• September 10, 2007
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Cloud9 Analytics Peers into Salesforce.com

Cloud9 Analytics is trying to rally Salesforce.com users to the cause of "analytics for mortals" with its new pair of on-demand sales analytic applications intended to boost sales team effectiveness, released today. Cloud9's software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications augment Salesforce.com with reporting, messaging, and sales management. Cloud9 Messenger, a free application, generates weekly change reports from users' existing Salesforce data and sends them by email to sales managers' mobile devices. Cloud9 Messenger keeps sales managers up to date by detailing changes in forecast and pipeline, and calculates percent pipeline coverage for each team member. "Sales managers today live by their BlackBerries, and with Cloud9 Messenger they now can unlock their CRM data, analyze it for trends and identify actionable 'detect and correct' opportunities right on their mobile devices," said Swayne Hill, CEO at Cloud9 Analytics, in a statement. In addition to the free version, which Salesforce users can activate by registering at the Cloud9 Analytics Web site, a premium version that allows subscribers to personalize their reports is also available for $19.95 per month. Cloud9 Pipeline Accelerator, also announced today, increases the effectiveness of sales organizations by prioritizing sales opportunities, detecting changes in the current opportunity pipeline, and connecting sales reps working on similar deals, according to the company. Instead of relying on gut feelings, sales managers receive analytic evidence and timely guidance on which team members and deals need attention. The features of Cloud9 Pipeline Accelerator include:
  • Forecast Versus Pipeline: Trending coverage that enables sales managers to determine whether they are going to make their numbers;
  • Team Performance: Drillable organizational views display team performance at all levels of the organization;
  • Opportunities: Brings historical lessons and knowledge to bear on today's opportunities to prioritize and guide sales managers' and sales reps' actions based on significant changes; and
  • Like Deals: Fosters collaboration to speed sales cycles by correlating similar deals and connecting sales reps to share success strategies and best practices. Pipeline Accelerator will be available on September 24, at a price of $50 per user, per month, following a free 30-day trial. The company will also offer a custom reports and dashboards service, delivering any custom analytic report or dashboard in 24 hours for $850 per analytic. The patent-pending Cloud9 Time Machine is the engine behind both applications, continuously storing snapshots of Salesforce.com data and automatically building a history of sales events, human behavior and market information. The Time Machine updates schemata as Salesforce users add or remove fields or make other changes to their system, including broad hierarchical ones. A new hierarchy can be overlaid on older data and an old hierarchy can be overlaid on new data, enabling what-if scenarios to determine the effects of a proposed reorganization. There's a lack of SaaS applications of this sort, which needs to be addressed, according to Mark Smith, CEO and executive vice president of research with Ventana Research. "If you look at the larger context of sales organizations, they really haven't been equipped with these sorts of analytics tools," Smith says. "The ability to look beyond the surface of sales performance to see which deals are the most relevant, which need attention, and which can benefit from coaching is an important piece of the larger sales force intelligence puzzle." Cloud9 Analytics may be specific to Salesforce.com, but it need not remain so. "Cloud9 has leveraged how Salesforce.com manages data and applications, but this is an area where there's a real need," Smith says. "There's every reason for [the company] to develop similar capabilities with other leading SFA and CRM products." Related articles: Analytics Is the Answer Analytics Brought to Bear Closing the Analysis Gap, Increasing Competitive Advantage Driven with Business Expertise, Analytics Produces Actionable Predictions
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