You may think of a QBR – or a Quarterly Business Review – as an internal company meeting to review the sales results of a quarter and achieve internal team alignment on where the organization will go from there. Increasingly, QBRs are also being used by Customer Success teams toward the same end – but to evaluate the success of their customers’ performance.
Below are some insights into the QBR process we use at Skilljar with our customers. Whether you are implementing quarterly reviews with your customers in order to scale the efforts of your Customer Success Team, or using them to track company performance over time, the same foundational approach applies. Read on to learn how to get more from your QBRs.
At Skilljar, we spend a lot of time thinking about how customer onboarding can lead to customer success. Our platform enables organizations to onboard and train their customers. And we work tirelessly to “walk the walk” by delivering our own customers the best possible onboarding and training experience.
To support our own onboarding and training program, Skilljar initiates Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) with organizations that demonstrate a sizable opportunity to scale their customer success programs.
These 60-minute sessions are an opportunity for us to deepen our relationships with our customers and further set them up for success with Skilljar and their unique business goals.
Here, we describe the typical QBR agenda and template Skilljar uses to give and get valuable feedback from our customers.
Our QBR Goals
In designing Skilljar’s QBR, we considered the desired goals for our customers and for Skilljar. For our customers, the QBR is an opportunity to:
- Review historical metrics and results
- Think strategically about the upcoming quarter and year
- Leverage new features offered on the Skilljar platform
- Learn best practices shared by our Customer Success Managers
For Skilljar, the QBR is an opportunity to:
- Understand our customers’ key objectives for the upcoming quarter and year
- Ensure our customers are achieving their business goals
- Reinforce Skilljar’s ROI delivered through reporting and analytics
- Share training tips and strategies
Our QBR Preparation Process
To prepare for each QBR session, our Customer Success team reviews all aspects of the account, including:
- Previously discussed initiatives
- Features utilized
- Training metrics
- Notable wins
While the specifics will vary from customer to customer, we always create QBR presentation slides that follow the below template.
What’s Included in Our QBR Template
Our QBR agenda always includes the below components. Below, we’ve detailed what we discuss at each point, and shared some templates of the QBR slides we use.
We start each QBR meeting reviewing and re-aligning on our customer’s training ecosystem. We review things like:
- Their account scope with Skilljar
- Recent challenges to be solved with customer education
- Objectives and success metrics they’re tracking
- Features and integrations they turn to
Then, we move into alignment with whatever specific education program our customer is working through at the moment. Here’s an example of slides we use to review our customer’s program.
Program Milestones & Goals
We then look back on that program’s wins and challenges. The goal of this part of the QBR agenda: To identify opportunities for improvement in our customer’s training program.
We then transition into the future. What does our customer want to achieve in the upcoming quarter with their training programs? In this part of the QBR session, we also aim to incorporate our recommendations to achieve these goals.
We start each session by reviewing key QBR metrics on an overview slide that relate to the specific goals of our customer’s overall training activity.
These metrics include:
- Session time
- Completion rate
Later slides drill deeper into engagement metrics, such as:
- Lesson views per course
- Completion rates per course
- Last activity day by month
These QBR metrics let our customers drill into which training content is performing well, and which can be improved.
With these deeper dive QBR slides, we again try to provide more value than just reporting the numbers. Instead, we aim to spark a conversation on what these metrics mean for our customer, and what actions we could take based on these results. We kick off those conversations with the “observations” and “consider” sections of this slide.
Next, our team reviews our customer’s training portal and makes recommendations for improving the user experience.
The training course catalog is a great example of a feature that we optimized for a customer. Initially, this organization offered only one training course to their customers — so a course catalog wasn’t required. But as the organization launched more courses and built a course catalog, our QBR sessions offered 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.
In the course of this conversation, we’ll provide straightforward tips on how to utilize Skilljar features to improve the user experience.
Later in this QBR session, we review recent feature launches. While we communicate launches on our product newsletters and blog, bringing it up in the QBR session gives us a chance to help organizations understand how they can use a specific feature.
If relevant, we also dive into features that our customer may find particularly useful.
In the final part of the QBR, we review Skilljar features that are in progress. We also collect feedback from our customers on our product roadmap.
As part of the Roadmap Review, we circle back to our customer’s upcoming goals and objectives, and how training fits into their overall Customer Success map.
We wrap up the session with questions and next steps, which always includes emailing the updated QBR deck after the call.
Whether you’re looking to assess each quarter for your internal business or for your external customers, QBRs are increasingly becoming a must in today’s business environment. And if your corporate goals include getting more from your Customer Success team in terms of your customer onboarding and training programs, we invite you to speak with a Skilljar representative today.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015, and has been updated in 2021.