Funnel visibility. C9 gives managers a bird's eye view of their SFDC opportunities across their team. Everyone from the global SVP to the local managers can all have the have the same view of the numbers; they may not all agree on the forecast, but they are all starting from the same place.
Product views. C9 was able to develop custom pipeline views by product and by customer. These give our Product Management team a solid overview of what is going to be sold without having to go back to the Sales Reps.
Historical views. Since SFDC is an ever changing view of the funnel, it is impossible to go back in time and see what things looked like in prior periods. C9 has this capability, so we no longer have to have reams of Excel exports saved on our servers.
Reporting. C9 has a powerful query building engine that our adminstrator can use to build complex reports that are impossible to do in SFDC. We can also share them with non-SFDC and non-C9 users.
Load Time. The application can sometime take a few moments to load. With the recent release, I have noticed an improvement in this area.
Pricing. While the pricing model makes sense for managers/adminstrators, it is a bit cost prohibitive to have all of our Reps using the tool.
Forecasting. The forecasting module took a while to get used to. Unfortunately we lost sales managment mindshare with the effort, so we have to re-start it and see if we can be more successful. I expect the module will be improved when we do try again.
C9 is now part of the sales management culture here at IPC. There is no longer any guesswork about the funnel or the forecast. C9 does something that SFDC does not...it increases significantly the value of the information in SFDC by unlocking the meta data that we all need to run the business.
Start with a clean sheet of paper and design how you want to interact with the sales pipeline; what you need to see and what you don't, how you would like to analyze the pipeline over time, and how you want others to view the information - when you map it all out, talk to C9 and let them show you how they can get you there.