Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs): A Quick-Fire Guide

The Dock Team
February 25, 2022
January 9, 2024

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR): what exactly a QBR is, why they’re essential for success, key stakeholders of a QBR, and provide you with a QBR template.

Let’s get started! 

What is a quarterly business review?

A quarterly business review (QBR) is a quarterly meeting held with your clients and customers to analyze what’s working, what needs work, current results, and action items.

A QBR is a process by many names. It can also be called an Executive Business Review or a Business Review, but in practice, they're all the same thing. 

These reviews are conducted by client or customer success teams to review the previous quarter and set goals for the quarter up ahead, with actions in place to achieve your new goals.

These check-ins help foster customer relationships, reduce client churn, and help both you and your client achieve the results you're looking for. 

Why is a quarterly business review important?

Quarterly business reviews help set your internal team and your clients up for success on a quarterly basis with an emphasis on ROI for the client and customer retention for your internal team. 

According to Gainsight, there are five main benefits of QBRs:

  1. First, they foster relationships between your executives and your customer’s executives.
  2. They allow you the opportunity to highlight the ROI of your product, thus reinforcing your value to the customer.
  3. QBRs open up honest discussions around your customers’ overall health and what you can do to maintain and improve that status.
  4. They eliminate the question of whether your customer will renew once the contract or subscription expires.
  5. They demonstrate to your customer that you’re serious about providing ROI, and that you expect to do so within a 90-day period.

Which customers get a Quarterly Business Review?

In an ideal world, all of your customers and clients would be receiving quarterly business reviews from your client success team. But, since time and resources are valuable, you should, at least, conduct quarterly business reviews for all of your top accounts.

A great way to determine who your top customers are is by measuring your CHI. CHI stands for Customer Health Index, which is a way to measure how healthy your accounts are, which in turn helps you retain customers and prevent churn. So, to ensure you retain accounts with high CHI, you should be performing QBRs. 

Now, let’s take a look at who should be included in your QBR meetings. 

Key stakeholders of a quarterly business review 

We’ve already touched on many of the key stakeholders of a quarterly business review. Mainly, it’s important to ensure you’re including key stakeholders from both your side and the client side.

From your team, your CSM (client success manager/customer success manager) should be leading the meeting, sales executives should be included (depending on the importance/CHI of the customer), and anyone else who is dedicated to the client. 

From the client side, you should have your main point of contact, any executives from their side, and any other key decision-makers with who you’ve been working. 

Ensuring that you have every key stakeholder present for your QBR ensures that nothing gets overlooked and everyone is on the same page as you get ready for the next quarter. 

What to include in a quarterly business review 

When you kick off your QBR, you should have a visual deliverable available for your clients—whether it be a presentation, pdf, or a fully built-out client portal (like the one from Dock, below). Provide your clients with something that tells them exactly what they should expect from your team this quarter. 

First and foremost, tell your client what you’re meeting about in the form of an Executive Summary. That summary should include what’s going well and which areas could be improved.

Then as you get into the details of your QBR, you’ll be able to dig into why something went well and how you’ll improve upon the rest in the months ahead. 

A big piece of a QBR is whether or not you’ve hit the KPIs you and your client set for the previous quarter. When you’re bringing up what went well and what didn’t go according to plan, ensure that you’re backing it up with data examples, and putting an action plan in place for how you expect to hit your goals next quarter so that it doesn’t feel like anything is being overlooked. 

Did you know that you can get your QBR template from Dock? 

With Dock’s QBR template, you just have to plug your data into the dashboard. There are pre-built fields for all of the most important areas of a QBR, including: 

  • Analysis of the client's business alongside core KPIs from the previous quarter
  • Quarterly business review presentations that you can embed in multiple formats, including PowerPoint templates, google slides, pdfs, and more
  • Product roadmaps
  • Case studies that go over how the client can improve next quarter and beyond
  • Onboarding action plans that will drive customer engagement
  • Answers to FAQs that you were preemptively expecting to get from your clients 
  • Links to upcoming webinars, pricing for new products, essential workflows, and automation

The Dock template includes everything in a traditional QBR all in one place so that you and your client can follow along, look back at the results, and see progress quarter after quarter. 

How Dock can help with your quarterly business review 

When your CSM team conducts a quarterly business review, you want to ensure that they’re not missing any details. Dock can set your team up for success with a QBR template and an easy to execute, repeatable process. With Dock, you can build custom quarterly business reviews for each of your clients and continue to crush your QBRs, quarter after quarter. 

The Dock Team