In the data-driven Era we live in, businesses strive for full access to advanced data analytics tools that can help them evaluate the performance of their employees, identify problems in time, track progress towards various goals, control expenditures, and increase revenue. Salesforce reports are one of those solutions.
Read on to find out the following:
- What are reports in Salesforce and what do you need them for.
- How to create an effective report.
- What types of reports are there.
- How to improve your Salesforce reports using advanced integrations and tools.
What are Salesforce reports?
A Salesforce report is a list of records that meet the criteria you define. It’s displayed in Salesforce in rows and columns and can be filtered, grouped, or displayed in a graphical chart.
These reports help you boost essential elements of your business (including marketing, Sales, commerce, and service), driving your company’s scale and growth. Being able to track relevant KPIs and trends will allow you to formulate strategies that improve productivity and boost efficiency, enhancing internal communication across the board, consumer engagement, your marketing activities and improving your bottom line.
Check out how Salesforce reports can improve the operational efficiency of different departments of your organization:
- Sales department: reports allow you to track the performance of the entire department and each employee as accurately as possible, analyzing indicators such as the average time it takes to close a deal, the number of new customers attracted per month, or the number of potential customers converted to paying clients.
- Marketing department: by tracking reports in Salesforce, you can measure the success of your marketing strategies by identifying those that lead to the most potential leads, customer acquisitions, and revenue.
- Finance department: here, reports can help you better understand how your customers are making payments. Find out what payment methods your customers use, how much revenue you generated, how many recurring payments are planned for the next period, check the payment collections status, etc.
Types of reports in Salesforce
- Tabular reports, the most basic type, are analogous to Excel spreadsheets and provide just a data listing with labeled columns and rows and with no subtotals. This is the most convenient way to quickly check data, make simple lists, or combine them to calculate a grand total.Example of use: creating mailing lists of unconverted leads, generating lists of all accounts, contacts, and opportunities.
- Summary reports are commonly used to group rows of data. They are quite similar to the first type; however, they allow you to summarize the data in any way you need, including totals and subtotals based on the value of a selected field or hierarchical lists. The elements are grouped on a row basis.Example of use: Opportunities of the whole team subtotaled by Sales Stage and Owner; Sales organized by Year and by Quarter; Leads, subtotaled by Salesperson, or by Sales Stage.
- Matrix reports are an advanced analog of summary reports, where you can group and summarize data and records both by rows and by columns. Matrix reports are useful for analyzing large amounts of data when you need to evaluate data by two different non-related dimensions (for example, Product and Date).Example of use: Opportunities summarized by Account horizontally and by Month vertically, Sales Stage and Customer Location compared.
- Joined reports: a unique feature of this type is the ability to create blocks to provide different types of related information within a single report. Each block is a separate sub-report that includes columns, summary fields, formulas, filters, and sort order.Example of use: you can create an advanced report that shows opportunity, case, and activity data for the accounts.
What are Salesforce dashboards?
A dashboard is a tool for collecting and visualizing data. It pulls information from databases, tables, and analytics services, structures it and displays it in the form of customizable graphs and diagrams. Dashboards show real data that help you to correctly assess the effectiveness of some part of your business and make more accurate forecasts.
A dashboard helps to manage information: track key performance indicators, conversions, sales, or any other data that relate to your organization as a whole, its departments, individual processes, or employees’ productivity. Dashboards make it easier to understand complex datasets – one glance is enough to assess the current state of affairs in a company.
Salesforce dashboards allow you to present multiple reports side-by-side using dashboard components on a single dashboard page layout.
To get an effective dashboard, you should do the following:
- Understand what questions you need to answer to track your business performance.
- Identify data sources: you need to know exactly where to pull the required data from. Only after determining this can you proceed to data visualization.
- Visualize your data: there are many ways to do this and it’s important to understand which method of display is best for each set of data. For example, if your question is “How much am I spending on…?”, then you should use a chart type that will show you different ranges of costs, optimal or acceptable costs, indicate what needs to be revised and re-estimated, and help to determine the target costing.
- Share your dashboards: create shared access to your dashboards; think about who will benefit from using these dashboards. Which of your employees should also be tracking these metrics to help them make decisions?
Now that you’ve found out what Salesforce reports and dashboards are and the reasons why you need them, let’s move on to the best tools that will help improve your reports!
Best tools for creating high-efficiency reports
While reports and dashboards in Salesforce are a powerful tool that can help businesses meet or even exceed their full potential, there are plenty of cloud-based Salesforce reporting tools available today including dashboard software, data visualization software, scorecard tools, and ad-hoc report writers. Most of these tools seamlessly integrate into the platform and offer an extra layer of depth regarding insight and functionality.
Revenue Inbox is the #1 Salesforce integration that helps you to bring the power of Salesforce right into your mailbox and push your revenue up and to the right. Revenue Inbox automatically synchronizes contacts, tasks, calendar events, etc. with Salesforce and can customize what customer data to capture in Salesforce Inbox.
Successfully replacing Salesforce Inbox (and thereby improving results), Revenue Inbox offers its Sales Management Dashboards functionality.
Sales dashboards allow you to strike that sweet spot between tracking too few metrics and trying to track them all, offering comprehensive team analytics, deal insights, and 100% customizable Dashboards and Reports.
Sales management dashboards allow you to:
- Create team activity reports (determine who your most proactive sales rep is in no time with “inbound and outbound emails”, “tasks”, “calendar events”, “custom filters” and “inbound emails per team member” indicators).
- Instantly view how well your team is engaging with important deals by seeing “opportunities that need a reply”, and “recently active opportunities inbound/outbound” per every rep.
- View and jump-start stalled opportunities (the ones with no planned activities, old opportunities with no recent activities, opportunities that are soon to be closed with no recent activities, and customized time ranges and activity types).
Thus, Revenue Inbox helps build customized reports using complete, reliable data. Note that you can work with your Salesforce Reports right in the Revenue Inbox Sidebar or via Widgets in Salesforce.