Sales Team Management

Leverage Your QBR to Create a Strategic Plan for Remote Sales

Peter Mollins
Chief Marketing Officer
Table of contents:

An excellent quarterly business review (QBR) is data-driven. The best QBRs are driven by actionable data that inspires a strategic plan.

To develop a strategic plan for the quarters to come, you need to know what happened last quarter and why it happened. QBRs allow remote sales teams to get together every 90 days to review the past quarter’s performance. And while a replay of deals won and lost is essential, the most valuable part of the QBR is planning what comes next.

The problem with QBRs today

Many sales organizations are still running their QBRs in silos, based on insufficient or redundant data, without the ability to answer the “why.” Doing so leaves gaps in essential activities of the QBR:

  • Measuring calculated pipeline risks and determining how to address them 
  • Learning from historical trends and sales data to develop a strategic plan for the quarters ahead
  • Working together with finance, marketing, sales, and customer success to take a streamlined approach toward strategic goals like driving revenue, filling data gaps, and increasing conversions

Ahead, we break down how to address these common issues, so teams can ensure that their remote sales QBR output is strategic, actionable, and achievable through shared efforts across the organization. 

What is data hygiene, and why is it important?

Sales data is crucial in increasing sales performance and effectiveness between QBRs. 60% of organizations will transition from intuition- and experience-based selling to data-driven selling by 2025, according to a recent Gartner report.

Not all data is good data, though. Duplicate, inaccurate or incomplete data leads to lost revenue, misunderstood buyers, and the pursuit of cold leads. For a strategic plan to be effective, it needs to be driven by clean data, which is why data hygiene was one of the top trends of revenue operations this year and is expected to continue into 2023. 

Data hygiene best practices keep your sales data accurate, complete, and efficient. Here are a few simple steps to help you clean your account management software or CRM data to maximize the benefits of data hygiene.

  • Find missing data with a data audit – With an overview of the quality of your sales data, you identify any areas that need improvement. SetSail can accelerate this step with a complimentary Data Gap Assessment to identify all contacts, emails, and meetings missing from your CRM. 
  • Create (and enforce) quality standards for clean data – Have a realistic baseline for what "clean" data looks like, communicate it to all team members, and standardize any necessary cleaning or auditing.
  • "Clean" poor data – Data cleansing essentially identifies and corrects inaccuracies and inconsistencies in your data. Data hygiene software, or a clean data platform, can lighten the manual burden of this step, helping you clean up current data and automate data entry to ensure all activity is logged accurately. 

Eliminate the silos with a RevOps QBR

Regarding cross-departmental involvement in the QBR, it’s rare to have the operations leaders meet with frontline sales reps for in-depth review and planning sessions. They might occasionally join part of the meeting for an end-of-year report or get looped in for big win announcements from the VP of Sales, but it’s generally not a priority. 

The fact is that sales performance is driven by actions and activities that extend well beyond those of sales management and reps. That’s why viewing the QBR as a sales meeting simply doesn’t make sense.

Marketing, finance, customer success, and other service teams that touch the customer lifecycle contribute to revenue operations (RevOps). Without the strategic alignment and visibility between departments, the QBR is missing the before and after: what the marketing team does to attract a lead in the first place and how the customer success team sustains the relationship after the deal is done. 

QBRs should dig deeper than covering sales made or campaigns launched to explore and understand the relationship between sales and other departments’ activities. From challenges to impact, an honest evaluation and discussion will benefit everyone, especially the remote sales team. And because all go-to-market functions directly impact sales, leaders from these teams should have their own sales metrics as part of the strategic plan for the next quarter. 

By involving cross-functional leadership, QBRs can provide a holistic view of the customer journey and understand why they did or did not buy. Teams can use that information to enable action that improves the bottom line.

Use actionable insights to drive more sales volume and revenue

Actionable sales intelligence improves the processes, steps (actions), and decisions that help teams close more deals more efficiently. This is the heart of your post-QBR strategic plan for remote sales. 

RevOps teams can use this data, sales dashboards, and analytics to build a successful target account strategy and plan for the upcoming quarter and the next. Follow-up tactics should be specific, based on signals proven to close deals. You can download our Signal-Based Selling eBook to help you learn how to develop a strategic plan that prioritizes the behaviors and activities most likely to drive wins.

Lastly, motivating and adequately compensating your RevOps teams is essential, so the strategic plan becomes a reality. Our 2023 RevOps Salary Guide provides a complete picture of current salary benchmarks and steps to take to grow your RevOps team.

A plan is only as strategic as the data behind it

It’s a cause-and-effect relationship. You can drive better sales performance with a better QBR. And you can create a better QBR with data and insights from SetSail.

SetSail uses machine learning to extract key buying signals, productivity patterns, and the sales-related tasks with the highest impact. These data science sales analytics explain the “why” for the review portion of the QBR and drive the strategy and plans for your remote sales team moving forward.

Develop a more strategic plan at your next QBR. Speak to a SetSailor today!