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Scott Johnson,
Sales Operations Manager,

Cloud9 Announces New Intelligent Sales Forecasting Solution

New features increase sales performance by giving sales teams visibility into changes in the forecast

Redwood City, Calif. August 23, 2011

Cloud9, the leader in on-demand sales forecasting and pipeline management solutions, today announced a new solution for intelligent sales forecasting. Part of the Cloud9 Sales Performance Suite, the new forecasting solution gives customers the ability to go beyond simply reporting the state of their sales activity to actively managing their sales performance. The result is more accurate forecasts, higher win rates, and accelerated revenue.

“It is appalling how little visibility and control sales teams have into their sales forecasts today,” said Jim Burleigh, CEO of Cloud9. “Customer relationship management applications have allowed them to track activities, opportunities, and contacts. But what about seeing change in the forecast and taking fast action, or creating a more accurate forecast? Sales teams deserve better than the blunt tools of Excel and traditional business intelligence. Cloud9’s new forecasting application allows customers to run the cadence of their entire sales management operation so they can focus on the actions that increase revenue.”

Cloud9’s solution includes:

Pipeline Management – Users can go far beyond what is available in CRM applications such as those from Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) and use Cloud9 to view sales pipeline data from multiple perspectives. This is particularly critical for complex sales organizations, such as those with a matrix reporting structure, broad geographic scope, vertical sales teams, or overlay contributors. Users can review:

  • Time-based views, comparing multiple points in time. Managers can answer the question “What has changed in my pipeline since the beginning of this period?”
  • Historical trending
  • Complex views including split or shared deals across multiple reps and multiple currencies
  • Team-based matrices, allowing alternate hierarchies depending on the complexity of the sales organization
  • Alerts on pipeline exceptions and updates on key deals, delivered as watch lists as well as a classic pipeline “waterfall” report

Forecasting – Sales teams need to understand how their organizations meet, exceed, or fail to meet their numbers and the root causes behind their performance. Cloud9 allows users to:

  • Look at the forecast in whatever time period best matches the cadence of their business (weekly, monthly, quarterly)
  • View deals by forecast category, stage, and probability
  • Analyze the conversion rate between stages in the pipeline
  • Review both deal level and aggregate level on/off model exceptions, helping managers identify risk and where to take action
  • Compare deals to historical models of success, both at an individual deal level, and a broader view across the entire pipeline.

The new release adds several key features:

  • The ability to apply management judgment (overrides) to people, products, and opportunities. Users can change values on a number of variables including stage, percent, forecast category, close date, and amount.
  • A Chief Sales Officer console, which gives sales managers a central place to see all problems, exceptions, and changes based on current and historical information, and the comparisons between them.
  • The ability to compare each aggregate judgment to coverage by sales stage and gross coverage models. Users can then compare data against historical norms, other regions, and other reps.
  • A sales rep “scorecard,” allowing managers to compare the performance of individual sales representatives, such as quota attainment.

The Cloud9 Technology PlatformCloud9’s Sales Performance Suite is based on a robust platform that includes:

  • An historical, time-versioned database that records and stores all changes to all CRM data
  • Sales analytics that aggregate historical operational data from CRM or other systems
  • Cloud data extraction technology, which pulls any data needed from the CRM system, actual data from the ERP system, and any other data required such as quota information from compensation systems or spreadsheets.

The new product is expected to be available for limited release in early 2012. The product is deployed in the software-as-a-service model, requiring zero installation, maintenance, or support from IT.

Supporting Analyst Quotes

“While traditional business intelligence has become a critical IT imperative to support the enterprise, it is not designed to address the challenges sales executives and sales operations face in today’s marketplace,” said Mark Smith, CEO and chief research officer at Ventana Research. “The sales department needs actionable analytics from pipeline to forecast across the entire sales process – past, present, and future. With the new sales forecasting solution from Cloud9, with just a few clicks, sales teams can focus on exceeding their revenue targets and quotas.”

“Investing in a robust sales forecasting solution is a standard in best-in-class sales organizations. Our research shows that this investment leads directly to bigger deals – on average, more than 50 percent – and quota attainment of nearly 100 percent among sales reps,” said Peter Ostrow, research director of Aberdeen Group. “Companies with leading sales organizations invest twice as much in sales forecasting and analytics when compared to lesser-performing competitors. Quite simply, they have more visibility and are able to quickly make critical changes that impact the bottom line. Sales teams that are not using these solutions are missing a key competitive differentiator.”  

“We’re always looking for the next improvement for CRM,” said Denis Pombriant, managing principal at Beagle Research. “More than ever we need to do more than collect customer data, we need better ways to turn data into information that we can use in our business processes. Nowhere is that more true than in revenue generation. Collaborative forecasting tools are the next big thing in CRM and revenue generation.”

About Cloud9

Cloud9 is the world’s leader in on-demand sales forecasting and pipeline management solutions. The company’s solutions allow users to actively manage sales performance with intelligence – going beyond traditional CRM applications. Cloud9 allows users to dramatically improve the predictability of their sales forecasts, gives them visibility into exceptions and changes, and allows them to identify risks and opportunities. The result is more accurate forecasts, higher win rates, and accelerated revenue. Cloud9 solutions deliver value in just 24 hours and require zero installation, maintenance, or support from IT.
Cloud9 customers include Avaya, BMC Software (NASDAQ: BMC), Computer Associates (NASDAQ: CA), EMC2 (NASDAQ: EMC), Siemens (NASDAQ: SI), Splunk, Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO), and Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI). The company is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. For more information, please visit http://www.cloud9analytics.com.