How to conduct a successful quarterly business review: A step-by-step guide (+ QBR template)

Table of contents

As a business leader, keeping track of your company's progress is essential for long-term success. A quarterly business review provides an excellent opportunity to assess your performance, identify areas for improvement, and align your team towards common goals. But conducting a successful quarterly business review (QBR) can be challenging, especially if you're unsure where to start. In this post, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to help you get the most out of your QBR.

What is a quarterly business review?

A quarterly business review happens four times a year and is the perfect opportunity to look at how your company is doing from every angle. During a QBR, all the key decision-makers get together to analyse the company's performance metrics, progress markers, and strategic plans. QBRs are not brief discussions - they are a big deal and require thorough preparation.

The focus of a QBR is to have a deep dive into all the key performance indicators (KPIs), which could range from financial performance to customer satisfaction. Goals are scrutinised with a discerning eye, and everyone works together to recalibrate strategies if needed. This process helps to identify challenges and opportunities, and everyone gets on the same page. By the end of the meeting, everyone knows exactly what needs to happen to drive the business forward.

But a QBR meeting isn't all about the data - it's also a chance for different departments and stakeholders to come together and share their insights. The QBR meeting is an opportunity to celebrate achievements, learn from setbacks, and align priorities for the upcoming quarter. With everyone aligned, the business can move towards achieving its goals with confidence and clarity.

Why is a quarterly business review important?

Quarterly business reviews are important for several reasons, including:

1. Strategic alignment

QBRs help to keep all departments and teams aligned with the organisation's strategic goals. By reviewing progress and priorities together, stakeholders can realign strategies and resources to stay on track towards common objectives.

2. Performance evaluation

QBRs offer an opportunity to evaluate the performance of business units, teams, and individuals. By analysing key metrics and KPIs, organisations can recognise areas of success and areas that require improvement, allowing for targeted interventions to optimise performance.

3. Data-driven decision making

QBRs are all about crunching data to get insights into how the market is moving, how customers behave, and how things are working internally. By using data to make decisions, businesses can be smarter about what they're doing, which means they can grow faster, work more efficiently, and stay ahead of the competition.

4. Course correction

Organisations can use QBRs to remain agile and adjust strategies based on market conditions, opportunities, and customer needs.

5. Accountability and ownership

QBRs promote accountability and teamwork by openly discussing successes and challenges. This helps teams take ownership of their responsibilities and work towards achieving collective goals.

6. Continuous improvement

QBRs facilitate feedback, brainstorming, and best practices to improve processes and offerings through a culture of learning and innovation.

A step-by-step guide to conducting a successful quarterly business review 

If you want to get the most out of your QBR, you need to put some effort into it. Planning, preparing, and following through are key to success. Here are the critical steps: 

Step 1: Gather the right stakeholders

It's important to figure out who should join the QBR process before jumping in. You'll want to have a good mix of people with different points of view, skills, and decision-making power. Here are some suggestions on who to invite:

C-Suite executives: The CEO, CFO, COO, and other top-level executives should be present to provide strategic guidance and make high-level decisions.

Senior leadership team (SLT): Include department heads overseeing key functions like sales, marketing, operations, and human resources. They can provide insights and align departmental goals with company objectives.

Other department leaders: When preparing for a QBR, it's important to figure out what you want to focus on ahead of time. Depending on what you're discussing, you might want to invite leaders from specific teams or departments like product development, customer success, or IT. These leaders can give you more detailed insights into their respective areas, which helps you make better decisions.

Step 2: Involve your team in your QBR

Involving your team members in the quarterly business review process enables you to tap into a diverse pool of insights, experiences, and ideas that can drive better decision-making and more effective problem-solving. 

Here's how you can involve your team in the QBR process:

1. Pre-QBR preparation

  • Ask team members to prepare brief updates on their areas of responsibility, including successes, challenges, and key metrics
  • Encourage them to identify potential areas for improvement and suggest ideas for growth and innovation
  • Share the agenda in advance and invite team members to propose additional topics or questions they would like to discuss

2. Collaborative data analysis

  • During the QBR, present the data collected in Step 1 and invite team members to share their insights and interpretations
  • Encourage open discussion and diverse perspectives to uncover new insights and ideas

3. Brainstorming and problem-solving

  • When identifying areas for improvement and growth opportunities, engage team members in brainstorming sessions
  • Break into smaller groups to discuss specific challenges or opportunities and generate potential solutions
  • Encourage cross-functional collaboration to promote a holistic view of the business and drive innovation

4. Goal setting and accountability

  • Involve team members in setting SMART goals for the upcoming quarter, ensuring they align with individual, team, and company objectives
  • Assign responsibilities and deadlines for each goal, fostering a sense of ownership and accountability
  • Encourage team members to take the lead on initiatives that align with their strengths 

5. Continuous feedback and progress updates

  • Schedule regular check-ins with team members to discuss progress, challenges, and lessons learned
  • Encourage ongoing feedback and open communication to maintain momentum and identify potential roadblocks early on
  • Celebrate successes and recognise individual and team contributions 


At ABC Company, the marketing team is actively involved in the QBR process. Before the meeting, each team member prepares a brief update on their key marketing initiatives, including campaign performance, lead generation, and content creation efforts. During the QBR, the team discusses the data, shares insights, and brainstorms ideas for optimising their marketing strategies.

The team then breaks into smaller groups to discuss specific challenges, such as improving social media engagement or reducing customer acquisition costs. Each group presents their ideas to the larger team, and together they prioritise initiatives and set goals for the upcoming quarter. The marketing manager assigns responsibilities and deadlines for each goal, and the team schedules weekly check-ins to discuss progress and make any necessary adjustments.

By involving your team members in the QBR process, you not only gain valuable insights and ideas but also foster a sense of ownership and accountability. This helps ensure that everyone is aligned towards common goals and working together to drive success.

Step 3: Prepare your data

Before you kick off your quarterly business review, it's important to gather and sort all the relevant data that will give you a complete picture of how your company is doing. This data will form the basis of your discussions and help you make informed decisions during the review.

Here are some key data points to collect:

Financial reports: First, gather your company's financial statements like the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. These reports will give you a good idea about your revenue, expenses, overall financial health, and profitability. Try to spot trends like changes in revenue growth, gross margins, and operating expenses. Also, be ready to discuss the reasons behind these changes.

Sales figures: Deep dive into your sales data and analyse your sales pipeline, conversion rates, and revenue based on product line, customer segment, or location. Check out which products or services are doing well and which need more attention. Keep an eye on the sales cycle, average deal size, and customer acquisition costs to better understand your sales performance.

Customer feedback: Collect feedback from surveys, social media, online reviews, and customer support conversations. Try to find out what customers like, what they don't, and what they want. This will help you figure out how well your products and services are doing and what you can do to improve them.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Make sure you keep track of the numbers that matter most to your business - your KPIs. These could be things like your website traffic, how many leads you're generating, how well you're keeping your customers, or even how often your employees are sticking around. By comparing your current numbers to what you had before (and to what other companies are doing), you'll get a good idea of how well you're doing and if there are any issues you need to fix.

Industry and market data: To put your company’s performance in context, it’s important to understand your industry and market. Gathering data points around market size and annual growth rate, and the competition will give you a better perspective of where you stand.   

Organising and visualising data: Once you've got all your data, make sure you organise and present it in a format that’s easy to digest. This way, you can spend more time figuring out what to do with it, and less time trying to make sense of it all. You can create charts, graphs, and tables using PowerPoint, dashboards, or data visualisation software to help you spot the key trends and insights. 

Tability dashboard
Dashboards are an easy and effective way to review performance and key metrics. 

By preparing your data ahead of your QBR, you are laying the foundation for a focused and productive meeting, which will help you get off to a solid start for the following quarter. 

Step 4: Set an agenda for your QBR meeting

A well-structured agenda ensures that all participants are prepared, the QBR meeting stays on track, and all critical topics are addressed. 

Here’s an example of a QBR agenda:

1. Review the previous quarter's goals and performance (30 minutes)

  • Discuss goals set in the previous QBR and evaluate progress 
  • Celebrate successes and acknowledge areas where goals were not met
  • Analyse the factors that contributed to both successes and shortcomings

2. Assessment of current performance and key metrics (45 minutes)

  • Present and discuss the data collected in Step 1, including financial reports, sales figures, customer feedback, and other KPIs
  • Identify trends, patterns, and insights 
  • Encourage open discussion and gather input from team members on the implications of the data

3. Identification of areas for improvement and growth opportunities (30 minutes)

  • Based on the data analysis and discussion, pinpoint specific areas where the company can improve its performance
  • Brainstorm potential growth opportunities and new initiatives that align with the company's strategic objectives
  • Prioritise improvement areas and growth opportunities based on their potential impact and feasibility

4. Discussion of plans and goals for the upcoming quarter (45 minutes)

5. Q&A and next steps (30 minutes)

  • Allow time for participants to ask questions, raise concerns, and provide additional input
  • Summarise key takeaways, decisions, and action items from the meeting
  • Establish a timeline for follow-up and progress updates to maintain momentum and accountability

Step 5: Focus on actionable insights

If you want your QBR to really make an impact, you need to focus on insights that can move the needle for your business. It's easy to get caught up in the numbers that look good on paper, but if you dig a little deeper into the things that are really driving your performance, you'll find more valuable insights that you can actually put into action. Look beyond the surface-level data.

Here's how you can ensure your QBR is focused on actionable insights:

1. Identify key drivers of performance

  • Look beyond surface-level metrics and analyse the root causes of your successes and challenges
  • Use data analysis techniques, such as correlation analysis or regression analysis, to identify the key variables that impact your KPIs
  • Engage your team members in discussing their experiences and observations to gain a more nuanced understanding of performance drivers

2. Conduct root cause analysis

  • When faced with a challenge or underperforming area, conduct a thorough root cause analysis to identify the underlying issues
  • Use techniques like the "5 Whys" or fishbone diagrams to explore the contributing factors and potential solutions
  • Encourage open and honest discussion among team members to uncover hidden problems and opportunities for improvement

3. Benchmark against industry standards and best practices

  • Compare your company's performance to industry benchmarks and best practices to identify areas where you may be lagging behind
  • Research successful strategies and tactics employed by industry leaders and consider how they can be adapted to your business
  • Use this information to set realistic yet ambitious targets for improvement and growth

4. Prioritise insights based on impact and feasibility

  • Not all insights are created equal – some will have a greater potential impact on your business than others
  • Prioritise the insights and opportunities identified during your QBR based on their expected impact and the feasibility of implementing changes
  • Focus on high-impact, low-effort initiatives first to generate quick wins and build momentum for larger, more complex projects

5. Develop action plans and assign ownership

  • For each prioritised insight or opportunity, develop a clear action plan outlining the steps needed to drive improvement
  • Break down larger projects and initiatives into smaller, manageable tasks with specific timelines and milestones
  • Assign ownership for each action item to ensure accountability and progress tracking
  • Regularly review progress against action plans and adjust as needed 
Tability Kanban board
Use Kanban boards to break down big projects into smaller tasks. 


During their QBR, the sales team at XYZ Company noticed that their customer churn rate had increased by 10% compared to the previous quarter. Rather than simply acknowledging the problem, they conducted a root cause analysis and discovered that a significant portion of churned customers had experienced long wait times when contacting customer support.

The team then benchmarked their customer support metrics against industry standards and identified specific areas for improvement, such as average response time and first-call resolution rate. They prioritised initiatives based on their potential impact on customer satisfaction and retention. They developed an action plan to streamline their support processes and invest in additional training for their support team.

By assigning ownership and setting clear timelines for each action item, the sales team reduced customer churn by 25% over the next quarter while improving overall customer satisfaction scores.

By focusing on actionable insights during your QBR, you can drive meaningful, data-driven improvements in your business. This approach ensures that your QBR is not just a review of past performance, but a strategic planning session that sets the stage for future growth and success.

Step 6: Follow up and measure progress

A successful QBR is not just about the meeting itself, but also what happens afterwards. Following up on action items and measuring progress against your goals is crucial for maintaining momentum, ensuring accountability, and ultimately driving the desired improvements in your business. 

Here's how you can effectively follow up and measure progress after your QBR:

Communicate action items and responsibilities

  • Immediately after the QBR, send a summary of the key decisions, action items, and assigned responsibilities to all participants
  • Ensure that each team member clearly understands their roles and expectations, and has the necessary resources and support to carry out their tasks
  • Encourage open communication and collaboration among team members to address any questions or concerns that may arise

Set up a progress-tracking system

  • Establish a system for tracking progress on action items and initiatives, such as a shared project management tool or dashboard
  • Break down large goals into smaller, measurable milestones to make progress tracking more manageable and motivating
  • Regularly update the tracking system with progress reports, key metrics, and any relevant data or insights

Schedule regular check-ins

  • Set up regular check-in meetings with team members and stakeholders to discuss progress, challenges, and next steps
  • Use these check-ins to celebrate successes, identify potential roadblocks, and make any necessary adjustments to action plans or timelines
  • Encourage a culture of transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement by openly discussing both achievements and areas for growth
Tability check-in
Set up regular check-ins to discuss progress, challenges and next steps.

Measure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Identify the most relevant KPIs for each goal or initiative, and establish a baseline and target for each metric
  • Regularly measure and report on these KPIs to gauge progress and identify trends or patterns
  • Use data visualisation tools, such as charts or dashboards, to make KPIs more accessible and actionable for team members and stakeholders

Conduct mid-quarter reviews

  • Schedule a mid-quarter review to assess progress, discuss any significant changes or challenges, and make necessary adjustments to plans or priorities
  • Use this opportunity to reassess the relevance and feasibility of your goals and initiatives based on new data or insights
  • Encourage team members to share their experiences, lessons learned, and ideas for continuous improvement

Celebrate successes and learn from setbacks

  • Recognise and celebrate the achievements of your team members and the progress made towards your goals
  • When faced with setbacks or challenges, approach them as learning opportunities and use them to inform future strategies and decision-making
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning and growth by encouraging experimentation, innovation, and knowledge-sharing


After their QBR, the marketing team at ABC Company set up a shared project management dashboard to track progress on their initiatives, such as improving social media engagement and optimising their content marketing strategy. Each team member was assigned specific tasks and deadlines, and the team scheduled weekly check-ins to discuss progress and challenges.

The team also identified key KPIs for each initiative, such as social media followers, engagement rates, and website traffic, and set up a dashboard to track these metrics over time. During their mid-quarter review, they discovered that their social media engagement rates had improved significantly, but their website traffic had remained stagnant.

Based on this insight, the team adjusted their content marketing strategy to focus more on SEO and backlink building, and they were able to improve their website traffic by 20% by the end of the quarter.

By consistently following up and measuring progress after your QBR, you can ensure that your team stays on track, remains accountable, and continuously improves performance. This approach helps translate the insights and strategies discussed during your QBR into tangible, measurable results for your business.

Download our free QBR template

Our customisable QBR template offers a structured framework to evaluate your financial metrics, operational efficiency, sales and marketing efforts, customer success initiatives, and strategic projects. The QBR template has clear sections for data input, analysis, goal setting, risk assessment, and action planning, empowering you to make informed decisions and drive business growth. Whether presenting to executives, investors, or department heads, this QBR template ensures clarity, coherence, and actionable insights for quarterly business review meetings. 



To conduct a successful quarterly business review, you need to prepare well, work together, and focus on actionable insights. Remember, a QBR is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process of continuous improvement. By regularly tracking your performance, celebrating successes, and learning from challenges, you can keep up the momentum and adapt to changing circumstances. With the right mindset and approach, QBRs can be a powerful tool for driving growth, innovation, and long-term success in your business.

Author photo

Jeremy Yancey

Head of Content, Tability

Share this post
Weekly insights for outcome-driven teams
Subscribe to our newsletter to get actionable insights in your inbox.
Related articles
More articles →