“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 (QBRs). The reviews are held just before a new quarter begins.
Sales Development Reps (SDRs), however, usually participate in the QBR presentation vs. prepare one themselves.
Two reasons why SDRs must learn to prepare a QBR:
(1) They learn to plan their work and work their plan and
(2) elevate their competencies, for when they are in a closing role.
Whether or not you’re asked to prepare and present a QBR, prepare one anyway – for yourself and the field sales reps you serve.
QBR’s are typically created in PowerPoint or Prezi, but can take on a variety of forms. Download this template.
The following suggestions assume the SDR is in a business-to-business (B2B) 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.
- # 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.
- # 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?
- 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.
- Key logos you have targeted, plan to engage, and intend to convert to pipeline
- Competitive landscape (incumbents, FUD they’re spreading in your territory, relevant news)
- Action plan (demand generation efforts, upcoming industry events, referrals, outreach cadence)
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, backup your observations, suggestions, and requests with data. And socialize the need with the respective department, prior to raising the issue in the QBR.
One More Thing
Start preparing your QBR 2-4 weeks in advance of the new quarter. If Q1 begins on January 1, for example, then start framing-up your QBR around December 7.
If you’re NOT in Sales Development, and want to see what QBR’s look like for other roles, check out these articles:
- The Power of the Quarterly Business Review, Lincoln Murphy (@lincolnmurphy), via Gainsight
- Sales VPs: How to Prepare for Your Quarterly Business Review, Lindsay Kolowich (@lkolo25), via InsightSquared
- How Sales Reps should Prepare for their QBR, Gareth Goh (@gareth_giggs), via InsightSquared
- Nail Your Next Quarterly Business Review, John Rode (@johnrode), via Preact