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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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Ask The Experts

February 2, 2024 |

QBRs For Clients Rarely Convert Into New Sales. How Do I Use Them to Boost Sales?

Marnie Stockman reveals how shifting a quarterly business review’s focus from technical information to business outcomes can result in closing a deal much more easily.

Working with thousands of MSPs around their quarterly business review (QBR) process, which response do you hear the most when you call to schedule your next QBR with your client?

  • I don’t really have time for that.
  • I didn’t get much value out of the last one.
  • What benefit will we get from this meeting?
  • Great! We have some new business updates to share.

Depending on which one sounds the most familiar to you, this is what they are really saying:

  • Ugh, boring. No value
  • Waste of time
  • You just want to sell me something.
  • Of course! We value this strategic conversation. You are part of our team.

(Excerpt from “Literally: The Book on Customer Success for MSPs,” by Marnie Stockman)

When MSPs talk to us about their existing QBR process, it often involves technical information. They often would come in with a list of recommended tools, hardware or software. They rarely came prepared with a business-focused discussion, so the conversation never reached the strategic level that the customer was interested in. This is why it felt like a sales call.

One of my favorite books is Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why.” He discusses how sales people should learn to communicate their compelling “why,” and then their prospects will buy their “what.”

CEOs typically are not interested in technology for the sake of technology. They don’t really care about the newest server or cloud product on the market. They care about business outcomes, such as becoming more profitable and more productive, growing the business, eliminating human error, and increasing employee and client retention.

If a QBR can focus on their business outcomes, then any technologies that support those outcomes will be a natural byproduct — meaning it will be an easy sale. More importantly, it won’t feel like a sale at all to the customer.

Marnie Stockman

Marnie Stockman

Here are a few questions as suggested in “The MSP Owner’s Handbook: QBR Edition” by Juan Fernandez and Marnie Stockman:

  1. How will your business change during the next 12-18 months?
  2. Are you planning an expansion or adding new locations?
  3. Are you downsizing or closing locations?
  4. Are you hiring? Do you plan on any other major staffing changes this year?
  5. What is changing in your industry? Commoditization? Growth? New technologies?
  6. What could new technology do for you or your team?

If you haven’t had successful QBRs in the past, see how they compare to the conversations these questions would create. If there is a mismatch, then it is time to regroup your process around QBRs. It might also require an apology before your customer will let you schedule the next one.

Do a quick analysis of how to move forward: Write down a list of your client’s goals and needs, then align your products, tools and services to how they help solve those needs.

Start the conversation with their business in mind and your business will be thankful in the end.

Marnie Stockman was co-founder and CEO of Lifecycle Insights (now a ScalePad product), which was the fastest growing QBR platform on the market. After exiting the company, Stockman co-authored the book “Lead It Like Lasso,” a leadership book based on the principles of Ted Lasso. Get to know more about Stockman on channelWise.

Have a question? Email our experts now!

Image: iStock

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