Your Quarterly Business Review (QBR) is a time for your sales team to come together and take a hard look at the metrics associated with individual and overall team performance. By analyzing the numbers, you can get a good sense of what went right, what could have been done better, and a path to optimizing performance in the quarters to come. Your QBR presents the perfect opportunity to arm your team with the insights they need to take their sales game to the next level—but it’s important to make sure you’re peeling back the onion and asking the right questions to help you get to the right answers.
Here are the three crucial questions to ask your reps in every QBR:
What’s the backstory behind the numbers? Numbers and metrics tell the final story but understanding color behind the scoreboard is critical to developing a world class sales organization. If your hard commits lagged, why did that happen? Was it a result of not forecasting correctly? For example, were there external challenges onthe prospect side that forced the close date to push back? How could you have commanded control of situation to guide the deal to meet commit?
Pausing to replay the call and understand why deals didn’t go according to plan can help you get a better read on how well your sales team is forecasting, and if there are process challenges and/or external issues at play that are preventing deals from closing in a linear fashion. Conversely, if one of your reps pushed through more deals than anticipated, ask that individual to share their approach and get a handle on why there wasn’t better visibility into those opportunities earlier in the quarter.
Can We Win?
Beyond looking at the deals that have already closed, review existing pipeline opportunities and evaluate their strength. Do you have a good spread of smaller, higher probability deals mixed with a few less certain, but highly value “elephants”? Look for opportunities to pull deals forward to meet the current quarter commitments and always hold reps accountable for their commitments to the team goal. Assure your reps are constantly prioritizing new business development alongside closing out existing deals. This practice should be a part of everyday good sales hygiene.
How Will We Win?
Then, look at the likely commits in the pipeline—how will your team turn commits into inked deals? Work closely with your sales reps to make certain they have a business plan as “virtual ceo” of their territory to employ best practices for staying accountable to the process rigor, methodology and accountability they have committed to delivering. You and your sales leadership team must be able to validate true activity against an opportunity and not what a rep is “telling” you is happening. Work in partnership with your reps on developing strategies that not only guide commits to close as forecasted but increase the likelihood of pulling deals forward.
Each quarter, take the time to regroup with your team to make certain they are treating their book of business like their own business. How are they leveraging company resources such as marketing, product, sales development reps and executives to manage their business plan to success? Approach the QBR as a valuable opportunity to develop and reinforce methodology and process rigor, spur best practice sharing, and optimize team performance to set up winning future quarters.