Scale Customer Success With Our Quarterly Business Review (QBR) Template

Scale Customer Success With Our Quarterly Business Review (QBR) Template

Sandi Lin
May 18, 2021
Customer Success

Customer success has evolved beyond being a department within sales or operations—it’s now an essential part of company culture and a key contributor to new growth for many SaaS businesses.

The goal is to help customers achieve their desired outcomes with a product and ensure long-term satisfaction through proactive support and engagement. Skipping regular business review meetings with customers can result in being out of touch, leading to increased friction, difficulties with new features, and, eventually, customer churn.

So, what to do? Quarterly business reviews (QBRs) are an excellent way to improve your customer relationships. When done right, QBRs bring great value. In this article, we’ll explain QBR goals, what to include in a QBR agenda, and offer tips to improve your QBR process.

What Is a QBR?

A QBR is a quarterly check-in with your customer to review the impact and improvements seen in their training efforts as a result of your product or service. Customer Success Managers will often lead QBR meetings, which are an important tool for Customer Success teams to use to increase customer satisfaction and retention.

To support our own onboarding and training program, Skilljar initiates QBRs with customers to demonstrate the opportunities to scale their customer success programs with customer training. These 60-minute sessions allow us to deepen our relationships with our customers, share insights from benchmarks and best practices, and further set customers up for success by matching Skilljar’s solutions to their unique business goals.

What are the benefits of conducting a QBR?

QBRs are a great opportunity to align with your customers and build a strong relationship. Here are a few benefits of QBR conversations:

  • Customer engagement and relationship building: QBRs allow you to connect with customers personally. Building strong relationships is key to customer retention.
  • Alignment of goals and expectations: QBRs are a checkpoint for the customer and the company to make sure their goals and expectations are in sync.
  • Feedback collection: QBRs present a valuable opportunity to collect feedback directly from the customer. Understanding their experiences can help improve your product for the upcoming quarter and the overall customer success process.
  • Problem resolution: If the customer has any issues, the QBR provides a platform to resolve them collaboratively.
  • Renewal and expansion opportunities: By discussing the value delivered and exploring additional customer needs, QBRs can contribute to successful renewals and even upsell opportunities.

Setting a QBR agenda

A typical QBR agenda may consist of the following items:

  • Review historical metrics and results to identify growth opportunities
  • Strategize with key stakeholders for future actions
  • Use new features to boost product/service adoption and support customer success
  • Learn best practices shared by your Customer Success Managers
  • Confirm customers are meeting their business goals
  • Understand your customers’ key objectives for the next quarter
  • Reinforce your company’s ROI delivered through reporting and analytics
  • Preview your upcoming product roadmap
  • Share training tips and strategies

What to prepare for a QBR

A QBR should be tailored to each customer but generally involves examining the customer’s account, including:

  • Initiatives from the previous quarter
  • Addressing obstacles and roadblocks
  • Features utilized
  • Training metrics to find growth opportunities
  • Highlighting notable wins

Potential QBR questions

It’s best to assume that your customers will have questions, so you should be prepared. Consider what they asked at the last QBR and questions they might have as a follow-up to your talking points, and allow for a general Q&A at the end.

Examples of questions Skilljar customers might ask our CSMs during a QBR include:

  • How does our training program’s performance compare to our peers?
  • What metrics can help us determine the health of our training program?
  • What’s the best way to use feature X?
  • What upcoming features can help our company progress?
  • Will I receive a copy of our presentation today?

What’s included in a QBR template?

A QBR template may have the following sections.

Program Alignment

It’d be naive to assume your customer’s goals are always the same. As their business objectives evolve, so should your conversation. Start the QBR meeting by reviewing their objectives and making sure you’re in alignment.

At Skilljar, we review:

  • The customer’s account scope with Skilljar
  • Recent challenges to be solved with Customer Education
  • Objectives and success metrics they’re tracking
  • Features and integrations they use

Download the QBR Template

After reviewing the above areas, align with whatever specific education program your customer is working through at the moment.

Program milestones and goals

A QBR is a great way to champion your customer’s wins and progress. Use part of the meeting to celebrate their wins from the past quarter and help them identify opportunities for improvement in their external customer training program.

The example slide below is how we organize our conversations around milestones. Doing so gives your customer a snapshot of their achievements in an organized and easily digestible way.

Skilljar CSM QBR template 2022

This is also an opportune time to brainstorm future goals and milestones. Ask your customers what they want to achieve with their customer learning program in the future. Pitch them your best practices and recommendations to achieve these new goals.

Skilljar QBR CSM Template 2022
Skilljar CS QBR Template


Many companies tie education metrics to business outcomes, and those metrics are often used to make a case for keeping their LMS contract. With that in mind, take time during the QBR to review key metrics related to your customer’s specific goals for overall training activity.

Doing so will give customers a pulse on their business goals and an opportunity to readjust, if necessary. Depending on the structure of your business and the customer’s use case, metrics for review could include:

Program metrics:

  • Number of course registrations
  • Number of course completions
  • Session time
  • Course completion rate

Engagement metrics:

  • Lesson views per course
  • Completion rates per course
  • Last activity day by month
Skilljar CSM QBR Template

These QBR metrics allow your customers to drill down into what training content is performing well and what can be improved. Don’t cover metrics just to tick off a box. Use this time to spark meaningful conversation on what these metrics mean for your customers.

Download the QBR Template

Features review

Once the housekeeping is complete, it’s time to look under the hood. Review your customer’s training portal and make recommendations for improving the user experience. Provide straightforward tips on how to use your product’s features. Focus on how the customer can implement changes to increase product adoption and learner engagement.

This portion of the conversation can be used to discuss recently launched features. Even though you update customers on your website, email, or blog, we’re all busy, and the announcement could get lost. Highlighting new features in the QBR session allows the CSM to help organizations understand how to use a specific feature and realize its full value.

At Skilljar, we had a customer who initially offered just one training course to their customers, so a course catalog was not necessary. As the organization launched more courses and started building a course catalog, our QBR sessions provided an opportunity to discuss how they could better manage course engagement. For example, we discussed tagging training courses with attributes and adding more specific header text.

Roadmap review

During the final portion of your QBR, touch on the product roadmap. Giving the customer a sneak peek at upcoming features can fuel their excitement and open up dialogue on any additional features they want. You can even take their feedback to the product team to consider for features in progress.

Previewing the product roadmap isn’t just a game of show-and-tell. Use it strategically to circle back to the customer’s upcoming goals and objectives and how training fits into their overall customer success map.

Leave enough time at the end of the QBR call for questions and clear next steps. Then, email your customer their updated QBR presentation after the call.

How to use the Skilljar quarterly business review template

First, download the Skilljar QBR template. Use our pre-formatted slides as a guide on what to prepare and present during the conversation. Then, collect relevant data and metrics for the specified quarter. This includes customer feedback, product performance, and any other relevant information. Populate the template with the actual values of the key metrics for the quarter.

Remember to highlight major accomplishments and milestones achieved during the quarter. This could include successful projects, new client acquisitions, revenue growth, or any other positive developments.

How you can improve your quarterly business review process

Here are some best practices to improve your QBR process:

  • Gather customer data: Collect relevant customer data before the QBR. This includes usage metrics, customer feedback, and support interactions. Having a comprehensive understanding of each customer’s journey enables you to provide more personalized insights during the review.
  • Focus on key metrics for customer success: Define and track specific KPIs related to customer success, such as customer satisfaction scores, retention rates, and upsell opportunities. These key performance indicators (KPIs) should align with both the customer’s goals and the company’s overall objectives, creating a measurable framework for success.
  • Encourage interactive discussion: Make sure you set aside time for conversations and questions. By doing this and creating a friendly environment, you can get useful feedback and ideas from your customers.
  • Review success stories: Share success stories from other clients in similar industries or with similar challenges. This can provide real-world examples of how your product has helped others, reinforcing its value.
  • Think about your follow-up action plan: Clearly outline action items and responsibilities for both your team and the customer after the QBR. This ensures that the insights gained from the review are translated into tangible steps for improvement.

Skilljar provides data that drives actionable insights

We have found that a QBR agenda with metrics, features review, and roadmap review works well to provide our customers with actionable insights and best practices. After the QBR, you’ll be ready to improve and grasp the next steps for potential strategy changes.

Are you looking to scale customer success at your organization? Schedule a demo to learn more about Skilljar’s customer onboarding and training programs.

Why wait? Take a tour of Skilljar LMS now


1. How can I tailor my QBR to be more customer-specific?
Understanding your customer’s unique needs is crucial for an effective QBR. Start by reviewing their objectives, challenges, and success metrics. Align your conversation with the specific education program they are currently working on. This customization ensures the QBR directly addresses their concerns and goals.

2. What are some common challenges faced during QBRs, and how can they be effectively addressed?
Challenges during QBRs may include issues with goal alignment, difficulties in metric interpretation, or obstacles in discussing new features. To address these, foster open communication, encourage questions, and provide clear explanations. Proactively address potential challenges by anticipating concerns and tailoring your approach to each customer’s unique situation.

3. Can you provide more examples of potential questions that customers might ask during a QBR?
Customers may inquire about performance benchmarks, metrics for assessing their training program’s health, optimal feature utilization, upcoming product features, and the availability of presentation materials. Being prepared for these questions demonstrates your commitment to their success. Additionally, allowing time for a general Q&A at the end ensures any specific queries or concerns are addressed.

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