How to Make the Most out of Your Executive Business Review

Have you ever had to sit through a presentation when the presenter was basically telling you how amazing they are?

If you answered “Yes” to that, you’ve either sat through a Tony Robbins seminar or a crappy Executive Business Review.

In the Customer Success world, an Executive Business Review can take on a few different titles. The two most common being EBR and QBR (Quarterly Business Review). No matter how often it occurs, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to meet with executives and have a dialogue with them about their progress and experience with your product or service. Every one of your customers should receive some version of an EBR at least once a year.

I recently posted on LinkedIn and asked the CS community how they get the most out of their EBR’s.

The advice did not disappoint.

Since I value the advice of these individuals over my own, I’ll share what they had to say rather than ramble on with my opinions and advice!

There are some critical components to EBRs that I’ve found beneficial and add great value to customers.

First, make sure you understand what your customer’s want to get out of their EBRs. If you don’t know [and meet] their expectations, you won’t add value.

Second, don’t tell them what they already know or read a bunch of metrics. Provide insights, thought leadership, and guidance. Be strategic. Those are some of the qualities of a Trusted Advisor.

Third, keep your EBR to a reasonable time and keep the information at a high (executive) level. Many people confuse EBRs with QBRs. They’re not the same. Avoid getting into the weeds on anything unless your customer takes you there. Customer executives are busy people and they want to get in, get what they need, and get out.

Fourth, never throw your day-to-day contact under the bus to their leaders in an EBR. In fact, you can solicit your D-T-D contact’s help in preparing for the EBR.

Finally, follow up your EBR with a warm thank you. Let them know that you appreciated their time and engagement, and ask whether your customer received value from the meeting.

David Ellin, Chief Customer Officer at Centric Leadership Strategies

Setting expectations for the EBR to be prepared by both customer and supplier as part of the partnership commitment. This is key for transparency on performance goals and achievement. Celebrate wins and correct gaps with an action plan with clear responsibilities for both supplier and customer.

Sue Nabeth Moore, Founder of Success Chain and Success Track

I recall my most successful series of EBRs were really a progression of story telling. Of walking the customer through their success and positioning my key contact as the star of the show. It resulted in an expansion deal and his promotion.

Peter Armaly, Senior Director of CS Enablement at Oracle

Always have a new project for the client to commit to as part of the EBR. Continuous engagement is key.

Emilia D’Anzica, Founder and CEO at GrowthMolecules

The EBR is a time to highlight not only what the partnership has accomplished to date but also brag a little on our main point of contact with the customer. This is a great time to shine the light on the hard work they are doing with setting and working towards goals. This is actually how I often sell the idea of an EBR as often they are nervous or put off by the idea of a member of their SLT joining a call. But when you tell them that it is all about them and how awesome they are it usually helps to ease their mind! Getting that buy-in is so key to a successful meeting.

Krista Roberts, Enterprise Customer Success Manager at IntelliShift

Another great resource is a recent video created by Rick Adams, CEO and Founder of Practical CSM. In this video, he talks about the essential practices for any effective business review. I like his emphasis on the word “business”. EBR’s should not focus on upselling or technicalities. They should focus on business and outcomes.

At the end of the day, an effective EBR/QBR/BR helps the customer understand the value they are getting from you. Plain and simple.

What do you do in your EBR’s to prove your value?

Additional Resources