Senior VP, Corporate Communications
NetSuite Delivers Industry's Most Comprehensive Forecasting
NetSuite Advanced Forecasting Brings Calculated and "Mood Ring" Forecasts Together in Same View
First Solution to Include Actuals and Recurring Payments in Forecast
San Mateo, Calif.—December 7, 2004—NetSuite, Inc., Silicon Valley's fastest growing software company, today announced NetSuite Advanced Forecasting, providing multiple methods of forecasting in a single view to deliver greater visibility into sales outcomes. NetSuite scored the highest of four leading hosted sales vendors on forecasting technology in a recent evaluation by Forrester Research (Source: Forrester Hosted Sales Force Automation TechRankings February 2004). The new features extend NetSuite's industry leadership in forecasting functionality by being the first to allow businesses to triangulate their forecast using three key metrics:
- A "calculated forecast" that uses a rep's actual opportunities and quotes as the basis for the calculation. Using actual quotes and estimates to derive the forecast gives managers and reps better visibility into the exact dollar value and probability of a deal closing.
- A "mood ring" forecast that allows reps to submit what they "believe" they will sell, without tying the forecast to specific opportunities. This mood ring forecast applies to each management level, allowing sales managers to override the forecast as entered by the rep based on their knowledge of the reps forecasting habits.
- Actual sales within the forecast to give a much clearer picture of what portion of the forecast is yet to close. In addition, recurring revenue is included in forecast actuals giving a complete picture of a given period’s sales projection.
- All three forecast projections are presented in a single dashboard view called the Sales Management portlet. The Sales Management portlet delivers the calculated, best guess override and actual projections in a hierarchical view of the sales organization that can be expanded to show details down to individual reps or can be rolled up for summary views of each sales team, by manager.
In addition, NetSuite added a number of new dashboard features that help users track, in granular detail, the progress of achieving a forecast. These new key performance indicators provide at a glance views, including:
- Opportunities won and lost KPI: Keep a real-time tab on success or failure of closed deals, with drill-down to reason codes and notes for lost deals.
- Pipeline and Forecast By Status Report Snapshots: Provide a graphical, sales-funnel view into the health of your pipeline and forecast based on your sales process and methodology.
- Forecast Outstanding Portlet: Summary scorecard provides at-a-glance status of top deals in progress that have yet to close. Drill down to the complete list to see all outstanding forecasted prospects.
- Weekly snapshots of forecast history by rep and by manager provide data that can be used for forecast accuracy reports.
For more information about NetSuite Advanced Forecasting go to: www.netsuite.com/advancedforecasting.
"With our new advanced forecasting, we've taken the guess work out of producing an accurate forecast. Just as you don't ask a pilot to take a guess at what altitude they are flying at, you shouldn't have to ask a sales VP to guess what the number will be," said Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite. "The ability to include quotes, actuals and recurring revenue is a huge leap forward in forecast accuracy. Combined with the ability to quickly view the details of all sales managers and sales reps forecasts via the Sales Management portlet, NetSuite now provides the ultimate sales cockpit for predicting and delivering results."
NetSuite Advanced Forecasting gives companies both a cockpit and radar for more predictive sales management:
How confident are you?—NetSuite answers the question management always asks. Advanced Forecasting introduces three forecast categories—low, commit, and upside—which sales reps can use to categorize their opportunities and quotes based on their level of confidence in closing the deal. These categories can even be renamed depending on business objectives—for instance, a company could choose to call the categories worst case, best guess and upside or commit, forecast, and best case—ensuring clear communication of the numbers a sales person is accountable for.
Do you feel lucky?—In addition to the forecast of opportunities, quotes and orders from the sales process, sales reps and their managers can enter their own "mood ring" predictions with an override forecast at the individual level, and roll these up to reflect team totals. Dashboard comparisons and drill-downs provide at-a-glance comparisons of calculated and override forecasts both of which are inclusive of reps' and managers' real-time updates.
Pipeline or Forecast?—NetSuite is the first and only hosted CRM solution to include actual sales in forecasting. Because NetSuite has integrated order management, closed sales and recurring revenue are automatically included in the forecast for a truer picture of what has closed and what is likely to close. Other systems' forecast tools simply rely on closed opportunities, so they see no real difference between pipeline and forecast, and certainly can't provide visibility into recurring revenue.
What's the score?—The NetSuite Dashboard gives you at-a-glance scorecards with key won/loss KPIs as well as a Forecast Outstanding portlet that let's you put your finger on the status of key open deals so you can proactively put the right resources on the right deals to close more sales faster.
How does the forecast break down?—Advanced Forecasting introduces new forecast reporting that allow businesses to analyze the forecast per month or quarter and slice by class—such as new business vs. repeat business, department—such as telesales vs. field sales, or location—such as US vs. International. And because forecasting is integrated with the product catalog and order management, you can even see the Forecast analyzed by Item so you know how your product and service mix is performing for the sales period. Finally, new Pipeline by Status and Forecast by Status analysis provides graphical sales-funnel views right on the Dashboard.
"Our final sales numbers never matched our forecast causing serious problems for planning the business and meeting our stakeholders' expectations," said Mark Porter, COO of High Wire Networks (www.highwirenetworks.com). "I'm not exaggerating when I say this was literally killing our business. NetSuite Advanced Forecasting gives us the tools to model our sales, make real-time gut check comparisons and to break down those forecasts into segments we can affect to close the sales we need. It's brought a lot more sanity to our sales management and predictability to our corporate planning".
"For all the improved sales force automation in hosted CRM systems, forecasting functionality in particular significantly lags capability of other tools in the majority of vendor offerings available today," said Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research. "NetSuite Advanced Forecasting focuses on companies’ need for greater predictability and leverages its integrated order management to create a useful combination of statistical and reality based forecasting."
Pricing and Availability: NetSuite Advanced Forecasting is available now and is included as a standard feature of NetSuite and NetCRM for no additional charge.