We’re all too well aware of the enormous amount of work that goes into the preparation phase of every client IT project. From the idea stage (we need to replace the server architecture) to actually being able to send a proper quote ($18,500 with labour cost) the MSP spends dozens of hours coming up with the IT project plan and the numbers. The hours are tracked as “sales” hours spending time on those quotes but at the end of the day most of those projects never take off. Everybody is bummed, the client calls off the opportunity, the team writes off the time to a “lost opportunity” category and life goes on. However there is a totally legitimate, battle-tested sales tactic that a few MSPs use to cut this unproductive and morale-draining busy work. Let's get into the details.
4 min read
5 min read
Most MSPs have a hard time not only engaging executives in QBRs but even being able to sit down with clients, as they don’t see the value they add to their business. The goal of scheduling a QBR is more about selling them the process, benefits and the results so they see the value and look forward to these events.
We are going to discover the minimum requirements of scheduling an engaging session with the right people in the client’s organization. As a result you are going to get more executive level decision makers in your meetings with higher anticipation.
5 min read
There are many tools and best practices out there to streamline, and automate technology conversations with RMM integration, ticket reports and asset management functions. The reason is that as most MSPs by starting their QBR processes they simply try to run faster to the wrong direction. The common mistake we see is they try to streamline a technology focused tactical conversation (important for them) rather than elevate themselves with strategic-business focused QBRs (important for clients). Let’s see the 3 reasons why it is the case, 3 impacts taxing these MSPs and the 3 steps to fix this quickly.
4 min read
Although client meetings are getting shorter due to the remote environment, account managers need to pack more into each session. Flooding the client with too much information in a short amount of time leads to an overwhelmed audience, a lack of decisions and countless unorganized follow up meetings. The key is to be able to define all the talking points with the client and spread them out logically over the year. This sets a predictable rhythm for the account manager and the client so they can discuss all salient points and make decisions one step at a time. In this blog we review how to best distribute the topics over the year and the critical points of developing your Annual QBR Playbook.
Your QBR Annual Playbook is your game plan to specify the different topics, decisions and engagement over the year on the different QBRs. This playbook is developed internally and shared with the client to engender alignment.
Different playbooks should be developed for different client segments. If you have only one meeting with a client for a year (as they are small and have no budget for more meetings) you cannot really have a playbook with them. However if they actually have 2 or more meetings a year then a playbook can come in quite handy. We are going to review a 4 meeting QBR formula as this can be applied to medium and larger clients as well.
Topics: vCIO QBR Quarterly Business Review
3 min read
Most MSPs enjoy great personal relationships with office managers and technical contact people because of their regular work together. As executives are not part of the operation it is very important to know them better, understand them better and build strong relationships with them through the only touchpoint you have: Quarterly Business Reviews.
In this article, we check the 8 most important areas you can cover with your executives to get more engagement.
7 min read
If you’re an MSP doing Quarterly Business Reviews / Business Strategy Reviews / Technology Business Reviews or anything along those lines, you might have noticed a chronic hurdle: it’s impossible to wrap a process around them that has traction for more than a few quarters. Thus it’s hard to make those productive, engaging, and repeatable. The result is either an ever broken process or the owner of the MSP is stuck in these meetings and prevented from focusing on more strategic work.
15 min read
Quarterly Business Reviews are tricky. Some clients are not engaged with your QBRs and require a different approach, some clients don't justify the time spent on a QBR every quarter, and some clients are more mature and need different reports, even some demanding complete technology roadmaps and updates...do you need a custom QBR template for each client?! If there's no one fit-for-all QBR process or template it seems that scaling Account Management and vCIO is going to be near impossible, since every client is different.
In this article we show you a method to assess the complexity of your QBR needs and the time you can afford to run those meetings. Then we introduce three different types of QBRs with all the major agenda points, and we'll show you how those QBRs look in an example.
4 min read
The two most prevalent trends in client engagement are the increased frequency and remote delivery of meetings. We see, however, another trend that may surprise you, and its impact is as significant in your client meetings as in your sales meetings.
The power of the traditional printed collaterals, pdf reports, and personal influence is fading from future decision-making processes. This trend shows that your client executives and prospects might be making strategic decisions sitting on the toilet….
I do not want to bury the lead. Our tool is used to prepare, deliver and follow up important client meetings. We measure engagement with shared reports and we’ve just found out that the majority of follow-up items from client meetings such as QBR Reports, Strategy Reports, and Sales Proposals are opened on mobile devices.
This shows not just a surprising shift in engagement, attention span, information processing and decision making in general, but should send a wake-up call for every client-facing employee: the way to win deals, approve projects and upgrade contracts is not just doing the same thing in zoom.
Every account manager, vCIO and sales executive should rethink how their processes can help them succeed not just in the next 30-60 days but the years to come.
Here are 6 quick tips to think about in this new era of decision making:
3 min read
A new customer of Managed Services Platform called us the other day: “Guys, I have a concerned client and risk going into a meeting completely unprepared. I want to do it professionally so they see I am fully organized on their needs, that I can get my ideas across and have an engaging meeting with them. Oh.. did I say I have only one hour?”. We helped this client shift from being reactive, defensive and unorganized to professional, confident and prepared by assembling their personal committed overview ready for the meeting in 30 minutes using our pre-built templates and software. This is how the risk was turned into opportunity.
5 min read
What would it feel like not just having great and engaging meetings with clients but being able to become true business partners? Progressive MSPs has been started because when the Quarterly Business Review (QBR) meetings aren’t focused on the “Client’s Business Review” but the “MSP’s Business Review” then engagement drops and the relationship gets mired in the technology partnership level. Although it raises a concern about the scalability of the process - as account manager employees seem to have trouble engaging executives with real business discussions - there are best practices that can be applied to empower employees to elevate the conversation.
In this blog we collected five great conversation starters that will generate huge engagement among high-value client business owners and executives. Your growth need not stagnate just because you as a business owner are the only one who can deliver these meetings.
5 min read
As a Technology Provider, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the symptoms of your clients' "Technology Debt." This is the manifestation of the inherent costs of perpetual support for less-than-optimal technology. This is a drain on both you and the client. Client Engagement Debt is a similar concept that encompasses the implied cost of not having enough quality Account Management, Technical Account Management, vCIO or IT Consulting activities with your clients. This costs you money, erodes trust, loses opportunities and even lowers the value your clients see in your services. Let’s take a look at how much debt you have and how to get rid of it this year.
5 min read
Unfortunately this is not a cheap cliffhanger title just to grab your attention. You’re reading it on your mobile so I’ll be brief like a bumper sticker: you steal money from your own MSP because you address the symptoms of problems with tactical Bursts of effort. That only generates more work and expends resources to generate tiny bits of unsustainable value. Sure, you feel busy and productive, but you don’t solve the problems in the long run. Sound familiar? Let's take an example and see how to fix it with Smart Goals and an action plan.