Reports You Should be Using

In Best Practices, Tips & Tricks by Andy Yang

On the Salesforce Community Forum, Users consistently ask the same general question, “What Reports Should I Create for our Organization?” As Salesforce can be heavily customized to work with business processes ranging from small startups to Enterprise level global organizations, not to mention giving insight to different departments focusing on completely different Key Performance Indicators, that question is often too open ended. Fortunately, I have compiled a list of general reports that everyone, from a Sales Rep to a CEO, would want to add to their reporting/dashboarding system, thereby bringing accessibility and visibility to their org.

Adding Grouping to the “Total Closed Won Opportunities This Quarter” Report

Let us start out with some of the basics and add some minor enhancements to them to make the reports more approachable across the organization. Regardless of your size or production, reports are pivotal to understanding the current status of your business. Most Salesforce instances have dashboards showing aspects such as “Total Closed Won Opportunities This Quarter”. This can be a helpful tool to get an aggregate view of the business from the top level, but does not necessarily give management insight into the strengths and weakness of each aspect of their departments. If you add groupings in reports, organizations can easily categorize data and get immediate, targeted information that is relevant to their goals. Therefore, if you add specific groupings to the “Total Closed Won Opportunities This Quarter” report, you can create multiple relevant reports that be utilized by multiple roles within your company. For instance, a Sales Rep can add close date by month and an average on the amount to show both how he or she has been trending this quarter and the monthly average closed deals. A VP of Sales could group this report by Opportunity Owner and show only their team so that he or she can adequately assess the progress of his or her team. A CEO could use this report in a multitude of ways including grouping it by Opportunity Owner, Territory, Number of Sold Deals, ad infinitum.

Closed Business versus Quota report

This function (in my experience) seems to be one of the most under-utilized functions in Salesforce that can make a significant impact on business analytics (aside from analytic snapshots). The standard Forecasting object gives true insight into how the business has tracked against its goals. One of the simplest-sounding and yet profoundly important reporting needs for a business can be accessed with the pivotal Closed Business versus Quota report. How much did we close against our expectations? It is a simple concept, but absolutely crucial to a business. Sales Reps, Managers, VP of Sales, Marketing, Client Support, Finance, and especially C-levels want to know these details for one central purpose or another (even if they are not in the same department). Not only does this information give the organization insight into which Sales Reps are meeting expectations (and which Reps may need additional assistance), but it can also act as an indicator of the overall health of the business. If your Sales Team is closing a lot of deals, but isn’t coming close to their quotas, in all probability, the business’ bottom line is impacted. Analyzing and understanding how your business has been tracking over time against its goals is crucial to future development. Every Manager, VP, or C-Level should have reports like Closed VS. Quota This Quarter, Closed VS. Quota by Territory, and Percent of Sales Reps Reaching Quota (using a simple formula in the report).


Additionally, the Forecasting tab can be used in 1-on-1 meetings between Managers and Sales Reps because it can adequately assess one’s progress. When you pull up a Sales Reps’ forecast, it shows a list of Opportunities that are assigned to them, what their quota is, how much business they have closed, and which Opportunities are at specific thresholds in the Pipeline. For example, Opportunities at the Stage that has a 75% probability of closing are segmented out to their own category called Commit while Opportunities that are currently at a Stage 50% are associated with a category called Best Case. This gives Managers and Sales Reps alike a view into the potential future. It shows what has been closed, and probabilities for what will be closed in the future and what is in the total pipeline for a Sales Rep. An even more powerful function is the fact that the numbers all roll up the proverbial chain of command based on the Forecast Role Hierarchy (very similar to the Role Hierarchy in an organization) and allow management to fully assess entire teams and their existing progress towards their intended goal. At a high level, an executive can see how each of the assigned territories have performed against their intended goals at a quick glance and can quickly assess the current state of the business as a whole. The Forecast object also works dynamically, so whenever an Opportunity changes, it will update the forecast automatically (versus using an Excel sheet which requires manual changing of data in cases of new changes in the Pipeline). This limits excess time doing paperwork in multiple areas (which can be tedious and very time consuming) so that updating the forecast and thus the organization’s reporting analysis is only a few clicks away.