Preparing Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) isn’t easy, but the opportunity to meet with clients can be used for so much more than reviewing service tickets and out of date warranties.
MSPs can often struggle to put together a successful QBR presentation that engages their client and drives business forward. Want to take your client meetings to the next level? Here are five steps you can take to elevate your next QBR presentation.
One of the biggest reasons clients avoid QBRs is that they feel like a pitch to sell unnecessary services. MSPs may feel the pressure to sell and drive the bottom line. Instead of focusing immediately on sales, take this opportunity to discuss how you and your client work together on a plan and approach the entire meeting with that team-centric strategic perspective.
Ask what their current goals are and if your MSP can play a role in achieving them. What’s meaningful for their business, and how can your MSP support those efforts? Are there changes the client wants to make in their business? You could even encourage them to ask any questions about the IT industry and best practices.
You can also try using terminology like “our goals” and “our results” to demonstrate the collaborative nature of your teams. Remind them that your success is their success.
ScalePad Partners taking this approach have reported that QBRs have been much more productive when the client doesn’t feel like they are being sold to. When both parties are working as one team, more is accomplished and the QBR process feels more valuable.
By developing direct and open conversations, the client will be more willing to listen to solutions and proposals, which will lead to sales.
You probably already develop an agenda as you prepare for your QBR presentation, but to make meetings more valuable MSPs should consider building the agenda around the “story” of the client.
Avoid unloading tons of reports on them. Instead, craft a narrative around a specific priority or an ongoing task. Center your client’s progress from the previous QBR presentation as the main storyline to follow. Has there been progress on a high-priority item discussed in the last QBR? Pull out the big statistical highlights, whether positive or negative, and elevate those numbers to help tell the story.
By framing their IT status as a narrative, it can be much easier to introduce a call to action for the client. This could include solutions to ongoing problems or ideas that could help them continue their positive trends.
Try building visual aids, like a roadmap graphic for multi-phase projects or charts to show change over time, as they can be helpful in quickly communicating the high-level status of data that would otherwise be stuck in reports.
Are you sending clients too much material to review before the meeting? Are they filled with overwhelmingly detailed information about specific warranties and hardware assets? Many clients are easily disengaged before you even meet because this feels like a review of the past rather than a planning session for the future.
Moving away from huge collections of reports and tickets allows for more time discussing the outcomes the MSP has achieved and discussing how further steps can address the client’s needs.
In ScalePad’s MasterClass webinar, CEO of Blacktip IT Services Matthew Bookspan explained how his client meetings have improved since moving away from the reports and focusing on strategic communication.
“They already got the report, so if they have any questions, they can ask,” said Bookspan. “Because we have them more often, we usually pick one thing we want to discuss strategy-wise, such as new projects they are working on, and how we can help impact that. So it’s a very different approach that doesn’t even get into dollars and cents.”
Clients feel the QBR meetings have more value as the representatives, managers and executives alike, can be engaged as a part of the planning process. Summarize the past, but use that information to inform decisions for the future.
Working collaboratively with your clients is vital in making the most of the strategic approach to QBRs. Both parties should establish their roles in the meeting in an effort to share accountability and increase efficiency.
For example, the client will always be the one determining the budgetary decisions and making the final approvals, while your MSP will be focused on the implementation of those decisions and deployment of new initiatives. When these roles (or similar roles as necessary) are set, both the MSP and the client can begin collaborating on the strategy to drive action on both sides.
With a clear understanding of how this relationship works, MSPs and their clients can easily measure the progress made in each category to determine the next steps.
Use the progress since the previous QBR presentation as a way to identify new areas where the client can invest in their business to address vulnerabilities in their tech or improve productivity for their employees.
In reviewing the success of recent QBRs, MSPs have reported increasing the frequency of the meetings, such as moving from quarterly to monthly, has made a big difference in the results of each meeting.
Increasing the cadence of the meetings has been shown to improve most aspects of the QBR process. MSPs and their clients can develop a better working relationship with more consistent communication. The amount of information to review in each meeting is decreased, which allows for more time spent discussing top priorities, budgeting, and planning.
Clients won’t put off or avoid meetings when they’re a place for proactive action and planning, instead of a quarterly sales pitch. A better working relationship helps the clients see your MSP as a part of their team’s success–leading to more consistent investments in their tech stack through your MSP.
ScalePad Lifecycle Manager is the best resource MSPs can use to collect and manage 100% accurate data on their clients to build the best QBRs.
Lifecycle Manager automatically generates reports, manages warranties, and monitors assets, making it easy for MSPs to make their goals a reality. Lifecycle Manager’s DMI score and Insights let MSPs manage the status of assets, allowing QBRs to focus on the strategy and long-term goals.
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