In the MSP industry, hosting client review sessions can serve multiple purposes.
For starters, they serve as dedicated time to recap and review existing services and their results. Secondly, they offer a small window in which the MSP can scope out potential new sales opportunities with conversation. Lastly, they serve as a good litmus test to find out how the relationship is going.
These meetings go by many names, such as:
- Quarterly Business Reviews
- Technical Business Reviews
- Semi-annual Reviews
- Monthly Reviews
- Literally Any Type of Review Meeting
Well, you get the idea.
Inherently, they're a good idea. But if you run such reviews, you might have already experienced some turbulence with them here and there – a sure-fire sign of process hiccups. CloudRadial helps tie your QBR process together into a cohesive story and back it all up legible data to form an actionable conversation.
To improve your QBR processes within CloudRadial, be sure to:
- Utilize one-click reporting to standardize views and keep things business-centric
- Put the planner to use to track meeting outcomes and give the customer a voice
- Learn to manage data within CloudRadial to back up your recommendations
Let's take a look at each step to see how you can transform your QBRs from dreaded time voids to value-packed meetings.
Using One-Click Reporting
QBRs should be a summation of the things you've performed for the client in a set amount of time, as well as a discussion of what you should be focusing on in the future. However, most MSPs spend their time focused on recapping their previous value rather than their upcoming value.
Why is that?
Because in the client mindset, there are generally two modes of thinking:
- You put out a lot of fires this time around. You weren't proactive. Why are we paying you?
- Couldn't see any problems this time, but my monthly bill is the same. Why are we paying you?
Indeed, it's the old (and dreaded) MSP catch-22.
The trick to these QBRs is to prove value quickly so that you can move on to strategic conversations.
Thankfully, CloudRadial positions you to beat this logic loop with one-click reporting that succinctly presents the progress you've done to improve their IT maturity. As an added bonus, it can also highlight additional areas they need to work on so that you can build a forward-facing plan.
CloudRadial reports are powered largely by the data that you put into the portal gathered by our agent. The more detail you have in the tenant (like risk scores in your compliance policies, additional planner card information, Office 365 information, etc), the more useful the report.
Once you've created your report layout, you can run the same report for any client loaded up in CloudRadial. Ultimately, that means you can standardize the process to scale your QBRs and make them ultra fast to prepare for.
Need to add additional 3rd party reports to your presentation? Check out report archiving.
And, with the increased speed, you can deliver these reports to your smaller clients just as much as your larger ones. You'll improve your service as a whole and snuff out any feelings of "why am I paying you?".
Using the Account Planner
When used in conjunction with one-click reporting, the account planner becomes an awesome tool to host great conversations between you and the client. There are 3 primary ways to use the planner:
- As a service catalog for your core services
- As a discussion board to post ideas for solutions
- As a catch-all for issues noted with the account within CloudRadial
The first method
Fill in your core solution stack via a planner content package in Partner > Content. That way, you always have all of your core services in front of the client at all times to present to them.
You can drag the solutions they're getting into the "Installed" column and keep the rest as "Recommended" and move them over whenever they make sense to discuss. This begins to build a live map that shows the clients exactly what they're paying for, and what they're missing out on, in real time.
The second method
Add cards freehand from the client's individual planner itself. By adding cards on the fly, you can throw together a plan in front of the client for additional projects and solutions that is as detailed as needed.
Because the client can also add cards themselves, it gives them a voice and a say into their own IT roadmap. That turns what is usually a technical lecture into a business-focused discussion.
The third method
Add planner cards from specific things you note in the account. Most things in CloudRadial have an "Add to Planner" button at their top right which you can use to quickly add a card. Notice their drive encryption come up as an issue frequently? Take a PC from Infrastructure > Endpoints and add a card directly from it.
This method is in the same vein as the one-click report we discussed earlier. Things that you spot that need to be addressed should be added to the planner to talk through with the client. You'll be proactively covering things before they become issues. And, if the client declines to follow a plan that will take care of them, you'll have documented proof that you offered a fix to the issue (a great way to CYA).
Mixing and matching these methods gets you a QBR process that is rigidly structured in its methodology, but flexible in how you use it. Standardizing the QBR toolset with the reports and the planner is the key to scaling up account management for all different types of clients.
Managing Data in CloudRadial
The irony of all ironies is that CloudRadial defeats the whole purpose of the QBR.
Generally speaking, QBRs are used as information dumps on clients to prove value. And, before you had an integrated account management platform like CloudRadial, these were warranted. There just wasn't a good way to show all the work you did to the client.
But now, the clients can see all the data they want whenever they want it.
That's why it's important to learn how to manage the data within CloudRadial, as well as how to train your clients to interpret it as well. Why have a QBR to cover ticket completions when the client can log in and see them? Do you really need to cover risk scores and compliance violations if the client can see their compliance policies 24/7?
When both you and the client understand that the data in QBRs is the same data that they're getting every day, the fight to prove value goes away completely. Now, there's supreme transparency in what they pay for and what they get – and it's all in one place.
The discussions you have with the client are now focused completely on business strategy and operations. That takes you away from the technical talk and focuses you on the things that make both parties more profitable, secure, and happy.
Of course, you should still use the data in the portal to back up any recommendations and business decisions. You already have all of the data loaded into it – why not use it to help you sell more?
Improving QBR Processes
Making QBRs better requires a mental shift away from report-dumping. When you follow the steps we discussed, you use only what's necessary to drive the conversation away from simply proving value to driving strategy and value over a long-term period.
Once the client can understand what they're looking at, have a place to discuss it, and verify that all your recommendations are sound (by themselves), you'll be well on your way to much better account management as a whole.