Many sales teams continue to eschew analytics software and use Excel spreadsheets for their sales forecasting and trend reporting. Host Analytics, a provider of cloud-based enterprise performance management software, hopes to change that with a new application called Host Analytics Sales Planning.
The app, which is meant to make it easier for finance and sales leaders to collaborate by linking sales activity to business outcomes, also gives sales professionals tools for sales forecasting, commission planning and other functions. According to Host Analytics, by ensuring that regular updates to the sales forecast are incorporated in finance and accounting processes, the app can help organizations make mid-quarter adjustments to the business, if necessary, and attain predictability in their revenue and spending.
The app includes patent-pending AirliftXL, a data integration tool that allows organizations to reuse forecasting methodologies and key sales performance metrics that are already defined in Microsoft Excel. It also integrates with market-leading CRM platform Salesforce.com.
Features of interest to finance professionals include:
- Corporate planning. Closes the loop between finance and sales by tying the sales plan to the corporate plan in a centralized system.
- Executive reporting. Automates the creation of weekly sales forecast reports in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and simplifies updates.
- Early warning. Alerts executives and updates "what-if" models to facilitate faster responses to changing business conditions.
- Predicable revenue. Analyzes how sales orders will actually convert into revenue with built-in financial intelligence.
Features of interest to sales pros:
- Sales forecasting. Automatic weekly snapshots and updates to sales stages with flow-through, discount modeling and waterline forecasting.
- Quota and commission planning. Top-down, bottom-up or middle-out modeling capabilities that can analyze sales performance by individual and team, with overlay analysis, as well as comprehensive modeling of spot-bonuses and other compensation exceptions.
- Trend reporting. Week-by-week comparisons and waterfall reports allow analysis across representatives, managers, sales stages, forecast categories and more.
- Territory planning. Integrated analysis of sales and marketing information including leads, opportunities, pipeline and territory modeling and support for multiple direct and indirect channels.
"Today’s outdated mixing and matching of CRM and ERP data in Excel has made it far too difficult for sales and finance to collaborate and answer questions around revenue, forecasting, staffing and territories that are paramount to the success of the organization," said Dave Kellogg, CEO at Host Analytics, in a statement. "With the launch of Host Analytics Sales Planning, we are eliminating the sales and finance siloes, and giving an integrated view of revenue and sales performance that ties back to the corporate plan."