Anyone who has worked extensively with custom relationship management tools knows that CRM data would mean little without reporting.
Salesforce is the best-known CRM tool out there that can be used in conjunction with auxiliary reporting tools to help sales teams sell smarter, monitor progress, identify weaknesses in the sales cycle – and a whole lot more, with the right stack.
When selecting a Salesforce reporting tool, look out for these key features:
- Automated workflow and data entry
- Different types of reports available (profitability, sales performance, call reports, etc.)
- Multiple visualization options
- Customizability of both reports and dashboards
- Metrics and other info can be seen at quick glance
- AI-backed sales forecasting
Challenges in Salesforce reporting with Salesforce
If your organization is already familiar with Salesforce, you might now find yourself asking why you can’t just use the reporting tool embedded in the Salesforce software.
The quality of insights determines the quality of leads generated, how many deals will be closed, and ultimately the success of the sales team. While it has made a name for itself in CRM, in this area native Salesforce reporting capabilities leave a lot to be desired:
- It requires time consuming manual entry
- Other employees without SFDC (Salesforce Dot Com) licensing aren’t able to access the Salesforce reports
- Even with Enterprise edition, only 200 reports can be send per month
- External data can’t be combined with SFDC reporting in a single report
- It has limited visualization options
- Reports are sent when when there is no data
Supplementary softwares address these challenges so that teams can squeeze more out of their sales data. Here are our top picks for the best Salesforce reporting tools.
Tableau as a Salesforce Reporting Tool
Tableau is a data visualization software that lets users create interactive dashboards to explore and manage their data and to uncover insights. Tableau was acquired by Salesforce in 2019 making it an auxiliary tool that directly correlates to Salesforce.
- Built-in integrations allows Tableau visualizations to be embedded directly into Salesforce
- Comes with report templates to plug in and get started quickly
- Easy to use with minimal technical knowledge required
- Cross-platform data viewing
- A Salesforce report can’t be used as a data source; Tableau only recognizes Salesforce objects, so you have to wait for an entire table to be pulled even if you only want a subset of the data
- Creating data visualization and reports can only be done on desktop
- Tableau Online, a critical feature which lets users publish reports and collaborate, is an additional purchase
Tableau starts at $70 per month per user with an additional $42 per month for Tableau Online.
Revenue Grid as a Salesforce Reporting Tool
Revenue Grid is a well-rounded revenue intelligence tool with a reporting feature that lets sales teams check pipeline health metrics in seconds. This platform even prompts sellers toward the next best steps to close the sale.
- Data is auto-captured and synchronized across platforms including email and calendars
- Quickly view metrics and find out at a glance why deals are stalled with AI-powered prompts on how to jumpstart them
- Team Analytics feature gives managers visibility into their team’s activities, the state of each rep’s pipeline, and gain insight on top-performing practices
- Sales Sequences powered by revenue intelligence automate outreach via multiple channels with a personal touch to deepen engagement
- Build unlimited customizable reports with up-to-date, reliable data
Test Revenue Grid Salesforce reporting tool
- Users may have to tweak reporting customization to find what they’re looking for
- The software’s multi-faceted nature means there’s a learning curve, but there are service reps available to help
- The platform can run slowly sometimes
G-Connector as a Salesforce Reporting Tool
G-Connector is a simple and inexpensive Salesforce report builder that lets users display Salesforce data in Google Sheets.
- Users can connect Salesforce data with subsets of data that have custom queries
- Data can be pulled, edited, and pushed back to Salesforce
- Users can set up and send alerts to multiple recipients
- Data updates can be scheduled and set up to refresh automatically with a Salesforce schedule report function, then stored to access snapshots of historic data later
- Premium features, including automatic push scheduling, require a subscription
- Non-Salesforce data has to be manually entered into Sheets
- There is no built-in data visualization; it has to be built manually by the user in Sheets
- No advanced functions like forecasting or insights
The base version of G-Connector is free; Premium Lite and Premium Full cost $99 and $299 per user per year respectively.
Smartsheet as a Salesforce Reporting Tool
Smartsheet is a project and work management tool that also offers CRM and Customer Service dashboards. It has a plug-in for Salesforce that allows synchronization of Salesforce data with the software.
- Enhanced workflow automation allows users to sync and streamline workflows between Smartsheet and Salesforce
- Automatic reminders, idea management, task tracking, and other workflow features
- The software has comprehensive reports that provide summary views across multiple projects
- Data synchronization between Salesforce objects and Google Sheets in Smartsheet
- Features have a heavier emphasis task management than on report-building
- Doesn’t have business intelligence functions or AI insights for Salesforce analytics
- Hard to use if users aren’t familiar with spreadsheets
Smartsheet offers plans for $14 and $25 USD per user per month, but the Salesforce Connector feature is an additional cost.
Still not sure?
Here are some common questions to keep in mind when considering reporting tools for Salesforce.
- Does Salesforce have a reporting tool?
There is a basic dashboard available natively within Salesforce as well as Salesforce-owned adjacent reporting software, Tableau.
- What is the difference between report and dashboard in Salesforce?
A Salesforce dashboard is a visual display of key metrics while a report accompanies dashboard components to help users understand the data.
- Are there Salesforce report examples?
The best way to see what a Salesforce report will look like with a given program is by free trial, which all of the aforementioned tools offer.
- Which Salesforce reporting tool should my organization get?
Reporting can only be as effective as the team using it, so it’s better to choose a tool that offers insights and guides sellers to be the best performers they can be.