We are inclined to believe that executive business reviews (EBRs) are inherently valuable – but that doesn’t mean our customers would agree.
Many vendors make the mistake of thinking that conducting EBRs will retain customers. We often are so focused on sharing a new feature or release that we neglect to consider our customers’ distinct objectives and what would be most beneficial to them. If your product or service does not help them achieve their specific goals, is it actually valuable?
The reality is that value is subjective.
Every customer has their own perception of what is valuable based on their specific company goals. Rather than taking a product-centric approach, you need to understand how your customers are using your products and services to realize their objectives – and where there are opportunities to enhance their outcomes.
In part one of our Executive Business Review Series, we shared how you can make your EBRs more relevant to drive successful outcomes. Next, we will explore how you can leverage data to uncover opportunities during your business reviews and guide customers towards meaningful results.
Provide Value by Advancing Your Customer’s Business
Business reviews are an excellent opportunity to step back and provide a “forest-from-the-trees” perspective to customers. It’s time to accelerate value and share how your product or service can facilitate innovation. A well-run EBR should achieve three things:
Share how other customers are deriving value
Propose how the product could further advance the customer’s business
This not only provides the customer with invaluable information to advance their business, but it allows you to garner a deeper understanding of your customer’s business objectives, including their current priorities and new needs.
You also want to validate that the customer is still on track and then strategically direct them towards future opportunities (i.e. execute a land and expand strategy). Measuring return on investment (ROI) and reviewing key metric data is essential to demonstrating value. This allows us to proactively understand whether or not our products or services are meeting customer expectations.
In addition, reviewing benchmarks and measuring how the customer is performing in relation to all of your customers is a great way to start hard conversations. You now have the opportunity to keep them accountable if they are lagging behind ― or motivate them to achieve more if they are leading the way.
In terms of product discussions, what you choose to cover during the meeting should be dependant on your customer’s business. Items such as roadmap reviews or thorough proposals for how to further leverage the product should be based on the AM/CSM’s discussions with the customer. Instead of a product roadmap pitch, the information shared in the EBR should feel accretive to the customer’s desired direction and focus on the value to
their specific business.
The Bottom Line: Realized Outcomes Determine Value
If you want to determine what is valuable to your clients, you have to take a holistic approach to their business. This means understanding their desired business outcomes, how your products and services are best leveraged to realize their objectives and where there are opportunities to further advance their business.
So dig deeper into your customer objectives and needs. Leverage data to determine uptake and use benchmarking to find opportunities. Harness one-on-one conversations to paint a fuller picture of their business. Listen to their concerns and help them determine how to best use your products and service.
And remember that value is only realized after you have helped them achieve their desired outcomes.
In part three of our Executive Business Review Series, we will consider the influence that the time and timing of EBRs has on the realization of customer’s goals.