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Effective & Automated QBRs: How to Improve Partner QBRs

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Introduction

Quarterly business reviews (QBRs) are essential check-ins between your partners and your channel team to align on joint goals. In a QBR, a Channel Account Manager (CAM) typically reviews a specific set of metrics with a partner. This may include reviewing a partner performance dashboard, digging into quarterly and annual goals, evaluating a marketing plan, reviewing partner tier status, and monitoring ongoing tasks.

The best QBRs are strategic, focusing not just on what has happened in the past quarter, but tasks to complete going forward. Unfortunately, QBRs can be challenging and time-consuming to conduct, taking away from the potential value they can drive for your channel partners. In this article, we’ll dig into some of the common challenges associated with QBRs and how you can leverage automation to improve yours.

Explore how Allbound’s Partner Plan can automate your next round of partner QBRs.

Common Challenges of QBRs

Channel teams face a few common challenges when planning and conducting QBRS.

Disparate Data Sources

Data is disconnected when stored across disparate systems, including the CRM, PRM, LMS, ERP, and more. This makes it challenging to compile reports when it comes time to conduct a QBR. 

Insufficient Platform Training for Partners

Additionally, you must properly train your partners on leveraging the right platforms. Ensure your partners know how to register deals, leverage marketing resources, log sales communications, and monitor pipeline activity.

For example, a VP of Channel Sales struggled with partners not wanting to register deals and instead would email their Channel Managers directly. Since there weren’t any registered deals in the PRM, they didn’t get counted in the QBR. As a result, the partner did not meet the criteria to qualify for their partner tier, losing their discount and negatively impacting their margins.

Unclear Direction

Without established joint goals, QBRs can feel directionless. Your QBRs should spark genuine conversations about the strengths and weaknesses of your partnership, along with opportunities to improve.

No Incentive for Partners

Without planned rewards for their hard work, your partners won’t see a reason to continue investing in your joint goals. Establishing partner tiers, a channel loyalty program, or other incentives for completing desired tasks is a great way to improve partner relationships and drive results.

The best QBRs are strategic, focusing not just on what has happened in the past quarter, but tasks to complete going forward. 

Overcoming Obstacles

QBRs are essential for establishing accountability and understanding which partners to invest further in. By overcoming common obstacles associated with running QBRs, you can forge stronger relationships with partners, drive better business results, and save everyone time.

Make QBRs a Priority

Prioritize QBRs by setting up recurring meetings for your CAM and their partners. If there’s a conflict, ensure you get the meeting rescheduled promptly. Have your CAMs set up recurring tasks ahead of their QBRs to compile and review data so they never scramble at the last minute.

Consolidate Metrics

To optimize time spent on QBRs and ensure the data you report on is accurate, you have to consolidate your data into one single source of truth. Ideally, all of your deals should be registered in your PRM, ensuring that you and your partner have visibility into your pipeline.

This will ensure that when it comes time to conduct your QBR, you’ll be able to find all the information you need in one spot, and it will be up-to-date.

Take Your QBRs to the Next Level with Allbound

Allbound’s Partner Plan pulls together all the best practices for successful QBRs, while automating the entire process. Your team will save time while forging deeper relationships with partners. 

Lead Distribution

The lead distribution tool in your PRM makes sharing leads with partners and tracking their engagement journey easy. Allbound integrates with your CRM to sync leads and sales follow-up activities, giving you a full-picture view of your partner’s activities throughout the quarter.

Monitor your partners’ efforts, such as cold outreach efforts, follow-up frequency, and response rate.

Revenue Tracking

Through Allbound’s streamlined deal registration process, it’s easy to track the full lifecycle of your partner-sourced leads and the revenue they ultimately drive. 

However, many channel teams ignore critical revenue contributors such as revenue…

•   From resellers,
•   Attributed to deals registered by partners,
•   
Or tied to contract expansions and renewals of partner-influenced deals.

Measure revenue driven at all stages of the partner lifecycle.

Measuring Co-marketing Efforts

Your PRM is a powerhouse when it comes to co-marketing execution and analysis. House your best sales and marketing resources in your Partner Portal, making it easy for partners to access when needed.

With Allbound, you can track how resources are implemented and the results of different efforts. You can map specific assets to each stage of the sales cycle so partners can optimize their efforts. This will also provide visibility into how your partner performs at each stage of the journey. Consider which assets your partners implement, how they leverage them, and which resources get the most engagement.

Track the results of joint promotional efforts.

Customize & Automate a Comprehensive Report

Combining data points from all areas of your partner’s efforts — leads, sales, and marketing — provides an effective view into your overall performance. After setting your joint goals, you can build custom reports in your PRM to monitor specific performance data points tied to those objectives. By reviewing metrics across your channel, you can identify which partners drive the most revenue for your organization, ensuring you invest more resources into those relationships.

As a CAM set a reminder to review this report, filtered for your specific partner, ahead of each QBR. Dig into how your partner performed across all stages of the sales cycle in each area. Consider how their performance stacks up to similar partners in the same industry. Monitor how their efforts impact your overarching strategic goals and work together to determine everyone’s next steps. 

Ali Spiric

Simplify Channel Management and Increase Partner Engagement with Allbound.

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