At Managed Services Platform our goal has always been to make your MSP business more productive to face the ever growing expectations of client engagement activities.
In this article we've collected all the best practices you can utilize to connect the dots on how to prepare, deliver and follow up client meetings. Use this article as a reference guide and sources of many articles, blog posts and feature highlights that can help you make both you and clients more productive.
We've added new sections based on the the new software features and integrations of Managed Services Platform 2021 February Release.
When you conduct your QBR you want to make sure that you can run the sessions very efficiently.
In the first section we share the best practices in order to set you up for success. This phase is a one-off activity that you review once a year. We identified the best practices you can leverage to plan your QBR and set up the tools for productivity.
In the second section we share best practices regarding effectively preparing the meetings, running the sessions and following up internally and with clients to tie up all loose ends. This phase will help you execute QBRs faster with less resources.
Use the links to leverage the different resources, share them with your team and apply one at a time!
Phase I. Preparation
Start the process that will make you ready to do more QBRs in less time with better results.
1. Plan for Success
Let's start with a small plan. You do not have to invest a lot of time on this part upfront, but clearing a couple things will help down the road.
1.1 Define your QBR Value Proposition
It might be obviously valuable to you to run QBRs with clients, but they might be unsure why these meetings are happening or why they (and more importantly who) should attend.
The result is a clear understanding why clients should care and who is going to communicate to whom during the QBRs.
1.2 Define your QBR playbook
You have limited time to prepare, run and follow up on client QBRs. The best practice is to calculate the time you can spend on your client segments then create an annual calendar for easy scheduling.
The result is a clear picture of the capacity needed and the annual schedule of the QBR activities.
2. Setup for Productivity
2.1 Select Templates
After you have both the main agenda for the sessions and the time budget it's time to choose a template. We have three templates you can start with that involve your time, client maturity and agenda items.
The result is a meeting template including the agenda items and widgets for each topic discussed throughout the QBR.
2.2 Setup Touch points
Consistency is key. After you have the client rhythm in mind you can start either designing custom client annual playbooks (Delegate and Team Plans) with the Client Engagement Score (CES™) module or just setup your clients with Annual/Quarterly/Monthly touchpoints.
- Setup a detailed client segment playbook (Delegate and Team Plans only)
- Setup Touch Points with PSA integration (All Plans) 🔥NEW FEATURE🔥
The result is a structure in a system that will keep track, remind and help busy individuals to stay on top of client QBRs and not let clients falls through the cracks.
By the end of the Preparation Phase, you should have a decent QBR process with a very high Return on your Investment (ROI). It makes the process ready to be Productive (less resources) and to create an Exceptional Client Experience (more results).
Phase II: Execution
During the execution you are going to prepare for individual meetings, run those meetings, then follow up with clients and internally.
1. Prepare for the end in mind
Based on our research Account Managers spend the most time during the preparation step, but the majority of the prepared content will never be reviewed by the client. That is why we are going to focus on preparing properly and efficiently for meetings.
1.1 Gather the right information
You need to gather two types of information.
The first type needs to be automated as they directly impact financial decisions (projects and assets). You can import those items into the system directly.
The second type requires interpretation (so automation is not efficient nor possible). These are other sources of data - general background information for the decisions required on projects. You can add these evidences to the system as links, screenshots or iFrame based images.
The result is a focused preparation time based on data that should be synced and automated, and information needed to support decisions.
1.2 Prepare the Report
You will prepare the report by reviewing all your data from various systems, the current state of their roadmap and your goals with the client. You set the agenda and plan the discussion points to make decisions.
The result is a report, process and evidences that help your clients to make the decisions you would like them to make.
2. Meet for Results
Everything you have been building so far is designed to create an engaging meeting your clients see value in. Conducting interactive workshop type sessions will help you to get the interactive environment needed to engage executives.
2.1 Run the QBR Meeting
The secret to running and facilitating successful meetings is interactivity. Have conversations with involvement rather than going through presentations.
- 5 steps to run effective client meetings remotely
- 5 Questions that will make your client meetings more strategic
The result is a quick and engaging meeting with clear alignment and easier decisions.
2.2 Create a clear Action Plan
By the end of the meeting you will have a list of decisions, clear next steps and deliverables to work with. You can organize those so both clients and the internal team can understand.
The result is a Client Roadmap representing the major projects with clients and a proposal with which they can approve projects as the need arises.
3. Follow up for execution
When you are finished with the QBR you need to make sure that the cycle is closed and the next cycle has opened. You communicate to the clients the next steps, expectations and their part of the deliverables and you set things in motion on your end generating tickets and projects for the team.
3.1. Close loops with clients
Strike while the iron is hot. First thing is to document the QBR process and send a snapshot to the client with the proposals. This gives them a very quick response after the session and they can distribute the information and work among their team.
The result is a documented session informing the client so everyone is on the same page. Executives approve projects, technical contact personnel do the work and financial people pay the invoices.
3.2. Close loops internally
While things are fresh in your mind you can start generating tickets, opportunities or projects and distribute those to the team for further clarification or execution.
The result is a well-oiled machine working on the deliverables, saving time and enhancing client experience.
By the end of the Execution Phase, you have gone through a fairly simple but repeatable process of a client meeting. You set goals and the agenda, delivered an engaging client meeting and followed up with all parties. This will lead to consistent closed projects, client engagement and measurable return on your account management investments.