if we abandon the QBR, what do we put in its place? Introducing the continuous business review.
Bringing the CBR to Life
The continuous business review is the act of staying in perpetual alignment with your customers—as a way to both understand their challenges and aspirations as well as know if they are progressing toward the achievement of their desired business outcomes.
This level of alignment may seem like an impossible feat, but in the age of digital transformation, there are ways for suppliers to keep constant tabs on their customers to ensure their success. MetaCX was built for this exact reason and use case. The platform offers a new outcomes-based approach for managing the entire customer lifecycle by transforming how suppliers and buyers collaborate and win together.
Using MetaCX, suppliers are able to collaborate with their customers around their desired business outcomes—all within a co-branded, shared space called a bridge. During the sales cycle, suppliers and buyers use the bridge to lay out their goals and objectives, define milestones and metrics, and set specific deadlines.
From then on, the bridge serves as the central source of truth for both sides of the supplier/buyer relationship. Suppliers know what they are expected to deliver and customers know the value they should receive.
And collaboration doesn’t stop once a bridge has been built. Suppliers and buyers are able to adjust outcomes, create new milestones, share supporting assets, and make comments to each other—all while being guided by real-time outcome analytics that tell both sides whether the customer is progressing towards outcome achievement.
With the help of MetaCX, suppliers are able to align with their customers around shared success plans and map out every stage of the customer journey. It’s time for suppliers to know exactly where each customer is on their path to success—at any moment in time. When suppliers and buyers are on the same page, everyone wins. And everyone gets an hour back on their calendar to get real work done.