*Editors Note: Ralph Barsi is the Senior Director of Sales Development at Achievers. This article was previously posted on Ralph’s Sales Blog and is being republished with his permission.*
The general who wins a battle
makes many calculations in his temple
before the battle is fought.
– Sun Tzu
It is common practice in business to have field sales reps (those in a closing role) present Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR’s). The reviews are held just before a new quarter begins. Sales Development Reps (SDR’s), however, usually participate in the QBR presentation vs. prepare one themselves.
If you’re an SDR, knowing how to prepare a QBR is beneficial for two reasons: It influences you to plan your work and work your plan; and strengthens your competency for when you ARE in a closing role. So, whether or not you’re required to prepare and present QBR’s, get good at it anyway.
QBRs are typically created in PowerPoint, so I’ve built a template for you to download. But first, let’s inspect the essential components of a strong QBR.
The following suggestions assume the SDR is in a business-to-business selling environment. They support field sales reps in a given territory, and are responsible for inbound lead qualification, outbound prospecting, or both.
Questions You Should Consider While Preparing
Thought-provoking questions (of yourself) will ensure you’ve thoroughly planned through the upcoming quarter. They’ll also open-up your mind, allowing you to approach your QBR creatively and with confidence.
- How well does my QBR align with the overarching goals of the entire sales team?
- How closely have I looked at the data in my CRM?
- Can I articulate the milestones and trends in this territory?
- Have I reviewed this with the field sales rep(s) I support?
- Is this QBR insightful, informative, and concise?
- How well have I anticipated and prepared for questions that may come up?
- Is this the best I can do?
Most QBR presentations last one hour, so plan to build no more than five, maybe six slides. Tell a tight story for each slide, stick to the agenda, and you won’t need more slides.
For example, when reviewing the previous quarter, you could talk about the challenges you faced at the start of the quarter, and how you planned to address them. Then, show the results of your efforts, and what insights you now have, heading into a brand new quarter.
Agenda Items to Include in Your QBR
When considering the agenda, think past, present, future. Use a tone of ownership, accountability, and leadership – telling things like they are, and no worse than they are; with an action plan you’re excited to execute.
The QBR summarizes your most current 30-60-90 Day Plan for the territory.
1) Review of the Previous Quarter
Wins. For SDR’s, wins could mean a few things. Show the results, and also highlight how well you did against quota. Examples to share are:
- # of opportunities created from inbound leads or target accounts
- # of completed meetings
- % of completed meetings with decision makers
- # of completed online demos
Losses. For SDR’s, losses are defined by opportunities NOT added to the pipeline…or added, but removed, within a specific timeframe. Other examples are:
- # of opportunities created that fell through (Closed Canceled or Closed Lost)
- # of leads or contacts that have not responded
- # of competitive takeaways
- % of target accounts not yet contacted
- % of meetings booked that have not yet occurred
Findings. Tell the organization what you’re seeing in the territory or in the role. Are people taking your calls? Have you run into the same competitors over and over again? Is your product offering resonating in the territory? Is Marketing supportive of your efforts? Examples to consider are:
- The territory is comprised of only two verticals (oil & gas and manufacturing). We sell very little to those verticals.
- There are two potential channel partners in the territory that we should contact.
- In 80% of my conversations, these 3 features drove the whole discussion.
- The competition will continue winning these RFP’s if we can’t update this particular piece of our product.
2) Approach for the Current Quarter
When qualifying accounts or prospecting in a territory, you DON’T want to wake up and learn your high-value prospects went with a competitor. That news stings even more when you never even had a conversation with them.
Approach the quarter proactively – get started on the action plan, meet with key stakeholders (territory managers, counterparts from other departments, colleagues from your Sales Development team, your sales leader), and manage risk. Example areas to consider:
- Key logos you have targeted, plan to engage, and intend to convert to pipeline
- Competitive landscape (incumbents, FUD they’re spreading in your territory, news)
- Action plan (Demand Gen efforts, upcoming industry events, referrals, outreach sequence)
This is your chance to suggest where help is needed and from what resources. Perhaps Sales Engineers can get involved in more initial calls, or maybe Marketing can craft relevant case studies to align with your territory, or the Sales Enablement team can invest in a tool to help automate and track your emails?
Whatever the need, back up your observations, suggestions, and requests with data. And socialize the need with the respective department, prior to raising the issue in the QBR.