The Sandler Enterprise Selling (SES) program, based on David Sandler’s revolutionary selling system, organizes the enterprise selling cycle around a six-stage, continuous process. SES provides a number of special tools throughout its six stages to help organizations land, keep and grow long-term clients, and we’ve added a tool to the SES arsenal – the Quarterly Value Review, or QVR.
This is a simple two-page form that generates repeatable, high-level client facing events built around the twin concepts of “value delivered” and “value desired.” The whole point of the QVR is that, unlike the familiar quarterly business review, which is typically just a small-scale trade show, it’s not about you. Rather, it’s all about how the client defines and quantifies the value you’ve already delivered… and what the client needs to see from you next.
The QVR takes place at the very highest levels, and for good reason: If you’re doing a good job of delivering value on the client’s terms, and you’re making sure the client organization knows that at the very top level, then the client’s senior management is going to want to continue to see you regularly. Not only that: They’re going to tell you exactly what they want from your company and exactly when and how they want it. If there are seasonal issues or unexpected market developments that affect your world, you will know about them well ahead of time… and you will hear about them from the very top.
Without a QVR, you face a potentially lethal challenge to growing the business: the botched handoff. In this scenario, sales wins the business with an enterprise account. Then comes the (dreaded) handoff to Delivery. With the best intentions, the folks in Delivery focus narrowly on what their tasks are, what’s in the contract, and what the deliverables are. Inevitably, though, they are not as attuned to client expectations and the nuances of the relationship as the people in Sales are. Sometimes there are problems – big problems.
Even if the folks in Delivery do everything well, even if everything comes in on time and as promised, there’s still a challenge: Sales is out of the loop. Sales has not kept up with what’s happening! Six months or twelve months or eighteen months later, Sales comes back and tries to sell something else. At which point the client thinks, “I know who you guys are. You’re the people who show up when you want some money.” Everybody loses.
The SES foundation concept of continuous selling and delivery leads us to a very different outcome. In this model, Sales is continually engaged and partnered with Delivery to deliver value to the client in an ongoing streams of transactions. You have scheduled QVR events that involve Sales and Delivery where you’re clarifying the value you deliver… and then getting information from the client about what additional value you should be delivering. It’s a never-ending process: a win for the client, a win for Delivery, and a win for sales. By the way, the continued involvement of the Sales team in the enterprise account well after the business is won is a key theme of SES in general.
The QVR tool gives you a high-level forum for how you’ve measured up in the real world – the client’s world. And it gives you a pattern of continuous, scheduled discussions about exactly what form your value needs to take over the next 90 days (or whatever timing for your meetings the client prefers). Fortunately, C-level people at the client organization want to be at this meeting… because value is what they’re expected to deliver to shareholders and stakeholders!