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How to Plan a Successful Virtual Sales QBR

Jul 01st, 2020

Running a successful sales QBR takes coordination between sales enablement and key stakeholders in sales such as management and leadership. Depending on the size of your sales team, QBR meetings could fill up your entire week, where you hear from both reps and managers about the past quarter and the strategy for the upcoming months.  

With many sales and client-facing teams still working from home, organizers of sales QBRs will have to get creative to ensure that this series of meetings is still engaging, strategic and fruitful for all attendees.  

What are Sales QBRs? 

QBR stands for quarterly business review. These are meetings that take place each quarter to recap the previous quarter and discuss the strategic plan for the next quarter. Key members of the sales organization, including leadership, sales enablement, sales managers and reps all take part in the meetings to discuss deals that were won and lost, trends, lessons learned and priorities and opportunities for the next quarter.  

Typically, sales QBRs take place in person, however, due to the pandemic, many QBRs have switched to a virtual format, requiring some creativity from the sales enablement team, who are often in charge of the planning and execution of the meeting.  

Tips for Planning a Virtual Sales QBR 

  1. Keep them short and prep your presenters
  2. Make them visually engaging
  3. Have presenters do recaps
  4. Wrap up with awards and virtual happy hour

#1. Keep them short and prep your presenters 

As with any virtual meeting, it’s important to keep your sales QBRs to a limited timeframe of about 45 minutes or less. Remember that many salespeople will be attending more than one meeting and for some, their entire week will be occupied by QBRs. 

To keep the meetings on track and within their timeframes, be sure to have a structure and goal for the presenters. For example, you should decide as an organization whether you want to spend the bulk of the meetings discussing the past quarter or the next quarter – you likely won’t have time to do both. 

Also, outline what each presenter should talk about. You may want reps, for example, to discuss their must-win, strategic opportunities for the upcoming quarter and where they need the most help to close those deals. Managers, on the other hand, should cover high-level trends and themes in terms of where their teams performed well and where they need to improve. 

#2. Make them visually engaging 

While you stream your meetings live via video conference, it can be helpful to have some visuals besides the presenters’ PowerPoint slides or documents.  

But since there are so many different QBR meetings taking place, be sure to instruct presenters to use a standard format for visuals. For example, suggest showing certain screens from your CRM or provide a template to display important metrics such as quotas annually or quarterly, or upcoming pipeline versus quota.  

Brainshark’s Readiness Scorecards can also provide a helpful visual to show reps’ learning progress and skills development throughout the quarter. Scorecards use red, yellow and green indicators to visualize whether reps completed necessary training and coaching or whether their scores were up to par, for example. These types of insights can be important to see during a QBR to potentially explain why reps performed the way they did throughout the quarter.   

#3. Have presenters do recaps 

Since not everyone attends every QBR and you want to limit the length of each meeting, it can be helpful for some presenters to recap their presentations. It’s also important that executives are in the loop about what’s talked about during the meeting, in which case a recap can serve as a quick way to inform them.  

For sales managers, have them summarize the main themes and takeaways from the meetings, outline the forecast for the upcoming quarter or two and include a high-level overview of the strategic needs of the business. Brainshark’s content authoring tool makes this easy – managers can upload their PowerPoint slides or create a mini version of their presentation (with the full slide deck and other relevant documents as downloadable attachments).  

Reps can also distill their key messages into simple videos. With Brainshark’s video coaching tool, you can assign a video coaching activity asking them a question related to the QBRs, such as why a given sales opportunity slipped this quarter and what they can do to close it in the next quarter.  

#4. Wrap up with awards and virtual happy hour 

Typically, sales QBRs might end with a team lunch or dinner. Even if your meetings are virtual, you still want to acknowledge the participation in the meetings and efforts from the previous quarter. 

Be sure to leave some time for a brief awards presentation so reps can celebrate the recognition of their teammates. Plan ahead to ensure that award recipients receive their prize via mail or email on the day of the awards presentation.  

It can also be nice to plan a virtual happy hour after the meetings wrap up. To spice it up, you can include games such as trivia, or break the team into different virtual rooms to discuss fun topics, like their first travel destination after quarantine. Either way, it’s important for your team to fit in some bonding time!