3 Ways Generative AI Will Help Marketers Connect With Customers
3 min read
For those who may be newer to business leadership, QBR stands for “quarterly business review.” The QBR is a great forum for sales managers and enterprising salespeople to separate themselves from the pack. After all, the best reps are CEOs of their territory, thinking holistically about their business and knowing what makes their patch unique.
Yet too many managers and reps think of QBRs as simple account reviews, instead of a forum where reps and sales management align on territory plans, and reps weigh in on their ability to execute those plans.
Since all of us in sales are goal-oriented, I’ll give sales managers a concrete goal: Your reps should look back on your QBRs, quarter after quarter, and say, “Those were the toughest meetings of my life, but I sold more and earned more because of them.”
Below I’ve outlined three high-level questions every sales leader should ask to ensure effective QBRs for their reps and region.
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While last quarter’s performance is still fresh, reps should deliver a cause-and-effect review. The big, overarching question, “What happened?” can be broken down into three smaller ones:
Sales managers should be focusing on deep thinking and easy takeaways during the QBR, not elaborate presentations. Before you meet, send out the questions you expect each rep to answer. Don’t throw curve balls, especially when other managers and executives are in the room. You need confidence in their plan, and they need confidence that you’ve got their back.
At the end of the quarter, reps can easily lose sight of pipeline health. With this in mind, the QBR is the time to review your pipeline for:
Realign with your reps on your ideal customer profile. Don’t be surprised if your first QBRs with rigorous pipeline analysis result in a slimmer, and even scarier, opportunity set. Forty real opportunities are better than 150 dart throws.
Additionally, don’t wait until the QBR to discuss pipeline. In the first two months of every quarter, make pipeline health part of your one-on-one conversations. Overcommunicate about how to balance near-term selling with pipeline building and know your minimum pipeline coverage ratios. Be skeptical when a rep focuses exclusively on deals far above your average size, as they may put the next two quarters at risk.
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Every QBR should include a forecast discussion and commitment to it. A manager must decide whether their reps’ plans deliver confidence, based on the following:
These questions may feel intimidating, but deal and activity questioning has to be built on a foundation of trust — both a manager’s trust in getting the straight story and a rep’s trust in the manager to help.
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