THE DETAILS OF A BUSINESS REVIEW- PART 2 OF 4
So you are getting ready to go into your Quarterly Business Review and working on the agenda topics. What should you include? In our Business Review Best Practices article we discussed the things to cover and today we will cover the second of 4 of these items in more detail. In Part 1 of this series we covered the topic of the relationship and relationship health, today we will focus on roadmap discussions.
It helps to define what a roadmap is and what it is not. For the purpose of this discussion and the context of a Business Review, a Roadmap is a 2-way conversation about the important goals and initiatives your customer has first. Then that is followed up by a roadmap discussion about your products and services and how they can help the customer achieve their business objectives.
A Roadmap is “not,” a list of projects to be completed or tasks on the horizon. These are useful data points but they fall into the category of Project Status reports rather than strategic business reviews in most cases.
Why Share a roadmap
A roadmap will demonstrate the true difference between a vendor and client relationship and a partnership. As the XaaS economy continues, companies are realizing the value they get from the managed services that come with or are available over and above the software they are paying for.
A Roadmap will help a customer understand industry trends that maybe should be considered.
Benefit to the Customer
The customer benefits from a roadmap discussion as a conversation and 2-way communication session. The following items are just some of why customers provide positive feedback on roadmap sessions.
- The customer gains confidence in their provider’s ability to be a thought leader and respond to industry trends and product enhancements.
- The customer begins to see what other companies in their business segment are asking about and requesting
- Sharing their own roadmap of company initiatives allows their vendor/provider the ability to help them achieve those goals
Benefit to the Vendor/Provider
When I have roadmap sessions, I like to have the customer first share their goals and initiatives for the upcoming few years before I share our product and service roadmap. Having them go first is not going to change the items that I share with them related to our companies roadmap, but it does allow me to point out areas where the client’s goals are aligned with a product or service roadmap item that we can use to help our customer.
What is the output
I like to have continuous discussions with clients related to their business goals, our shared roadmaps and where they align. Once we know alignment, I like to try to align projects and tasks to the outcomes they expect to get. The vehicle to do this can vary depending on the sophistication of the company. There are online tools that can automate roadmap diagrams and tracking of progress. These would be great but shouldn’t be a gating factor in having these types of discussions.
For the less sophisticated or organizations that don’t have the budget to purchase such tools, these can be managed through thoughtful discussions and simple PowerPoint screens to demonstrate possible visual roadmaps.
Join us next week when we dive deeper into the current activities update and how to cover this critically important information without getting caught in the weeks of the projects being deployed.
Below are some resources on Customer Success and Relationship building in Business that you may find interesting.
- Customer Experience 3.0 by John A Goodman
- Customer Success by Nick Mehta and Dan Steinman
- Farm Don’t Hunt by Guy Nirpaz and Fernando Pizarro
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