In a data-driven age, modern organizations need access to advanced data analytics solutions to help them improve the business in a wealth of key areas—Salesforce is one of those solutions.
One of the world’s most popular cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, the software is designed to help companies across sectors plan and optimize their sales processes.
Businesses across industries have improved the efficiency of their sales activities while enjoying a significant increase in engagement, revenue, and customer loyalty by using Salesforce reports. Most of this success boils down to effective reporting.
To help you on your path to Salesforce-based reporting success, we’ll look at what a Salesforce report is, what tools and techniques you'll need to use to achieve a successful reporting process, and end up exploring professional, interactive, Salesforce report template examples that you can then apply to your own business.
But first, let’s take a moment to understand the role of Salesforce reports in the business world.
What Is a Salesforce Report?
Salesforce report is a management tool that offers a visual representation of essential sales-based data through a centralized cloud-based reporting platform. Its goal is to enhance critical elements of a business, including marketing, sales, commerce, and service.
Consolidating data from several sources, reports assist users in identifying relevant KPIs and, consequently, trends that will allow them to formulate strategies that improve efficiency and boost productivity, enhancing internal communication across the board.
Sales reports in Salesforce help companies to scale and grow. While the platform is effective as a standalone solution, businesses can further catalyze their success by combining it with additional tools, mainly a dashboard creator that can generate invaluable actionable insights.
Essential Salesforce Reporting Tools
There are several cloud-based Salesforce reporting tools available to businesses today, most of which integrate into the platform seamlessly to offer an extra layer of depth regarding insight and functionality.
There are various internal add-ons, which are often quite basic and lack advanced analytics features and options. External tools, such as datapine, exist to take your Salesforce reporting efforts to an entirely new dimension, where you can, among other things, create powerful sales graphs and implement them in a complete dashboard overview.
The tools we use for Salesforce are driven by our cutting-edge data dashboard technology, helping businesses across industries consolidate insights from a broader range of sources while drilling down even deeper into particular customer-facing aspects of the business.
So, what Salesforce reporting tools do we use? Our Salesforce report templates are centralized, interactive, easy to use, and serve up KPI-driven insights that empower businesses to gain an all-important edge on the competition.
Focusing on areas including sales activity, outbound calls, and inbound opportunity management, our specialized Salesforce dashboards will give you a panoramic view of your business—a level of vision that fosters innovation, evolution, progress, and growth.
We’ll look at some of these Salesforce report template examples in due course, but if you’d like to explore them for yourself, you can browse to the bottom of the article to find a list of interactive Salesforce reports templates.
“We should not only use the brains we have but all that we can borrow.”—Woodrow Wilson
10 Effective Salesforce Reporting Techniques
Much like any data-driven tool or dashboard, to enjoy maximum success, understanding how to use the key functions of Salesforce reports templates to their optimum capacity is essential.
In this concise yet informative Salesforce reports tutorial, we’re going to show you how to use cutting-edge dashboards and explore essential platform-centric reporting techniques to squeeze every drop of value (and more) from your Salesforce data, metrics, and insights.
Let’s begin by forming the very foundations of your Salesforce data reporting efforts—defining your business’s specific aims and goals.
1) Define your goals
The first of our Salesforce reporting tips comes in the form of defining your goals. This is the very foundation of crafting effective sales reports in Salesforce. Meeting with key stakeholders within your organization and setting your goals, aims, and targets collaboratively will help you paint a clear picture of how to shape your dashboard for data-driven success.
Setting yourself tangible strategic goals as well as specific sales targets and knowing which data to include within your salesforce report templates will help you develop a framework for online reporting success.
2) Streamline your data
Despite the fact that Salesforce reporting tools are designed to handle vast amounts of data from a variety of sources, if you overload your dashboards with information, they will offer little value.
Once you’ve set your core aims and goals, you should consult all of your major data sources to decide which metrics and insights best align with your goals.
To ensure you select the right data for your specific aims and needs, you should ask your sales team which info will help them improve their personal performance, as well as the overall output of the department.
By working collaboratively and getting everyone’s data-driven opinions, you will be able to streamline your data effectively and choose the right KPIs for your reporting efforts. This brings us to tip number three.
3) Set your KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are an integral part of the report-building process. Each KPI represents a specific business function or process and is presented in a visual format that offers insights into trends, patterns, and performance. As such, KPIs are invaluable for benchmarking success and uncovering invaluable insights in key areas of the business. KPI software will help you track, measure, and analyze specific pockets of data.
Doing so will help you capitalize on your strengths while gaining a better understanding of the measures you need to take to improve efficiency in customer-facing areas of the business.
With your goals defined and your framework in place, you should select sales KPIs that reflect your key business aims and integrate them into your report.
4) Choose your visualizations
Once you've selected your KPIs, our next Salesforce reports and dashboard analysis tip boils down to design and visualization.
As humans, we have an affinity for visual information as our brains process it far more effectively than text-based data alone.
Data visualization is integral to telling a tale with your data and sharing insights in a way that is widely accessible as well as results driven. Coupled with the right design, your Salesforce report builder efforts will prove incredibly effective.
Explore our guide to choosing the right types of graphs and charts to help you with your efforts.
5) Drill down into specifics
Once you’ve picked your best Salesforce reporting tools visualizations, you should start to see an accessible mix of trends and patterns emerging.
While looking at the wider picture is vital—and will offer you a practical insight into your ongoing levels of productivity and performance—it’s also important to sweat the small stuff.
By looking at specific Salesforce KPIs on an individual basis and examining them historically, predictively, and in real-time, you will be able to discover micro insights that will enhance your decision-making.
For example, as seen in the picture above, by drilling down into your lead response time KPI, you will be able to understand exactly where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Analyzing lead response performances according to specific communication channels while comparing metrics over long as well as short timeframes, you will paint a vivid picture of how to reduce response times across the board and give your agents the support they need to perform to their optimum capabilities.
6) Work with more dashboards than one
Sales is a significant cog in any organizational wheel, and, as such, it commands a great deal of attention in a range of areas. When used effectively, Salesforce reporting will empower you to gain a level of clarity that will make your sales department more efficient, productive, and innovative. But if you want to enjoy the full data-crunching capabilities of Salesforce reporting, working with multiple dashboards is essential. Like this, you can benefit from a dashboard tool that will help you keep everything in order and visually appealing to start squeezing its potential.
If you’ve created an inbound sales dashboard, for example, and you feel your outbound strategy needs improvement, you can use some of your existing dashboard customizations to create a new reporting tool.
The point here is: Salesforce data is all-encompassing. By segmenting your data into distinct functions (inbound, outbound, and performance KPIs, for example—we’ll also look at Salesforce report examples shortly), you will extract far more value from your most valuable sales metrics.
7) Paint a picture
In addition to giving your organization increased business vision, Salesforce reports are also effective tools for fostering collaboration, communication, and senior buy-in.
If you can make your data universally understood, you will empower people to use it to their advantage. Plus, by painting a clear and logical picture with your visualizations, you will persuade senior decision-makers (both internally and externally) to buy into investments or strategies that you know will benefit the business’s bottom line.
To paint a picture with your metrics, creating a solid narrative is the way forward—and our practical guide to dashboard storytelling will show you how to get started.
8) Offer wider access to your data
Another effective way of maximizing the value of your Salesforce reports efforts is by using an online analysis tool to give your entire department access to the dashboards that are most relevant to their roles.
In the modern business age, transparency is one of the key components of ongoing growth and success. By providing every member of your sales team with Salesforce-based report analytics training and giving them the right permissions, you will ensure that everyone in the department benefits from the data and offers direct value to their tasks, aims, or goals. Doing so will boost productivity, optimize lead response times, boost conversion rates, and, ultimately, bulk up your bottom line.
Fortunately, datapine’s modern BI dashboard software offers 24/7 access to dynamic dashboards across multiple devices. So, not only will your sales team know how to use your reports to their advantage, but they will be able to track, monitor, measure, and respond even when on the go.
9) Think of the long-term and short-term
When interacting with Salesforce report software, many sales teams or executives make the mistake of only looking at real-time insights or exclusively examining historical data to hone in on trends or patterns.
Both of these approaches are correct (and essential), but for real reporting success, you need to adopt both analytical methods consistently. In fact, you should adopt three data analysis strategies:
- Historical analysis: Comparing past trends and performances to learn from past mistakes, capitalize on apparent strengths, and uncover insights that you may have missed.
- Real-time analytics: Exploring and responding to data as it emerges. Using real-time data will help you respond to any issues or opportunities with speed and accuracy while pouncing on emerging opportunities and making quick, confident decisions.
- Predictive analytics: Using predictive analytical styles typically requires a cohesive mix of historical as well as real-time analytics to spot trends, roadblocks, or opportunities that are likely to present themselves in the future. Gaining predictive insights will empower you to formulate sales-based strategies to respond to lead generation chances as soon as they emerge or nip any potential issues in the bud before they cost the business time and money.
Thinking of the long-term as well as the short-term will give your reporting efforts direction, ensuring that you enjoy the best possible return on investment (ROI) from all of your analytical activities.
10) Track, measure, refine, repeat
Rounding off our essential reports in Salesforce tips, we move onto our final—and perhaps most overlooked—activity: improvement and refinement.
What may work today may prove less effective tomorrow, so taking the time to improve and evolve your reports is something you need to prioritize.
To do so, you should ask for periodical feedback on the functions and design of your reports and use existing data to make tweaks and improvements that ensure that you get the best return on investment for your efforts.
“Knowledge has become the key economic resource and the dominant, if not the only, source of competitive advantage.”—Peter F. Drucker
Modern Salesforce Report Examples and Templates
Now that we understand the power of these most valued CRM tools in a practical context and how to use Salesforce report templates to their fullest advantage, it’s time to take our Salesforce report builder to the next level by looking at a working Salesforce report template or three.
These dynamic Salesforce reporting tools are designed to enhance the value of the platform’s insights while improving sales intelligence and strategy across the board.
Let’s take a look.
1. Salesforce KPI Dashboard
An essential tool for both maintaining and improving overall sales performance, this Salesforce report template makes an essential part of any modern business's toolkit.
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Working with a balanced mix of sales-focused KPIs, this dynamic dashboard not only serves up digestible visuals that empower users to make swift data comparisons, but it also offers a depth of insight into the sales cycle, lead processing time, and top-order values.
This invaluable mix of insights, coupled with integral metrics from a range of additional sources, will help you improve your sales figures as well as make long-term strategic changes that will set you apart from the competition. Power and proficiency in one neat package.
- Lead Response Time
- Follow-Up Contact Rate
- Sales Activity
- Average Contract Value
- Average Sales Cycle Length
2. Salesforce Inbound Dashboard
In the digital age, the art of sales is more multidimensional than ever before. In today's world, inbound sales and marketing efforts are as valuable as outbound lead-generating activities—perhaps even more so.
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Managing your inbound initiatives efficiently is critical if you want to succeed in the long run. Our inbound Salesforce report example provides the perfect combination of at-a-glance data visualizations that assist with incoming leads, nurture client or customer relationships for conversion, and more.
By gaining access to this wealth of information with the help of a dashboard software, you will be able to pounce on opportunities faster, nurture leads more effectively, and ultimately, boost brand awareness as well as your bottom line.
- Total Amount of Inbound Leads
- Lead-to-Opportunity Ratio
- Opportunity-to-Win Ratio
- Lead Conversion Rate
3. Salesforce Outbound Calls Dashboard
Despite the wealth of consumer channels and touchpoints available in today’s digital world, cold calling still offers a healthy conversion rate for companies across industries. It’s still a relevant—and effective—lead generation tool, provided you manage your outbound communications strategies wisely.
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Our outbound calls dashboard is one of our best Salesforce reporting tools. It offers a wealth of insight into how outbound calls are managed during a set timeframe while giving a panoramic snapshot of the productivity and performance of individual sales agents.
Dynamic KPIs, including outbound calls and number of demos, provide a balanced visualization of how many calls are made and the number of communications that are successful.
By regularly tracking this cohesive mix of outbound call metrics, you can identify where you might need to support or train your sales agents, make clear-cut outbound performance comparisons, and pinpoint where you need to make improvements to your strategy. As a result, you will boost your overall productivity rates while boosting your outbound call conversion rates consistently.
- Outbound-Calls Contact Rate
- Number of Demos
Final Thoughts On Salesforce Reporting
“Data are just summaries of thousands of stories—tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.”—Chip & Dan Heath
Salesforce is a robust analytical tool with the power to help businesses of every shape and size achieve—or even exceed —their goals consistently.
If you dig beneath the skin of the platform and squeeze every last drop of value from your most relevant data, you will uncover insights that you never knew existed. Salesforce reporting tools are the vessel to help you do just that.
Once you consolidate all of the insights you need to boost sales, improve your communications, and manage your customer relationships with pinpoint precision, you will accelerate the success of your business, gaining an all-important edge on the competition. Salesforce reports are the way to get ahead—and stay ahead—of the game.
So, what tools are most effective for Salesforce reporting? The answer is datapine’s cloud-based dashboard technology. Migrate your existing data to our cutting-edge visualization tool, and you’ll not only benefit from better access to the insights that matter most; you’ll also witness your business grow faster than you ever thought possible.
Sign up for a free 14-day datapine trial with datapine and experience the business-boosting power of Salesforce reports and dashboards first-hand.