Most thought leadership on the topic of the Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR) will tell you that the term itself is an outdated practice, an inaccurate term, and in many cases not even a reasonable expectation. So let’s get that out of the way up front: what is generally thought of as a QBR isn’t a best practice. It’s more of a “here’s something you can try if you’ve never done account management before,” better than doing nothing, but by no means the right way to go about it. What other company that you work with personally or professionally does QBRs with you?
CloudRadial enables MSPs to deliver a QBR to all of their clients every single day with minimal effort. So, what should you do if you get the chance to sit down with your client on a regular basis if not show them things like reports and a roadmap? In short, the answer is “to listen.” Most people prefer to talk about themselves and their problems especially compared to reviewing IT infrastructure reports and hearing about your services. What’s more, it’s a lot more valuable to you to understand their problems and what they think of your efforts. To do this, you need to digitize your reporting and roadmap functions. Get them out of the way of the conversation by making them available 24/7.
Take a new approach to QBRs
You see it every day at your clients’ businesses. They’re doing grueling, repetitive tasks that would easily be fixed with technology. This is exactly what we see at many MSPs and how they do reporting and QBR preparation. You can fit a vast majority of MSP into two buckets, MSPs that spend too much time on QBR and reporting prep and those that don’t do it at all. However, there’s an emerging group of MSP that automate reporting, making it available to their clients any time they need it without costing them valuable time.
These MSPs enjoy the time saved but understand that it’s about a lot more than efficiency. Say you had an employee working in the office every day and another employee who works from home that you only hear from once a quarter (or however frequent your business reviews are). Both employees could have the exact same output, but if you’re their manager, wouldn’t the visual proof of them showing up to work every day and being there anytime you are looking for them be more reassuring?
With reporting out of the way, it’s time to listen
To reliably sell a complex business solution you need to understand the problem. Not just the problem in general, but how it effects your client’s specific business. Successful sales to your existing clients have much more to do with how well you know their business than what you know about IT. This is why you do business reviews, not to report and sell, but to learn everything you can about their business and their ongoing challenges. Because if you truly understand the challenges they are facing, that’s all you need to effectively sell to them, or to at least know they are a hopeless cause.
Making the transition from a resented vendor to a valued adviser isn’t necessarily a matter of offering new services. It’s how you present your existing services that’s most important. If you present your products and services as expenses, then they will absolutely be viewed as just that and will be accepted only because they feel like they must. Which can be a fleeting feeling that in no way endears you to the client.
It’s much more effective to take the extra time to understand their business enough to present new expenses and projects as opportunities for them to be more profitable. Proper QBRs, where the MSP is there to listen first and foremost, are where this learning can best take place. Not in the middle of a disaster or outage or only when you want to sell them something new, but a regular meeting that they can look forward to. This means ditching any kind of reporting, you have the means of digitizing reporting and delivering it on a continuous always-on basis. If the client wants to see reporting it should be available to them at all times, but people don’t want to get together talk about what they’ve had for dinner over the past 3 months, they care about what they’re going to have for future dinners.
If you take the time to understand what their challenges are, what they need help with, and where their missed opportunities are, you’ll then know how to present what your other services past what they are currently engaged with. CloudRadial is designed from the ground up to get proving your value out of the way of conversation about how to increase the scope of what you do for your client.