The purpose of a QBR Template is to elevate the performance of sales reps and sales teams in both the short and long-term. The Quarterly Business Review can serve as the regulating mechanism that can efficiently and effectively facilitate the process of elevating average performing sales reps and teams to high performing sales reps and teams.
However, the reality is that the day to day activities of sales reps and sales managers to not provide the ideal environment to plan and execute a QBR that impacts the business. Creating the QBR agenda,coordinating a venue for the QBR meetings, identifying and securing the necessary resources to participate in QBR training, gathering data for the QBR presentation and creating the slides for the QBR deck all take time taken away from day-to-day selling and from sales reps strategically thinking about sales goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.
Because Field Sales Reps (FSRs), Inside Sales Reps (ISRs), Channel Sales Reps (CSRs) and sales managers are frequently consumed by the day-to-day operations of selling, they can lose sight of the forest for the trees. Another deterrent to developing an exceptionally performing sales teams is when FSRs, ISRs, CSRs and sales managers receive conflicting goals, top down driven goals from corporate, goals that are incongruent (sales and corporate), goals that are in constant flux, or worst of all, no goals at all.
A QBR Template can help align each sales rep’s quarterly goals with their sales manager’s goals to ensure that they reinforce the goals of the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and are directly correlated to the organization’s goals. Spending time to plan and orchestrate sales goals guarantees that the sum of all sales strategies and operational tactics are aligned to optimize the scarce sales and marketing go to market resources each quarter and fiscal year.
A key for any sales manager is to maximize the amount of selling time for his or her direct and indirect sales teams and minimize the activities that deter sales people away from engaging with customers and qualified prospects. With respect to selling activities, it is very important to prioritize which activities and accounts take precedence over others and the Quarterly Business Review is a great forum for that to take place. Optimizing sales resources (sales operations, sales enablement, presales, sales development reps and demand generation) is fundamental to maximizing sales rep productivity and step one is to listen to the needs of the sales reps and look for themes and patterns in the feedback and then address those specific issues.
QBR Template – Raise 4 Key Points for Discussion
The agenda for a QBR can be very short and tight or it can span many topics over many days. In either case, make sure there is sufficient time for each sales rep to discuss:
- What happened during the latest quarter, especially with respect to targeted accounts or geography?
- If the value proposition is resonating with targeted accounts and targeted contacts that are believed to be involved in the customer purchase process?
- Does the solution deliver the value that customers based their buying decision on?
- Where and when do you win (geographically, size of company, industry, contact, budget, etc.)?
Ideally, the QBR Template should be expanded to facilitate a discussion that will move the sales needle and that requires each rep to discuss the following topics – Opportunity, Goals and Sales Strategies, Targets, Contacts, Performance (past, present, future), Demand Generation and SDR Plan, and Account Penetration Plans, Key Wins & Losses, Obstacles, Barriers and Asks.
QBR Template Outline – OPPORTUNITY
It’s always a good idea to start with a macro picture of the Total Available Market (TAM) and highlight:
- How many companies comprise the market
- How many companies are in each revenue bracket
- The specific name of each company
This will provide a relevant backdrop so that realistic goals about the total available revenue possible from this market can be set. Additionally, assumptions should be made about a targeted company’s total budget spend, the percentage allocated to the market category, the ability to get an “at bat” at each of the targeted companies and expected close ratios.
During the quarterly business review, Field Sales Reps, Inside Sales Reps and Channel Sales Reps should prepare slides to discuss the Total Available Market as well as their specific territory map.
QBR Template Outline – GOALS & SALES STRATEGIES
While common sense tells us that goal setting is a good thing, Mark Twain told us that “common sense is not so common.”
Sales goals should not be set by a sales reps who is not fully informed about what the company is trying to achieve – bottoms-up. Conversely, goals should not be set at the executive level without regard of what is happening day-to-day and then forced down without any regard for what is happening in the trenches – top-down.
The sum of the parts should be greater than the whole and that requires a hybrid approach of top-down and bottoms-up approach to goal, objective and strategy setting. This is why it is imperative for sales reps and sales managers to take goal setting very seriously and not gloss over it with simple math – i.e. quota divided by the number of sales reps. In order to set realistic goals and expectations, keen attention must be paid to new customer acquisition versus customer expansion, named accounts versus geographical territories, field sales versus inside sales versus channel sales and so forth.
For sales reps, the basic question is, “How I will meet or exceed my quota?”
Basically, there are three common approaches: strategic account penetration, domain expertise and increasing productivity.
Strategic Account Penetration Plan
- Develop a strategic account plan for must-wins
- Coordinate all sales and marketing resources on key accounts
Market, Technology, Company & Account
- Develop key insights in order to be viewed as a domain expert
- Translate insights into compelling sales conversations
- Increase time spent on key selling tasks
- Automate, hand-off or eliminate tasks
The QBR Template used by direct and indirect sales should document their goals, objectives and strategies.
21 professionally designed PowerPoint slides
QBR deck vetted with CRO’s, VP’s of Sales, Sales Managers, AE’s and ISR’s
PowerPoint slides are fully editable and available via an immediate and secure download
Compelling graphics and sample QBR examples
QBR Template Outline – TARGETS
Focus is often the common denominator for the most successful AEs, sales reps, ISRs and CSRs. The first step in developing a go-to-market focus for sales reps is to identify those companies with the highest propensity to perceive value in your solution. So, account selection is the most crucial step to set a sales person up for success.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just select the accounts most similar to current customers or those that should realize value from the value proposition based on a set of preconceived criteria.
Sales Reps need to:
- get to the right companies
- engage with the right people (right functions and right titles)
- connect at the right time
- deliver relevant content and insights
Sales and marketing must collaborate to create a database of the right contacts (titles and function) and the right companies (parents and subsidiaries or divisions) and deliver the right sales play at the right time and in through the right medium. Finally, all go-to-market resources must be laser focused to attract, engage and convert these prospects to customers.
It’s true that a blind monkey occasionally finds a banana. But best-in-class salespeople and sales management look to establish a managed, repeatable process to consistently meet or exceed quota quarter after quarter and year after year — and that requires fishing in a barrel, i.e., build a database of the right companies and the right contacts.
FSRs, ISRs, and CSRs should have PowerPoint slides in their QBR deck to facilitate a discussion of their target accounts and target contacts (role/function).
QBR Template Outline – PERFORMANCE
Success in sales is determined by the evaluation of one number – percent of quota attained. Sales managers are typically most concerned with the percent of quota (or absolute dollar value) attained in the current quarter. However, since sales managers like trends, they will evaluate the percent of quota a sales rep has attained in prior quarters to see if the trend is flat or trending downward or upward. Next, sales managers will focus on the sales rep’s forecast for upcoming quarters (quantity of opportunities and their corresponding value) and how that sales rep plans to convert targeted accounts or geography into revenue.
Of course sales managers who want drill down on the current quarter will require the next level of detail. Some sales managers prefer three forecasts for the current quarter: the sales rep’s commit number, the best-case scenario and worst-case scenario. There may also be a discussion of deals likely to be postponed, those that will die, those that can be accelerated and blue birds.
For reps who are not making quota and who have not attained quota in the past, the QBR review may turn into an analysis of meetings, emails, phone calls and other operational tasks. The focus usually turns to the incremental plan – what will be done that has not been done in the past and will add incremental customers and revenue.
Direct sales people should be prepared with slides to discuss past, present and future performance during their QBR.
QBR Template Outline – DEMAND GENERATION & SDR PLAN
Depending upon the organization, marketing’s role with respect to sales pipeline contribution varies. Some organizations expect the sales team to source 100% of sales pipeline opportunities while other companies may allocate a portion of the sales pipeline to be sourced by marketing that generally falls between 10% to 50%..
While many B2B organizations that sell direct have a sales development organization, some do not. In those with an Sales Development Rep (SDR) function, it may report directly to sales while others with the SDR function have it report directly to marketing. In either scenario, SDRs are typically the first human interaction a prospect has with a company. It’s critical that marketing is coordinated with SDRs. This is so prospects are enticed based upon a predetermined sales play and there is real-time follow-up by the SDR. Most importantly, coordination helps ensure that SDRs are handing off opportunities likely to result in a meeting with a high probability to convert to a qualified sales opportunity.
Field Sales Reps, Inside Sales Reps and Channel Sales Reps need a QBR Template with a PowerPoint slide that summarizes their demand generation plan and how qualified sales leads will be created and handed-off by Sales Development Reps (SDRs).
QBR Template Outline – ACCOUNT PENETRATION PLAN FOR MUST WINS
Most direct sales reps have a finite set of accounts that either they have chosen or have been assigned. The number of accounts assigned to a sales reps typically ranges from 25 to 100 companies. Each quarter, best-in-class direct sales reps build strategic account plans to acquire or penetrate these accounts, specifically identifying the accounts they need to get a meeting with. By focusing sales and marketing go-to-market resources on these must-win accounts, the probability is increased as to accurately determining whether the account is actively looking, has a budget, has already made a purchase, is building a solution in-house or has no interest.
QBR Template Outline – NET
B2B direct selling organizations will most likely conduct QBRs each and every quarter. If one assumes a B2B direct selling organization has 10 sales people and that each QBR PowerPoint presentation is one hour, that is 10 hours per quarter or 40 hours per year. But wait there is more. B2B sales reps will typically spend 5-10 hours preparing their QBR presentation and another couple of hours with follow up activities from the QBR. In total, QBRs require about 13 weeks of a direct sales organization’s time (10 reps, four times a year, 10 hours of preparation and two hours of follow-up). This of course does not include the loss of selling time, the cost of the conference room, food and beverage, travel and entertainment, etc.
Using a QBR Template improves the ROI of Quarterly Business Reviews. It reduces QBR preparation time by leveraging a QBR Template to help the sales team:
- Share key wins and losses
- Uncover ways to improve systems, process and people
- Identify key learnings and turn them into best practices
- Understand why sales people made or missed their number
- Agree on the objective, strategies and tactics to succeed next quarter and beyond