The first quarter of 2014 is just about in the books. Whether your team hit its bookings goals or not, the end of each quarter brings with it a very important meeting – the Quarterly Business Review (QBR).
Your whole sales team – along with senior level management and C-level executives – should attend the QBR to debrief on the past three months. To make the QBR meeting truly valuable and resonant for each individual attendee, you want to have a formal structure, where everyone knows how the meeting will unfold. To this end, we recommend conducting your QBR through the lens of the 5 P’s of successful sales management – People, Planning, Process, Pipeline and Performance.
At the QBR, you want to look at the People on your team from a capacity perspective, and not so much at their performance (which we’ll get to later). This means answering the question, “Do we have enough reps to hit our goals?”
At a more tactical level, this should be broken down into your different tiers of reps. Do you have enough outbound prospecting reps working the phones to generate pipeline opportunities? Do you have too many quota-carrying reps than you actually need? Is the work of your marketing department negating the impact of your inbound reps…or maybe the opposite is happening, and you now need more of these reps? Should you promote some of your outbound reps to inbound reps?
Planning and Process
When talking about what worked – and perhaps more importantly, what didn’t – everything should be tied back to your sales process. After all, it is this repeatable and standardized sales process, and your team’s ability to follow it, that will ultimately drive your sales team’s ability to hit its goals.
Discuss some of the reasoning behind the planning that went into your Q1 goal, as well as your strategy and tactics for the team to hit its goals. Did you start selling to a new segment of target customers? Talk about how your product brings them value and how your team can communicate this value in their sales call. Remember, everything ties back to your sales process and the role it plays in terms of your larger company strategy and objectives.
The best sales team won’t be able to sell a thing unless they have the requisite pipeline they need. To this end, first do a diagnosis of Q1 to figure out if you had enough pipeline throughout the three months to give your team a realistic shot at hitting your goal. This may require an analysis of your historical pipeline-to-quota ratio.
Now, it’s time to look ahead to Q2. Did you need less pipeline than you thought you might to smash your Q1 goal? This should govern your sales pipeline generation strategies for Q2. If there’s a more ambitious stretch bookings goal to hit, consider that when planning your Q2 pipeline.
Finally, it’s time to delve into the performance of your sales team as a whole, as well as each individual rep. Conduct this performance analysis from both a top-down and a bottom-up approach.
For each rep, consider their:
win rates – how many of their opportunities did they close?
average sales cycle – how long did it take each rep to close an opportunity? Was this better or worse than last quarter?
average deal size – how big were the deals that your reps were bringing in?
Additionally, outbound prospecting reps should be measured on their ability to not only perform their sales activities (calls, emails) in heavy volume, but also to do those activities efficiently. This means delving into their activity conversion rates to determine how many calls they needed to make to book a meeting and the quality of their meetings booked (how many of each rep’s meetings eventually converted to a closed-won deal).
The QBR is not only a time to reflect on the time that has passed, looking back on your last three months’ work, but also a time to look forward. Conduct your QBR through the lens of the 5 P’s of sales management and watch your team spring ahead successfully into Q2.