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4 min read

It’s Time to Kill the QBR


The quarterly business review (QBR), once a mainstay for MSPs, has got to go. QBRs used to offer a way to show clients all the great work your team was doing, and providers leaned on them more as cloud and remote work moved in and they saw their customers less. But QBRs are no longer useful, needed, or even advantageous. And so it’s high time MSPs gave the QBR the heave-ho in favor of a better, more efficient, and more profitable strategy for maintaining and growing client accounts.

Your clients don’t like QBRs and you shouldn’t, either

QBRs were an okay solution years ago. They brought together datasets from a not-yet-overwhelming tech stack and presented it in a readable format. But for as much as MSPs appreciate QBRs as a connection point and a conversation starter with clients, that’s how much clients dislike them. Most customers see the quarterly review as a waste of time—20 minutes of reading through a report they could review on their own followed by 10 minutes of being upsold whatever the sales team was pushing that quarter.

With the on-demand access many clients now have to their account data, it’s much easier for them to see what’s going on. Ticket volumes, licensing, reporting—everything is readily available at the touch of a button. Clients don’t want an MSP to spoon-feed them information that’s already on tap.

Not surprisingly, the outlook for QBRs is actually getting worse.

Management consulting firm McKinsey found that the pandemic led to a 52% drop in in-person B2B sales interactions. That makes any connection you can score with your clients far too valuable to spend reviewing ticketing or other historical data they can easily access through other means. Your interactions with your clients need to be proactive and productive. The time-intensive, rearward-looking QBR doesn’t fit into that picture.


For their part, MSPs rarely take good advantage of the touch point provided by QBRs. Most of the attention focuses on the large or noisy customers, translating to perhaps only 10% of accounts. Meanwhile, the majority of the client base receives only a perfunctory review or no outreach at all. That’s four times a year that potentially valuable opportunities pass by.

Need more reasons to put a fork in the QBR?

QBRs aren’t just outdated and inefficient, they can be downright bad for you. Client contracts could be at risk if the SLA and the QBR are at odds, or if you get busy (or the client gets uncooperative) and the QBR doesn’t happen. It’s a scenario with the potential to be very dangerous for an MSP, because you don’t want to spell out a promise in a contract that you may not fulfill. The resulting breach could make it easy for a client to cancel the contract, leaving you open to a lawsuit or, at a minimum, reputational damage and retention issues.


Operationally, logging in through multiple systems to gather information for a traditional QBR is time consuming. Juggling schedules with a reluctant client consumes additional bandwidth, putting the MSP even further behind. These inefficiencies tied to QBRs make it nearly impossible to scale your client relationships. QBRs essentially make the most important part of your outreach efforts the most difficult, and severely undercut your ability to grow your business.

Killing the QBR puts you in a more profitable position.

Instead of a look back, you and the client can focus on exploring ways to help them move forward. You become a trusted advisor and a true partner. Clients that see you as a valuable resource instead of a cost center are the ones that buy more services and sign more contracts. Those are the conversations you want to have.

With the QBR gone, you can really wow your clients 

Elevating your approach in the post-QBR world requires putting a finer point on what your clients want. Reviewing the past isn’t on their agenda. They want to know where their business is going. Clients want outcomes.

With the old-school QBR out of the way, you can replace it with something far more effective, and that’s a Listening Business Review. Instead of spending this valuable time doing all the talking, MSPs that want to grow their businesses and their client accounts should listen. Work to understand what your client needs and wants. Where are they headed? What are the outcomes do they really desire? Likely their most coveted outcomes have little to do with technology and everything to do with moving their business forward. Your client may want more productivity out of their staff, or to be able to hold remote meetings from anywhere at any time. Perhaps they want to make sure they aren’t exposed to hacking through their email programs or via employees’ home-based device connections. You won’t discover any of these lucrative opportunities to help your clients be more successful and increase your own MRR if you’re the one doing all the talking.

With CloudRadial, you have a portal that shows your clients what you’re doing all the time. That tool is building trust around the clock—you don’t need to duplicate that effort reviewing a printed report that isn’t designed for this purpose. And all that time you free up by pushing day-to-day actions through the portal can be used more effectively to truly understand how to deliver the outcomes your clients want. 

The data held within a QBR will continue to be important and valuable to both you and your clients. You need a more efficient way to collect and assess that information so you can leverage it to greater effect. CloudRadial automates the QBR process by gathering hardware and software data, Microsoft 365 metrics, and more.CR App Laptop The information is applied to a policy report to point out issues that can be applied to a client’s vCIO planner. The planner builds an IT Roadmap that is a collaborative plan to meet the goals of the company. This information can also be packaged into a PDF in less than a minute—providing a fast, on-demand QBR—or presented in big-picture form via the dashboard. The information is 24/7 and in real-time.

Using CloudRadial’s automation opens up more budget because it empowers you to turn the QBR conversation around and put it on a more productive path. When you can focus on clients’ outcomes, learn what they want to achieve, and show them how you can help them drive their organization forward, you gain access to new opportunities to become more valuable to them.

CloudRadial’s CSA provides the automation to kill the QBR and enables better efficiency for managing tech. Want to learn more about positioning your business for growth? Contact us for more information.

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