Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) – Reporting on Customer Performance

If you’re in business leadership, this is old news, but to loop in everyone else: QBR is short for ‘Quarterly Business Review’. QBRs are your opportunity to sit down with your customer to review your contribution to their success. Keep reading for the only guide to QBR you’ll ever need.

Table of Contents

What is a QBR?

A QBR, or Quarterly Business Review, is a quarterly (hence the name) check-in with your customer. The purpose is to review the impact of your offerings on your customer’s business and discuss the priorities and goals that lie ahead.

QBRs are essential to any customer success program as they ensure you have a conversation with your customers on a regular basis focusing on the value you’re providing. And if performed correctly, a QBR can even secure a smooth process for renewal, upsell, or even cross-sell.

What does a QBR include?

Let’s briefly touch upon what defines a good quarterly business review. It will of course vary depending on the customer, but at the end of the day, providing actual value to the customer is what will take your QBR from a good one to a great one. You want to demonstrate your unique value to the customer and at the same time make it clear to the customer how important they are to you.

Now, what do you actually need to cover in a Quarterly Business Review? Many people mistakenly believe that a QBR is just another sales pitch or social get together. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, it’s an opportunity for you to emphasize your contribution to your customer’s wins, but a QBR should never be a bragging session or simply meaningless small talk. It’s not about you, QBRs should always revolve around your customer and whether or not your offerings are enabling them to reach their goals. Therefore, a typical agenda for a QBR includes some or all of the following items:

  • A review of the implementation process
  • A review of the product usage goals
  • A performance review over the recent fiscal period
  • A discussion of challenges and obstacles
  • An introduction to upcoming product improvements
  • Making an action plan for future growth
  • Setting goals for the next quarter

Additionally, to make your QBR as productive as possible, you should always stay positive, keep it short, handle criticism like a pro and set up your next QBR before finishing. 

Avoid These Common Mistakes for More Effective Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs)

Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) are crucial meetings for businesses to assess their performance, identify opportunities, and align strategies. However, conducting QBRs effectively requires careful planning and execution. Unfortunately, many businesses make common mistakes that hinder the effectiveness of these meetings. In this post, we’ll explore some of these mistakes and provide insights on how to avoid them to make your QBRs more productive and valuable.

1. Lack of Preparation

One of the most common mistakes in QBRs is inadequate preparation. Without proper preparation, QBRs can become unfocused and fail to deliver meaningful insights. To avoid this, ensure that all relevant data, reports, and materials are gathered and reviewed well in advance. Set clear objectives for the meeting and communicate them to all participants to ensure everyone is on the same page.

2. Overwhelming Data Presentation

Another mistake is overwhelming participants with too much data. While data is essential for informed decision-making, presenting excessive data can lead to confusion and dilute the key messages. Instead, focus on presenting concise, relevant information that directly addresses the objectives of the QBR. Use visual aids such as charts and graphs to make complex data more digestible.

3. Lack of Actionable Insights

Many QBRs fail to generate actionable insights that drive meaningful change. This often occurs when discussions dwell on historical performance without linking insights to future strategies and actions. To avoid this, encourage participants to identify actionable takeaways from the discussions. Set specific goals and action plans based on the insights gained during the QBR, ensuring accountability and follow-up after the meeting.

4. Neglecting Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is invaluable for shaping business strategies and priorities. However, some QBRs overlook the importance of incorporating customer feedback into discussions. To avoid this mistake, dedicate time during the QBR to review customer feedback, including both positive and negative insights. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and prioritize initiatives that enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

5. Failure to Follow Up

One of the biggest mistakes companies make after a QBR is failing to follow up on action items and decisions made during the meeting. Without proper follow-up, the momentum gained during the QBR can quickly dissipate, and initiatives may stall. To prevent this, assign responsibilities for each action item and establish clear timelines for completion. Regularly track progress and hold individuals accountable for their commitments to ensure that initiatives move forward effectively.

Quarterly Business Reviews are valuable opportunities for businesses to evaluate their performance, identify opportunities, and drive strategic alignment. However, to maximize the effectiveness of QBRs, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes that can undermine their impact. By prioritizing preparation, focusing on actionable insights, incorporating customer feedback, and ensuring follow-up, businesses can conduct more productive and successful QBRs that drive growth and success.

QBR Dos and Don'ts: Maximizing Effectiveness

Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) are crucial checkpoints for businesses to assess performance, align goals, and strategize for the future. When conducted effectively, they can drive growth and foster strong client relationships. However, certain dos and don’ts can significantly impact the outcome of these reviews. Here’s a guide to navigating QBRs with success:


  • Prepare Thoroughly: Gather all relevant data, metrics, and insights beforehand. This includes reviewing past performance, current trends, and future projections. Preparation ensures that discussions during the QBR are productive and meaningful.
  • Set Clear Objectives: Define specific goals and outcomes for the QBR. Whether it’s addressing challenges, celebrating successes, or outlining action plans, clarity on objectives keeps the discussion focused and actionable.
  • Engage Stakeholders: Invite key stakeholders from both sides to participate in the QBR. This may include executives, decision-makers, and subject matter experts. Their perspectives and inputs enrich the discussion and enhance the decision-making process.
  • Encourage Collaboration: Foster an environment of open dialogue and collaboration during the QBR. Encourage feedback, questions, and suggestions from all participants. Collaborative discussions lead to better insights and more effective solutions.
  • Highlight Achievements: Recognize and celebrate achievements and milestones reached since the last QBR. Acknowledging success boosts morale, motivates teams, and reinforces positive behaviors.


  • Avoid Data Overload: While data is essential, avoid overwhelming participants with excessive information. Focus on key metrics and insights that are directly relevant to the objectives of the QBR. Keep presentations concise and impactful.
  • Don’t Blame, Problem-Solve: Instead of assigning blame for past failures or shortcomings, focus on problem-solving and identifying solutions. QBRs should be forward-looking and constructive, with a focus on continuous improvement.
  • Steer Clear of One-Way Communication: QBRs should not be monologues. Encourage active participation from all attendees and avoid dominating the discussion. Listen attentively to feedback and insights shared by others.
  • Don’t Neglect Action Items: Ensure that action items and next steps are clearly documented and assigned during the QBR. Follow up on these action items promptly after the meeting to maintain momentum and accountability.
  • Avoid Neglecting Follow-Up: The QBR doesn’t end when the meeting concludes. Schedule follow-up sessions to track progress on action items, revisit goals, and address any emerging issues. Consistent follow-up reinforces commitment and ensures accountability.

By adhering to these dos and don’ts, businesses can conduct more productive and impactful Quarterly Business Reviews. Effective QBRs serve as invaluable opportunities to assess performance, drive alignment, and propel business growth.

What are the benefits of a QBR?

QBRs are not only beneficial to your customer, they can actually be very helpful for you as well. Let’s take a look at the variety of benefits QBRs can deliver.

1. A forum to secure alignment on business goals

In this day and age, things move fast, and nothing stays the same. This goes for the individual businesses as well as the markets they operate in. Circumstances are ever-changing, and so are your customer’s goals for your product–they’ll evolve over time.

Therefore, when you as a Customer Success Manager conduct these QBRs, it’s crucial that you interrogate what these new goals are. You can even raise the question of updating the goals yourself, if you experience that your customer isn’t using the product like you originally planned, or to its full potential.

As you align on the new goals, it’s much easier to come up with an action plan of how to reach them.

2. A chance to prove the value of your offering

Too often, we get lost in the daily grind. The same goes for our customers: They lose sight of your product in their everyday work routines. Not saying that they won’t recognize whatever improvements your product is bringing to the business, or that you won’t get the occasional pad on the back for it. But, with everything else going on, it might be difficult for your customer to see the full extent of what your product has done for the business until you have the chance to point it out to them.

As stated earlier on, a QBR should never be a bragging session. However, it is a great opportunity to elaborate on the value you’re (actually) providing to your customer’s business as a whole. Individual success stories are important too, but it’s much more valuable to show the overall impact of your offerings. And to do so, you should ideally bring relevant KPIs (key performance indicators) to the table.

3. A means to reinforce your relationships

We all know that there’s much more to customer success than the actual product: It’s just as much about relationships. Without regular check-ups (in person or virtually) there’s a big risk your relationship will fade over time and you’ll lose touch of what’s happening on the client side.

QBRs effectively ensure that you stay connected with your customer, and they can even serve as a stepping stone to meeting other key stakeholders in the customer organization. On the customer side, they get to ‘put a face on your product’: It’s a way of personalizing your partnership and reassuring your customer that there’s an actual person on the other end that they can reach out to with questions or concerns.

Taking the time and making the effort to maintain a strong relationship with your customers is the number one factor for increasing future upsell opportunities.

4. An opportunity to identify early warning signals

Did you ever experience a customer churn out of the blue? In most cases, it probably wasn’t as much out of the blue as you think… That customer most likely spent quite some time silently suffering, and you didn’t have a clue because you weren’t conducting regular QBRs.

Carrying out QBRs is an unique opportunity to check up on your customer and predict and/or prevent them leaving: Your customer will have the possibility to regularly give feedback and address issues or frustrations, all the while you get the chance to adjust accordingly in due time. That’s why we state that QBRs can reveal early warning signals: They allow you to detect potential complications in an account before it’s too late.

What is a Sales Quarterly Business Review?

QBRs aren’t limited to customer success. QBRs can also be conducted internally between sales management and sales representatives. In this case, we call them sales QBRs.
While their naming is closely related, internal quarterly business reviews in sales have an entirely different agenda.

A sales QBR–not to be confused with account reviews–is the recurring setting that allows for sales leaders and reps to align on their sales territory plans and prepare for how the sales reps are going to successfully execute on those plans. It’s a platform for sales teams to align internally, review their accounts and deliver an accurate revenue forecast. All in all, sales QBRs are all about improving the performance of your salespeople, whereas customer success QBRs are 100% focused on the customer’s results.

How to ensure an effective Sales QBR

To ensure an effective sales QBR, these are the three questions you need to go over:

  1. What happened in the last quarter? This includes going over the won and lost deals and diving into why those were either won or lost and if, what and when you could/should have done something differently.
  2. Can we win what’s in the pipeline? Review your pipeline thoroughly, so you never lose sight of the overall health of your pipeline.
  3. What’s the action plan to succeed? Based on a forecast discussion, you want to agree on an action plan for the coming quarter and have the sales rep commit to it.

See how ARPEDIO’s solutions can help you plan your next QBR meeting. 

Are you already using Saleforce?

Yes, we're already on Salesforce
Let's discuss how you make the most of it with our Account-Based Selling Platform.
No, we don't use Salesforce yet
Please tell me more about Salesforce’s capabilities and how to get started.

#1 Account-Based Selling Platform

Powerful alone. Superior together.

Manage internal and external relationships with key stakeholders.

Build powerful account plans in Salesforce.

Boost win rates, reduce sales cycles! Enhance forecast accuracy. 

Discover upsell and cross-sell opportunities in Salesforce.

Grow your accounts, today

5 star ratings on Salesforce AppExchange

Get a demo

Good call – let's do some demo'ing!

Watch Demo

Experience ARPEDIO in action: Access your free on-demand demo

Increase your win rate, today

ARPEDIO is shaping the future of Account-based selling with world-class, native Salesforce software for B2B sales professionals. Get in touch and get ready to agile, digital, and automated sales processes.

5 star ratings on Salesforce AppExchange

Trusted by some of the world's leading companies​


Let’s generate long lasting value

One thing is for sure: One size does not fit all! A tailored solution is needed in every single case and we aim to make sure you get transparent guidance along with the right Salesforce solution for your business.

One thing is for sure: One size does not fit all! A tailored solution is needed in every single case and we aim to make sure you get transparent guidance along with the right Salesforce solution for your business.

Trusted by some of the world's leading companies​

Contact Us

Questions? Give us a shout!

Privacy settings

Watch Demo

Account Management: Build powerful account plans in Salesforce

Ready to experience powerful account planning in Salesforce?

30 minutes can change your business