How to Create Salesforce Reports [All Salesforce Reports FAQ Answered]

August 2, 2023
8 min

Salesforce offers you a powerful reporting tool that helps to understand your data.

In this post, we’ll show how to create Salesforce reports, export them to Excel, subscribe to Salesforce reports, and place them to the dashboard.

So, What Is a Salesforce Report?


The Salesforce report is a standard object that helps you to summarize data and see them in a meaningful fashion. Among the reasons why you may need Salesforcereports is when you need to export the data to Excel or to build the dashboards. Also, due to the Salesforce report, you can make a data analysis based on your client’s requirements.

Salesforce standard report type

Salesforce standard report type

You can find various explanations on the Internet on how to create reports, but before you do it, pay attention to the Salesforce report types and formats, so you’ll understand clearly their peculiarities.

There are two different report types:

  • Salesforce standard report type is a predefined standard report type that cannot be customized. For example, the “Accounts and Contacts” report type.
  • Salesforce custom report type is added by an administrator and specifies which objects and fields are included in the report. For example, the “Next Year Lease Expiration Report” report type.

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Salesforce Report Types


A report format is a set of records and fields that meet the defined criteria.

There are four Salesforce report types: Tabular, Summary, Matrix, and Joined. The tabular report is the default format.

In Salesforce Lightning there’s is now no longer a drop-down where you can choose the report type.


Salesforce Tabular Report


It is the simplest Salesforce report type, which presents data in rows and columns. If you want to show data without subtotals, calculations, or groupings, then this report suits you. Some of the examples to show are “All Open Opportunities”, or “Top 15 Opportunities by Revenue”.


Salesforce Summary Report


This is another Salesforce report type, which is similar to the Tabular. With this type of report, you can group rows of data, create charts, and calculate totals.


Salesforce Matrix Report


It allows you to group records both by row and by column. Some of the examples to show are “Opportunities” grouped by “Stage” and “Close Date”.


Salesforce Joined Report


This report allows you to create different views of data from multiple report types. For example, you want to show “Open Opportunities” and “Closed Opportunities” side-by-side to help you spot the differences.

How to Create Reports in Salesforce


Our Salesforce Consultant Chris Petersen recorded a detailed video on how to create reports in Salesforce.



If you need to build a Salesforce report, you can do it easily by following the procedure described below.


Step 1. Create a New Salesforce Report


To find a Salesforce report, you need to look at your horizontal navigation bar for the “Reports” object.

If you don’t see this tab in the bar:

  • Look at the objects that are in the “More” tab;
  • Click “New Report”, and you’ll see this window.


Choose the Salesforce report type

Choose the Salesforce report type


Step 2. Choose a Salesforce Report Type


Select the Salesforce report type and click on the “Continue” button. Note, that the list of reports is quite exhaustive and ranges from various types of “Accounts”, “Opportunities” to “Deals”, “Cases” etc. To simplify your search, you can start typing in some keywords. For example, if you want a report on your deals, you can click and type in “Deals”, and you will see the suitable results for that.


Step 3. Filter Your Data


Filtration is one of the key features if you have big lists of data. To begin selecting the scope of the Salesforce report using the standard Salesforce report filter logic, click the “Filters” panel.

Let’s say, you might want to filter reports only on the open deals. To do that search you will need to:

  • Find the field which is called “Status”,
  • Click into the “Status” filter type and select what statuses you want to show (e.g. only open deals status, won, lost ones, or all),
  • Click “Apply”.

If you want to add any other filters using Salesforce report filter logic, you can click on all these field names and decide what other fields you might want to report on.


Step 4. Click the Outline Pane to Show Columns/Fields


With the help of the “Outline” pane, you can add and remove columns with a simple drag and drop feature.

For example, the Deal name is not likely to be sufficient in the report. Potentially, you want to add an estimated closed date, so you could just type “Est. Close Date” in the Columns section and it will filter your results. You can double click or click and drag the field over to the report on the right and to the respective location you need.


Step 5. Group Your Data


If you want to do the estimated closed date as the grouping, you can type in the “Groups” section “Est. Close Date” and your results will be filtered again

In the case of grouping “Deals” by “Est. Close Date” you can also group the data by Day, Calendar Week, Calendar Month, etc.


Step 6. Save Your Salesforce Report


To save your Salesforce report, you will need to:

  • Click “Save & Run”,
  • Complete the “Save Report” details by entering a “Report Name“, “Report Unique Name“, and “Report Description“.
  • Select a Folder to save your report. Note, that if you need to make it visible only to you, you need to choose “Private Reports Folder“. But if it should be visible for your organization, select “Public Reports Folder“.
  • Click “Save”.

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How to Delete and Edit a Salesforce Report


There are two main methods on how to delete a report:

  1. To delete from the Reports tab,
  2. To delete from the report’s run page

To delete the Salesforce report from the Reports tab you need to go to the “Reports” at the Navigation Bar. Then click the Arrow Down button next to the report you want to delete and choose “Delete”.

To delete the report from the report’s run page, click the “Arrow down button” and choose “Delete”.

To edit click the Arrow Down button and choose “Edit”.

How to Subscribe to a Salesforce Report


If you want to receive report notifications to keep you updated, you can turn on the subscribe feature.


Step 1. Go to the Reports Tab


Click on the “Reports” at the Navigation Bar.


Step 2. Click the Arrow Down Button and Choose “Subscribe”


Next to the report, you want to subscribe to, click the “Arrow Down” button and choose “Subscribe”.


Step 3. Edit a Subscription


Schedule how often (every weekday, daily, or weekly) and at what time to evaluate your subscription. For example, run the report every week on Friday at 7 p.m.

Please, note that you can add conditions at this step by specifying each condition in three parts:

  • Aggregate – is a basis of the condition (e.g. sum of amount, largest amount).
  • Operator – is a basis of comparison (e.g. equal, greater than, etc.).
  • Value – is the number that you want the aggregate compared to (e.g. 2000).


Step 4. Save your Subscription


Click on “Save”. Make sure the subscription is active if you’re ready to start receiving notifications.

If you wonder how to unsubscribe from a report in Salesforce, here are simple steps for Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic:

  • If you are in Lightning, click on “Subscribe” and then click on “Unsubscribe” on the next page.
  • If you are in Classic, click on “Edit Subscription” and then click on “Delete” on the next page.

To find out which are the subscribed reports, you can select the drop-down from the list view, called “Items I am Subscribed to“.

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How to Export Salesforce Reports to Excel


Follow these 3 Steps to export your report to Excel.


Step 1. Choose the Report to Export


To select the Salesforce report to export:

  • Click on the “Reports” at the Navigation Bar,
  • Click the “Arrow Down” button next to the report you want to export,
  • Choose “Export”.


Choose the Salesforce report to export

Choose the Salesforce report to export


Step 2. Choose an Export View


If you choose Formatted Report, Salesforce exports it with the report header, groupings, and filter details. In this case, the export file type is .xlsx.

The Details Only Report exports each detail row without formatting. You can set the Format to Excel Format .xls or Comma Delimited .csv.


Step 3. Export Your Report 


Click on the “Export Button”.

How to Place a Report on a Dashboard


If you want to take a Salesforce report and put it on a dashboard you should follow the next steps.


Step 1. Edit a Dashboard


Go to the dashboards tab, pick a dashboard, and click on “Edit”.


Step 2. Click on Add Plus Component


A list of the available reports will be shown to you. Select the report which you would like to add.


Step 3. Choose a Report Type


Choose how the report will be shown to you:

  • as a bar graph,
  • as a chart,
  • as a funnel.

At this step you can customize your Dashboard Component:

  • Y-Axis and X-Axis – сhoose a group or a measure to display on each axis,
  • Display Units – choose how the values will be displayed,
  • Show Values – specify if the chart segments will display values, or not,
  • Show Chatter Photos – choose if the chatter photos will be displayed or not,
  • Y-Axis Range or X-Axis – set the axis range,
  • Decimal Places – choose how many decimal places should be on numbers,
  • Sort By – choose how to sort groups or measures displayed in the bar chart,
  • Sort By – if applicable, choose how to sort second-level groups or measures displayed in the bar chart,
  • Custom Link – link from a dashboard component to a Salesforce Record or another website,
  • Max Values Displayed – specify how many groups display in the bar chart,
  • Title – give the chart a title,
  • Subtitle – give the chart a subtitle,
  • Footer – give the chart a footer,
  • Component Theme – choose a Light or a Dark theme.

Please note that you can Customize chart colors from the dashboard properties menu:

  • Go to the “Dashboard”,
  • Click on “Edit”,
  • Open the Properties menu by clicking the “Gear Icon”,
  • Customize colors in your dashboard by choosing a light or dark theme and one of 14 color palettes.


Customize colors in the Salesforce dashboard

Customize colors in the Salesforce dashboard


Step 4. Add Your Report on the Dashboard


Click on “Add”. It essentially adds itself to the dashboard, but you can drag and drop that component up. If you need it to go to the very top you just continue to do that to replace the widgets and save.

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Salesforce Reports Alternative?


Salesforce reports are an advanced feature and they offer you much more functionality to search for your data in comparison to Salesforce Global Search and List views.

But what if you want to be able to build even more complex search requests, use maps to narrow your results, or simply be able to mass edit your records? We built Ascendix Search app to upgrade your Salesforce experience and let you easily build granular lists of prospects to call, mass email, or stay in touch with.

Do you still have questions about Salesforce custom report types or need help with your Salesforce org? Our Salesforce consultants are happy to help! Get in touch with us.


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Chandra Dodani

Need training in IF conditions in salesforce reporting.

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