Using QBRs to drive profitability


What’s the ROI on your quarterly business reviews? A lot of MSPs will tell you they don’t really do QBRs to generate revenue. They are just something that’s done because, well, they’ve always been done. But the QBR is a great way to manage your relationships with clients, improving transparency and profitability at the same time. Here’s how best-in-class MSPs use their QBRs to improve their business:

Stack analysis

Make sure that each client is using your standardized stack. If you have a one- or two-year plan to streamline a new client’s stack, the QBR is how you check the progress of that plan. Provide a scorecard to the client evaluating their stack. This tells them what needs to be upgraded soon, and what needed to be upgraded yesterday.

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Review SLA misses

Hold yourself accountable for any SLA misses. Show the client that you know exactly why the miss occurred, and why it won’t occur again. This level of transparency and honesty is integral to building trust. Building trust improves retention and client referrals.

Profitability analysis

Some clients just cost more to service than others. If there are underlying reasons-like an outdated stack-address them. If there are other reasons that cannot be remedied easily, present the client with a case for higher fees. If they refuse, be prepared to walk away from the client so you can utilize your resources elsewhere. Remember: everything you do has an opportunity cost.


Sounds simple, right? You get a client’s business by listening to their pain points and showing them how you will proactively meet their needs. However, needs change. To continue meeting their needs, you have to take regular opportunities to listen, to probe, and to learn.

In each of these, there’s opportunity to increase profit. It might be through identifying opportunities to offer more services, it might be through creating a stellar customer experience that leads to more referrals, or it might be through finding ways to lower the cost of service and expanding margins that way. But always remember that any opportunity to focus on your client is really an opportunity to focus on profit, and few such opportunities are better than the quarterly business review.

To learn more about how to conduct the ultimate QBR, be sure to catch IT Glue's VP of Product, Luis Giraldo, present at IT Nation on November 9th at 11:30 a.m.

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