Salesforce Admins get frequently requested to build reports by their users. Most commonly, we receive it by being asked questions such as:

  • How can I track my sales team’s efforts and determine what items are selling?
  • How can I track how many samples each salesperson is giving out?
  • How do I know the total cost of samples?

If you break down these questions, the user just wants to enable their sales team with a streamlined tool to manage their daily activities regarding account management and selling efforts. And all these can be answered through Reports.

What is a Report?

A report is a list of records (e.g. opportunities, team name, items) that meet some specified defined criteria. You can make use of filters, groupings, setup report views, and so on to help with the needs of your users.

What are Report Types?

These are templates that have specified fields and records that appear in your report which you can use. These templates make creating reports easier since they are focused on certain objects and related objects within Salesforce.

These report templates are either predefined by Salesforce (known as Standard Report Types), by Third-Party Apps that are included in their packages, or something you can customize (Custom Report Types).

Leveraging Custom Report Types to Empower your Users

Custom report types are seldom used by Salesforce Admins to meet the needs of their users. Custom Report Types are not just templates intended to show the custom objects you created for your business but can also be configured to set custom views for standard objects (e.g. Contacts). For example, you can create a custom report type for Contacts, plus related fields from the Contact Owners.

Standard Report Types limits your access to a particular object and usually only has a 4 object limit. It only handles a very specific reporting scenario and you can only view the related list of records for the object at the bottom of the hierarchy.

With Custom Report Types you will be able to move up the data architecture hierarchy. Through this, you will be able to:

  • navigate to almost all of the objects you have in your system
  • have the flexibility to pull up related child objects, records, and fields
  • traverse any relationship within the objects through lookups
  • create sections for easy navigation on your custom report
  • customize the name of the fields as they appear in the report

Start at the Bottom and Climb up the data architecture hierarchy

How to Set Up your Custom Report Types?

  1. Setup a Custom Report Type

    On the setup page, create a new custom report type. Based on the architecture hierarchy above, start from the bottom, and choose the primary object that you would like to set up a report with. Name your report and add a helpful description for your future reference. For the development status, you can set it up under “In Development” if you don’t want to make it available to your users just yet.

  2. Use the Lookup field to add related fields.

    There is no need to add Child Objects in defining your report records set but you can still do so if you want to be specific with the relationships in the custom report being created.

  3. Setup the Field Layout

    You can create the sections and specify the standard and custom fields you want to display in your report.

  4. Manage Custom Reports

    After the custom report type is created, you will be able to customize, edit, and delete it when necessary.