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Sales reports in InsightSquared

Sales reports in InsightSquared

You’re the VP of Sales. You just had a hallway conversation with the CEO about Joe Salesperson and you want to follow up with some data. It’s time to dust off your Salesforce reporting skills. Try this right now in your Salesforce.com portal:

1. Load up a report

2. Filter the report to show the data on Joe

3. Send it to the CEO with a note “Take a look — Joe is killing it this month!!”

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Simple, right?

It’s A Trap:

You can’t even even come close to doing this in Salesforce, as you may have just realized if you tried it. The example is simple but it’s not possible in Salesforce for several reasons.

Impossible #1: Send To Your CEO

Salesforce reports via email

Salesforce reports via email

In Salesforce.com, you can only send to other paid users within Salesforce. That’s fine for sending reports to a salesperson but what if your CEO isn’t in Salesforce?

Sorry, you can’t. You’ll need to “print screen”, crop it, paste into PowerPoint  and then email the PowerPoint  Which is then difficult to read when your CEO opens the screenshot-in-PowerPoint on their smartphone.

Impossible #2: Send Now

You can schedule a report to be emailed in Salesforce, but you can’t send it now.

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The closest they have “now” is an hourly pulldown…and even that is just an estimate which will “depend on job queue”. You could end up waiting 59 minutes or more for your “quick” email to be sent. That’s probably longer than it would take to walk across the office and hand-deliver it.

Impossible #3: Send Once

You can’t send a one-off report in Salesforce.com. What?

That’s right. You can only schedule it for recurring delivery. Your choices are Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.

If you just wanted to send your CEO a single email, you need to schedule it for delivery — then come back in an hour because remember you can’t send now — and cancel it again. Fun eh?

Impossible #4: Attach A Note

Context matters. Perhaps you want to identify why you are sending the data. Or perhaps you want to identify a specific element within the data.

But…you can’t attach a note in Salesforce. Your recipient will just need to guess.

It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This:

To get the most out of your analysis — to make your organization data-driven — you need to get analysis into the hands of business people. Sometimes that is recurring scheduled reports but sometimes it is the hallway-conversation-supporting one-off emails. Make sure you can do this by using a modern analytics platform.

Samuel Clemens
Sam is founder and chief of product & marketing for InsightSquared. Previously, Sam was VP Product at HubSpot, VP Product at BzzAgent, and on the founding team at Elance.com. His background also includes venture capital with Greylock Partners, the Algorithms group at Amazon.com, and management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. Sam has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Applied Math from Yale. In his off time he dives shipwrecks in the New England area.
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Showing 5 comments
  • Christian Coleman

    You can send something once by setting the Start and End fields as the same day.

  • Samuel Clemens

    Hmm, good point, although it would take a bunch of clicks. One wonders why they don’t just add a “send now” option instead of forcing a customer to do a workaround like that.

  • Charlotte

    Or you could just export the SFDC report to .xls and send it as a attachment. If its only a one time send, the CEO doesn’t really care about the 2 mins of delay in data right?

  • Samuel Clemens

    Charlotte, that’s a good point, you can always export to Excel. That has two major drawbacks:

    1. That sends a field of data not a chart that shows insights. CEOs are show-me-the-insight kind of people. Your message might not be understood if you are sending an excel dump.

    2. It’s an extra couple of steps: export, create new email, attach the spreadsheet, send. Every extra step adds friction to what should be a simple process of sharing with a colleague.

  • Danny

    Actually if you hit the printable view button it’ll download the formatted report as an excel file. 🙂

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