I enjoyed a couple trainings recently from Gainsight and DSG about facilitating strategic meetings with customers. Here are a few take-aways in no particular order:
- Set up goals at the beginning of the meeting with your customer, agree to them, and align next actions with these same goals.
- If you’re meeting with an executive from your customer’s company, make sure your company’s counterpart can participate.
- Keep goals for these meetings high-level and specific to your customer’s business. This is a great time to discuss increasing efficiencies, getting ahead of competition, and seeing more ROI for your projects together.
- Draw charts and notes during the meeting to track goals, discuss industry trends, and align on next actions. Use a whiteboard, napkin, whatever you have handy.
- Meet 1-2 times internally before the meeting to prep with attendees. Make sure your teammates know which topics they’re covering and what questions or comments could come up from the customer.
- “QBR” (quarterly business review) is a bit of a misnomer. Hold strategic customer meetings as often as the relationship warrants. This could mean monthly, twice a year, etc.