Cloud9 Tuesday announced a new tool for sales forecasting to give users insight into their sales activity and manage sales performance. The update will be part of the Cloud 9 Sales Performance Suite.
"What we're announcing is a full-blown forecasting application," says Jim Burleigh, CEO of Cloud9. "The key change there is adding in the ability to enter in aggregate and individual deal-level overrides. That's all wrapped in a process application that incorporates a lot of customizable functionality that allows people to forecast, see their forecast, and analyze their forecast in the way that's best for their organization. Everybody forecasts in a little bit different way and has their own secret sauce in there."
Burleigh says Cloud9 has a customer base that includes a "very broad range of verticals" He relied "an awful lot" on these users for feedback when developing the update. "We have been building towards the solution for quite awhile, and as we've done that, we've deployed parts of what will ultimately be the forecasting solution," he explains. "As we did that, we had a ton of feedback from our customers. All of our customer, prospects, and partners have been telling us lots of information about how they want to use the system and how they want to configure the system."
The update lets sales professionals do the following:
- Apply management judgment to people, products, and opportunities and change values on a number of variables. including stage, percent, forecast category, close date, and amount.
- View all problems, exceptions, and changes based on current and historical information via a chief sales officer console.
- Compare sales data against historical norms, other regions, and other sales representatives.
- Compare the performance of individual sales representatives with a sales representative scorecard.
"There aren't a lot of other forecasting solutions in the market out there," Burleigh says. "Our complete history, combined with the deal-level change analytics that we have, really informs the system, makes a much more intelligent system, and is very different than anything else that exists out there."
For customers who sign up between now and the end of 2011, Cloud9 will preserve its existing pricing system. According to Burleigh, the new addition will be available in January for limited release as as a software-as-a-service offering requiring minimal installation or maintenance. "In between now and then we are going to be releasing components of it piece-by-piece until we've got the full thing out there," he says. "Depending on where a company is on a need-scale, it may be ready to go for them today or in one of our interim releases."