The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode 77 · 3 months ago

Making QBRs Valuable w/ Tim Caito


Your buyers have likely experienced a lot of bad QBRs — so differentiate your company by making them truly valuable for you and your buyer.

Tim Caito joins us to talk about how sales leaders can equip their account teams to flip the script on negative buyer perceptions and get customers to see value in a QBR. He covers the pre-sale, during-sale and post-sales steps sales reps need to take to improve QBR execution, long-term account monetization and most importantly, customer outcomes.

Here are some additional resources based on making QBRs Valuable

- How to Make QBRs Valuable for Your Customers


- Overcoming Sales Challenges: A Buyer Focus on Seller Deficit Disorder


- How To Negotiate Early [Podcast]


Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website. 

When you think about it, what is ourfocus as a selling organization? Are we focused on selling our solutions, ourproducts to that customer, or are we focused on their success? You arelistening to the audible, ready, podcast. The show that helps you andyour teams sell more faster will feature sales leader sharing their bestinsights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatablerevenue, growth presented by the team; F, forced management, a leader in PTsales. Effecting this, let's get started hello and welcome to the audible, readysales podcast. Today we are going to talk about burs. We all do them, buthow do we really like them? Valuable, not just for us but for our customersand help our customers have a good perception of those sessions. Joiningme for this topic is our own Temkat, O hi Tim Hello, Rachel good to be withyou on this session. Yes, I you know Tim, I think buyers tend to have anegative perception of Brs and that might be colored by our meetings of thepast. So to speak. Why do you think buyers have those negative perceptions?Well, you know, as many of our listeners or customers know, we arefamiliar with the term. We call cellar deficit disorder, which is in one partabout the behavior's activities orientation of sellers, but it's reallyabout the result of that in the eyes of the customer and they paint us all withone broad brush and unfortunately, as it relates to customer facing Q brs.That brush is really big and it's generally not very flattering yeah. Youknow I actually recently had a br with a vendor of something we use inmarketing, and I always I have to say I keep asking them who they use for salesmethodologies, because I think we could help them, even though I really feellike their product, because I don't, I did ever hear for them until the end ofthe quarter or when the renewal comes up and they're asking us all thesequestions that I feel like that they should know. So I guess I'm guilty ofhaving that perception as well, but how we fit the script on this Tim. That'swhat we want to talk about today. So, let's start with the foundations. Weneed in place when we are selling that initial deal, because that's that earlywork sets these reviews at for success. Absolutely, and you know, if I can justdigress just a moment, I think about the beauty of three letter acronymright. They have a tendency to just be something we don't even think about, but they always represent somethingright, and you know this is a topic. We use the same three letter, accurate ofBr for our internal quarterly reviews of our business. We bring our reps inse, you know they get subject to tell me what's going up and we use the samethree letter acronym when we gone a talk to our customers but see. I thinkthat is actually representative of philosophical thinking, kind ofchallenge that we're dealing with here. That speaks to what you're talkingabout right see. I think, when you know the Q br is the right three letteracron for the internal conversation. We have let's review where we're at in ourbusiness our pipeline or deals. What are we giving US bad, etc? That's fine,but we don't end up conducting quarterly business reviews with ourcustomers they generally and why the negative perceptions are there, we'reconducting quarterly activity reviews? How many susses do we have how manysupport tickets? How many this, how many users, how many that stuff? That'son a spreadsheet, that, frankly, even the people that are responsible forimplementing dissolutions we may have put in place it's really not thatvaluable of information for them. I've...

...long been an advocate of quarterlyvalue reviews. What did we provide you, based on what you said you wanted toaccomplish in your business now, just that shift from br? Let's acknowledgeit. They're actually tars quarterly activity res, but when we want to makethem quarterly value reviews, and if you, if you had just made that mentalshit, what kind of information would you expect to be delivering? But if youwere the customer, what would you expect to be receiving in a quarterlyvalue review? Well, Rachel? It would have things to do with our positivebusiness outcomes. The things that we're trying to deal with anyway,relative to our biggest problems, updated based on how our view of thoseproblems evolved and what we might be able to do with you, supplier, partner,vendorseller. Whatever word you want to use, what might me be able to do withyou that will actually either help us get more value out of what we boughtfrom you or identify new areas of value? We could leverage through ourrelationship with you. So I think when you talk about it, things likeunderstanding the big problem it and us being able to attach to it being ableto define the required capabilities. We agreed to up front that needed to beaddressed. The related metric step measure, those that we both have agreed,are critical for them to focus on, and you know all of that tied into positivebusiness outcome. So I know that was a bit of a rant right there, but I thinkwhen you talk about seller deficit disorder and the quarterly businessreview phenomenon, there's like two or three Rachel, very common issues. Everyorganization has right e here's a couple of them. We start out with a lotof steam right after we sell something in his her head and everybody shows upfor the first one or two in the o. They kind of go away. Number two, the excetthat you know we were dealing with that had the big problem never show up anymore room, you know it's just is all those are all to me symptoms of whatI'm talking about on Q v, r versus q, a r versus q br right-and you know, I'm sure there are a lot of people listening to this podcastright now nodding their heads, and I see it all all the time- and youmentioned the required capabilities, the PBET rics aligning to the bigbusiness problem, which is all of those things we preach about when you're selling the initial dealand when you're pulling those through to negotiation. The next step is topull them through post implementation. So you can, when you identify thosecomponents and they're aligned to the business deal, that's your tool forproviding value moving forward well and Rachel. You know again another thing:We talked about quite frequent with our customers that one of our customersdescribed it as embarrassingly simple, in other words- and we haven't figuredthis out all long but a little embarrassed to admit it. But when youthink about it, what is our focus as a selling organization? Are we focused onselling our solutions, our products to that customer, or are we focused ontheir success when we're focused on selling our products? Our entire salesprocess is aimed at that and then any kind of follow up is tied to what weagreed to do with you customer or for you customer when you bought oursolution. That's what I got a quarterly activity report is all about. You saidyou wanted this. We said we do that,...'s the status of where we're at onthat, but if we're all about focusing on the customers, implementation andtheir success that not only changes the conversation post implementation, it'snot about our activity. It's about your progress to your success and if youhave that now imagine the upstream differences when we're in that salesconversation with the executive that as the problem we're not just talkingabout. What's the timing of when you buy, what's the timing of when youwould stall, what's the implementation plan, we're saying hey after we do halfthat you still haven't achieved your success, yet we got to put some thingsin place that say we're going to be with you till you achieve thatsuccessful road map. If you will a road map her success, not implementing oursolution, a road map, your success and all of a sudden, as you said, Presalewe're talking about it right, we're planning for it during this sale, it'sincluded as some of those required capabilities. emetics are adjusted, andthen it's a natural course after the fact that we actually do it and we'reengaging with them till they achieve that success and Rachel with our youknow. Most organizations were, but particularly our customers, if you'rein there focus with the customer, try to get them to their success, and yourengaged that way you will uncover to so many additional opportunities.Additional state holders, additional champions, additional differentiation.You can make it's just it's the gift that keeps on giving when we shift ourfocus to helping them achieve the value that they were trying to focus on fromthe first place. Yeah. It's such an important point. So if we have theright mind set and we are pulling those p Bos as metrics through and for ourcustomer success team or whoever ISS doing these cordery value reviews,that's our new. That's our mind set for the rest of this Tucker, so we've gotthose in place. So now it's pepping for those conversations in the right way,and so I want to talk first about how we're repping internally, not with whatare we doing internally to Prat to make sure that that's a great conversationyeah. This is really good point again. If we're looking at the value werecreating that, I think the preparation and those that are involved in thepreparation or anyone that's been involved in identifying architectingimplementing managing ensuring that value gets achieved. So what do I meanby that? We have a tendency. I would say this is a a perspective. That'sshifting right now in the marketplace, but there's still a predominant set oforganizations that see the journey of the customer through their ecosystemstarts with maybe marketing or a business development rap and theneventually hit sales, maybe pre sales, then there's the commit and thenthere's the implementation, team and services and then success and thenaccount management. We see that chain. All too often is a series of hand offs.You do your thing, then you pass it to me. It's like a relay ration on thetrack. You know the customers, the Meta yeah and what happens is the customerPatan gets passed from group to group and we know any time. There's that kindof hand off with all due respect to the CR tools that are out there.Information of perspective gets lost, momentum gets lost and unfortunately,in that customer confidence get lost, so a concept we're putting in place toanswer. You know that question Rachel is what, if instead of hand off, theywere handshakes, you and I are committing of what we're going to dowith one another to ensure the customer...

...success like, were you know,metaphorically shaking our hands and saying now, I'm bringing you in rightand you might be in the lead right now, but I'm still connected to it, and ifyou have that mentality, then, by the time we're really focused on valuerealization, with our customers, once they've started to implement in stallwhat they do, then you say we're the handshakes that who are the folks thathave valuable perspective. Here's a very common issue: our customers tellus about Q, Brs Rachel, the sponsoring executive, that really we dealt with inthe beginning to deal with. The problem has now handed off the activity to ateam, an implementation team and all too often the implementation teamdoesn't understand why the executive made the decisions they made. In factthey say had we been involved, we might have made some others. Well, you knowpart of that. Shame on us as a selling organization, but we want to make surethat we create that all the way through, so we're not only impact in thehandshakes on our side but their side. So I just want to lay that: U S, how dowe prep our team? We are always anchoring our conversations or cornerlyvalue reviews back to the big problem. We've attached to the positive businessout comes related to that the acquired capabilities. They said they had to putin place and the metrics for measuring success, and I think if our team, ourcollective team, is pulled together, you will find that we got a lot ofperspectives that no individual on our team has on their own seller. They have the perspective ofwhat was going on originally, and maybe some connections on a relationship side,so that sponsoring executive, our solutions, engineers or consultants,they probably have a perspective of the technical challenges we started withthe implementation team is all about. In the moment what we've had going onhere. Professional Services has a perspective of how is the organization?What's her current readiness to take advantage of what's been in stall, ourcustomer success, people likely have focus on the success plan. We all havea little different perspective and if we lived in a world of hand offs we'rekind of counting on all that perspective found its way to whoever isrunning the QV. So I believe whether they're actually involved, which I geta huge bias for you- can imagine right on at a minimum they're involved in theplanning focused on the things we talked about with the customer, withalways anchored by what they were trying to achieve from a positivebusiness outcome. Standpoint yeah, it's it's maybe to say another way. It'saligning on what you said. He, the posin business out, comes there tryingto see what was replied to get there, the metrics, how they're measuringsuccess, what it was and what it is. So the current state of what those tenantsof the deal are, as it relates to all those different players that you weretalking you just mentioned so getting everybody aligned on where we are rightnow with. That is an important step to prepare for this and there's one otherreport, part of preparation. We everybody gets together. So so what arewe going to tell the customer? You know- and you know where I'm gonnago with this one right. What I want to know, is it okay good? What do we wantto tell the custom great put that in a report will Lee put em want know is,what's the discussion we you want to have one of the questions we're goingto ask yeah. You know my definition were in there now we likely havevisibility to issues that they do not have across their organization right,and so we should be prepared to go in with a you know. Sometimes here atforce management. We we call these. I...

...don't want to give away some secretsauce of ARS, but if you've ever been on the receiving end of the discussion,you know most purposeful right, the for whatever it's worth conversation yeahYe. It's worth your customer. You know here's what we've been knowing here'sthe progress, we're making. We have a lost sight of that. Whatever it's worthhere are some additional things that were noticing right. We put in place attechnical solution. We were focused on the integration. We were focused on thereporting, giving you visibility, but for whatever it's worth now that we'rein here we're noticing, there's some workload disconnect we're noticingthere is some user experience issues that may be there now we're stillmoving forward on what we agree, but for whatever it's worth, there's someother things. Oh by the way when we started this, we had a plan for whattwo thousand and twenty one was going to look at. Actually, we had a plan forwhat two thousand and twenty was Gollop like there was a little change, yeahright and you know for whatever it's worse. Here are some other things thatwe've noticed have burge that frankly you're in a great position to be ableto leverage what you've already put in place just aimed to a slightlydifferent problem, an you might have to do a couple of little additional things,but for whatever it's worth from our expert opinion, you know I always tryand take people back to a physician metaphor right, uhhh. If a physicianwas treating me, for example, I had some I'm console Rachel in replacingparts right now, so I have a brand new hip, an you know, d mentor, which is fine, butyou know if, through that whole process, Dr Minter noticed something else butsaid not at all. I M just about to hip. You know as when we did. This xri sawsomething else, but I'm just about the HIP. So that's all I'm going to talkabout. I would be rather upset. You know that the expert didn't give meadditional insights now if he said Hey, you know this hip this. What was goingon, and just for whatever it's worth odds, are that you're going to needthat other hip Ted and it looks like he was trying to sell me a D yes, but Icount on e expert to be experts and, if we're in something called a quarterlyvalue review, I expect experts to engage in a conversation with beingthat speak to their expertise. That helps me. You know why. Why would anexecutive show up and on going to viars right because you've got inside aboutmy company that I lack, and I know that when I meet with you, I get those kindof insight and they are valuable to me. I always say this: You know. What's theGR greatest questions, you can ask in a br the questions that the mostinfluential people on the customer side no are really important to have theanswer to, and they currently don't have the answer. Yeah that creates thatten, very different of the conversation Rachel Yeah Yeah. Exactly and well, youknow there's this. All of these things that you're talking about is makingsure the customer has the right perception of the discussion. So inorder to do that, we have to prep your customer in the right way and if it'syour first first one they're, probably going to have some of those perceptionsthat we talked about earlier at the top of the podcast. So what am I doing toprep the costumer to get them prepared that this really will be a meaningfulconversation? Obviously sending that agenda seems like a basic step, but I'msure there's some tips that you had to prep the customer, so they will see itas something that's worth their time. Yeah and Rathe we're talking aboutsetting expectations right. Yes, yes to me, e the best time to set expectationsare...

...before a aqvis going to be scheduled.You know my belief that someone told me this a long time ago, you said Tim.What, if you treated every interaction with your customer like it was a demoof what life with you was going to be like after they bought something. Whatif you treated every interaction like a demo right and if I'm saying after youbuy for me, I'm going to be focused on your success? Well, guess what the Demoshould say before they buy for me, I'm focused on your success. The Q vrshould feel like the normal way we've been dealing with you all along focusedon your problems, helping you figure them out, get a broader, better, biggerand more compelling understanding of. What's going on in your situation,define the requirements and measurements for success right. Ifthat's what I've been doing from the very beginning, setting our agenda forthe first br first of all, I do it way before we complete the sale M. I won'tknow this. What is going to happen now? We have a tendency to say this iswhat's going to happen, but it's all focused on the implementation right bebeing being no that- and I want to say, yeah implementation is one piece and isvery important all right, but here are the expectations you should havecustomer when we start working with us. That's why I actually make a big deal.You can tell Tvi, not somebody just made up at the ballet. I make a bigdeal before we. You know the customer commits this is what life's going to belike aftwards and we're going to conduct these things called a quarterlyvalue review now, they're, not always quarterly, but I'm going to. Let themknow here's what we're going to talk about. You are the questions, we're likelygoing to ask you and, as a result, this maybe goes where you might be goingnext is this is who, on your side needs to be about? I treat that the QV as anegotiable. You know I'm going to weave it in those people participating forthe first three ones after we instal that's part of what I'm trading for youwant some things from US great. There might be a way to get there, but here'swhat I'm going to need. Your return. I want measurement of this. I want thesequarterly value. Reviews scheduled were review. The metrics- but I you knowpart of what I'm trading for here is those people are involved in the firstthree Mona Condon Richel is, if they come to the first three they'll see,there's a difference in what we do. It's kind of tied back to what wealways say. Imagine Right! If you could differentiate your say itself as muchby the way you engage with the customer as what you sell up. Yes, absolutelyyou've. If you've gotten t e a that initial deal, you you did a good jobearning that trusted advisor status. So don't let it go to waste yeah. You know.Why would you give your power away yeah exactly it the problem, a lot O sellingorganizational tellus? Well, it's not me. It's the way they're set up andit's like yeah. You know why they've experienced a lot of bad ones right, Ri,be different, said different. You know why wouldn't the ongoing conversationand measurement of impact and exploration and new value, why wouldthat not be one of the required capabilities a front? Ah, then, you could say:here's how we do it. Here's how we do it better. Most people do a BR. We do aTuva. This is what's going to happen in it. We're going to ask for this kind ofparticipation. Here's was going to be involved in our said I'll. Even give methe agenda, what we're going to cover exactly anyway and yet tell I've, got alittle passionate about this because, like you, I've been on the receivingend of a lot of bad. Yes,...

I said I'm not coming to another one ofthese, so here's some recommended changes. If you want to try it out fine,by the way you can use it on any other customer, you want t if you want meinvolved. I ain't come into this thing anymore. Right. There you go. Maybethat should be our bottom line Tom, but I think you dropped a lot of gemshere today. As I expected, I appreciate you call them Jims, but yes, no, theyare, but I think you said something earlier that I think kind of wraps itup. Are you focused on your products? Are you focused on your customersuccess, and that is true in that initial sale and it is true in theseconversations post, sale and by the way, all that more important for the ongoingrelationship, maybe after a year two years, maybe you're starting to achievethe original success now. What it's all about is the success of the ongoingrelationship, and maybe you call them summit meetings yea whatever you wantto. You know, I'm less about the title and more about the activity, but Ithink it's what we've talked about is really the key to take in the long viewwith this customer. So few of US have are in a one and done business just byonce for me and we're good, that's not the way the world operates right now,and so I think it's really important and, as we start to see, shift frombuying a product to subscriptions services now the emerging one is consumption,have as some posno you know. What we're talking about is a critical componentof the success of that business model. Yeah. Well. Thank you. So much for thisconversation today, Tim by pleasure. You know I like talking about thingsthat matter that's right and be sure to check out the show notes for someadditional resources, and thank you to all of you for listening to the audible,ready sales podcast at force, management were focused on transformingsales organizations into elite teams, are proven methodologies, deliverprograms that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth,give your teams the ability to execute the gross strategy at the point of sale.Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's getstarted visit us at force. Management Com. You've been listening to theaudible, ready podcast to not miss an episode subscribe to the show in yourfavorite podcast player. Until next time, E T.

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