We have been utilizing Salesforce.com for nine years, which has a lot of great data in it, but Cloud9 gives us more visibility into the pipeline.
“Using Cloud9, we save roughly 80 man-hours throughout the organization on rolling up forecasts and other sales administrative tasks that we can now spend on deals and customer retention.”
Vice President of Global Sales Strategy & Operations
The biggest pain points that sales organizations face today are lack of visibility in pipeline movements, and inaccurate sales forecasts.Compiling that level of analysis can be both arduous and time consuming and takes resources from the primary goal—selling. For Jake Hofwegen, Vice President of Global Sales Strategy & Operations with Websense, the intelligent data from Cloud9 was not only eye opening and crucial for his business, but his newfound accuracy came without excessive man-hours spent manually compiling forecasts.
“We as well as many organizations rely on Salesforce as the foundation for CRM,” said Hofwegen. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide the visibility or the flexibility we need for forecast customization or drill downs. We simply don’t have the ability to truly gauge sales velocity and close rates.”
Headquartered in San Diego, California, Websense is a global leader in unified Web, data, and email content security generating revenues of more than $332 million in 2010. The company’s sales strategy involves distribution through a global network of channel partners and delivered as software, appliances, and Security-as-a-Service (SaaS). Last year, Websense had $49 million in billings to new customers, a 10% increase from the previous year, while billings for its Triton™ integrated content security solutions grew by 74%. With overall deal-size increasing, the company is also on track to close a record number of seven-figure transactions in 2011. Managing that level of pipeline management and forecast visibility for a flourishing sales organization requires a balanced approach of strategy and depth.
“Getting meaningful visibility into our sales cycle as well as in-depth pipeline analysis just wasn’t viable,” said Hofwegen. “We needed a deep understanding of forecasts for specific products in order to effectively manage costs and supply cycles accurately.”
In-Depth Pipeline Analysis without the Pain
Winning business in today’s competitive marketplace requires knowledge, adaptability and agility. From a sales perspective, companies need to trend movements in time, while empowering sales managers to execute deal reviews accurately. Proper forecasting and pipeline analysis are now precursors to winning new business and retaining existing ones.
After evaluating a number of forecasting and pipeline management solutions, Websense chose Cloud9 because the solution took daily snapshots of all their data – including all objects, custom objects, and fields – and provided immediately-relevant pipeline information to sales leadership in an easy-to-use application tightly integrated with Salesforce.
From finding deals that aren’t put into Commit until they are closed to reps who consistently defer deals, Cloud9 provides Websense with visibility into what is happening in the pipeline. In addition, the Watchlist will be a key tool for Websense’s senior sales leaders by enabling them to monitor and implement strategies for their top 50 sales deals.
“Sales leaders all understand the importance of in-depth pipeline analysis, but this can require a huge amount of time, time that could be spent on closing deals,” stated Hofwegen. “This is a pain point that we all face whether we want to admit it or not. Using Cloud9, we save roughly 80 man-hours throughout the organization on rolling up forecasts and other sales administrative tasks that we can now spend on deals and customer retention.”