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Scott Johnson,
Sales Operations Manager,

Solutions for Sales Challenges


Featured Content Learn what Aberdeen Group found when they surveyed sales organizations to uncover how best-in-class organizations address the challenges of forecasting and pipeline management.

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What keeps your sales organization up at night? One thing that’s on everyone’s mind is whether you’re going to make your number this quarter—which opportunities are at risk of moving out of the quarter, which are you at risk of losing, and which will you need to sacrifice revenue or margin to win? Getting those answers for your sales organization isn’t easy, but without those answers you’re at significant risk of not delivering the revenue that your organization is counting on. That’s where Cloud9 fits it. Cloud9 solutions make it easy to uncover and share the actionable information that your organization needs to manage the forecast and pipeline so that you can consistently meet and exceed your goals.

The Cloud9 Intelligent Forecasting Suite delivers dramatically higher sales performance by improving visibility, analysis, and management of the sales forecast and pipeline. Because if you’re not improving your ability to determine and deliver your forecast, your organization is falling behind and failing to deliver its full potential.

Inadequate Visibility into Forecast and Pipeline

What you can’t see, you can’t manage. CRM systems are designed to record and report on the current status of accounts, opportunities, and activity. But what your CRM system doesn’t show you is how and why data is changing over time. Without that visibility, you’re blind to the risk in your sales pipeline and forecast and can’t know how to keep on track to deliver on your forecast and goals. Stop-gap approaches such as the use of spreadsheets are at best a limited solution that come with significant drawbacks including administrative overhead, inconsistency, and inefficiency.

Missing Actionable Information

Sales organizations have never had more data available to them—not only data from CRM systems about accounts, opportunities, and activity, but also related data including bookings, quota, and compensation. However, what’s lacking is getting actionable information from that data. In fact, just another report or dashboard that’s not meaningful and actionable can actually make things even worse by adding to the information overload.

To make data meaningful and actionable, the right information needs to reach the right people at the right time. What that means:

  • The right information is information that you can use to make decisions. Information about which opportunities are most likely to be won, which are highest risk, and which are not following past models of success can be used to decide how to focus and prioritize.
  • Reaching the right people means presenting information in the way that fits your organization. As your sales organization becomes more complex—for example, overlay teams, multiple product lines, multiple business units—you need to see forecast and pipeline information for those teams, a view of information that CRM systems struggle to show.
  • Reaching people at the right time means getting them information in time for them to act on it. You need to know about changes in your forecast and pipeline when they happen, not several weeks later or at the end of the quarter.

Slowed by Inefficiency

Regardless of whether your sales organizations is suffering from economic challenges and shrinking budgets, you’re expected to become increasingly more productive and efficient —making sure your team focuses on the highest-value opportunities, helping managers coach sales reps to improve performance, and minimizing the time spent on low-value administration and reporting.

But without the meaningful insight into your forecast and pipeline, your teams can’t know for certain which opportunities to focus on. Without historical information, it’s harder to know how to improve coaching. You’re forced to rely heavily on intuition or spreadsheets to manage your pipeline and forecast. But leaning on intuition doesn’t make you a best-in-class sales organization, and relying on spreadsheets introduces inconsistency and overhead that take your resources away from more strategic work.

Cloud9 Solutions

Cloud9 solutions address these challenges by making it easy to get actionable information about your forecast and pipeline, information that is impractical or impossible to get from CRM systems, BI tools, and spreadsheets. It shows you how your forecast and pipeline are changing, which opportunities are at risk, and how teams are performing. With that information, you know which opportunities to focus on, which teams need additional coaching, and what actions can be taken to improve performance.

Cloud9’s does this by:

  • Bringing together data from your CRM system with other data such as ERP, quota, territory, and compensation data.
  • Tracking changes and analyzing trends in data to identify relevant and actionable information about your forecast and pipeline.
  • Making insights into forecast and pipeline easily available to sales managers, sales operations, and sales teams so that they can address risks and deliver on their forecasts.