This week, we shifted gears on the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast and discussed transforming your QBR process with our friend Karen Rhorer. Karen is the Customer Success & Sales Strategy Lead at Atrium, a software business building smart analytics to help teams make better-informed work decisions. Prior to Atrium, Karen did tours of duty at LinkedIn Learning and DoubleDutch in sales operations. In short, she knows a thing or two about QBRs. Most listeners are well aware of the quarterly business review in the sales context and we have covered it to some extent on our blog. However, Karen joined us to talk about how to take your QBR from something that is probably pretty good today to something that could be great tomorrow.
Karen Rhorer is an expert in sales operations and analytics and seasoned SaaS manager and executive. Karen currently manages the Customer Success and Sales Strategy functions at Atrium, where she and her team work with Atrium’s customers to develop data-driven insights about and create strategies to manage to their individual sales motions. Prior to working at Atrium, Karen oversaw sales operations for North America and EMEA for LinkedIn’s Learning Solutions (Lynda) business unit, helping to integrate the Lynda acquisition into LinkedIn and develop the required sales operations structure and process in the new business unit after the acquisition. Before that, she created the sales operations function at event marketing software company DoubleDutch.
We started with a QBR template that she uses with her team and with founders she coaches. Listeners should take a look at that as we use it as a guide in the podcast. It is based on a lot of trial and error about what’s worked and not worked doing these for each segment at her prior companies. We jumped in to first principles and how to think about the basics of the QBR. What founders get right and what they get wrong as it relates to the “what?” and the “why?” of a QBR. We then moved in to a discussion around how to augment your existing QBR to really map to Karen’s template and flow. Here we covered some basic sales math as well as some undiscovered things like how culture and team plays into transforming your QBR process. We closed on the future and once adopted what founders need to consider as they grow and expand. We talked a bit about delivery models, leaders and followers in these meetings, and finally closed on some tips and tricks that she has learned from years of work in this area. For any founder interested in transforming your QBR process, this podcast was a must listen.
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