Salesforce Starter Reports: Increase the ability of your Users to create Reports for themselves, by themselves.

In an ideal world, Salesforce is the Single Source of Truth (“SSOT”) for information in your Organization. Having it be the SSOT also means that many end-users (Sales, Marketing, Sales Operations, Finance, Service, etc.) are going to want to pull Reports out of the system to answer questions like:

  • How is my forecast looking for Q1? Q2?
  • What is the ROI on our most recent webcast? And trade show?
  • How many calls are my Reps making? How many meetings?
  • How many cases came in last week? Last month?

These questions tend to be variations of the same theme. However, it can be cumbersome having to start from scratch each time (choosing from 100+ Report Types) or trying to find a Report you can copy in the hundreds (or thousands) of Reports currently floating out there with helpful names like “Customer List FES”, “Webinar Contacts”, or “Copy of Pipeline”.

Even once a decent starting Report is found, as you layer in With/Without conditions, object relationships, filters, etc. it can quickly get overwhelming for End-Users to figure out how to get from point A to point B.

To help solve this problem, I recommend creating “Starter Reports.” Think of these as “Report Type” Reports that users can start with. It saves both end-users and Report Analysts time by curating a list of Reports to answer common questions in your organization, that can quickly be modified to meet specific criteria. Here is an example:

As you can see, we have two reports pre-built. Since we have two Asset Record Types, one for tracking Customer information and one for tracking Competitor Asset information, we created one Report for each that includes a filter to only include the appropriate Asset Record Types. Based on your org, some common Starter Reports might include a standard Opportunities with Products “Pipeline Report”, or a Leads with/without Campaigns “Campaign Measurement” Report. The possibilities are endless!

We created a Guide to help Users with better understanding how to use these Starter Reports. Our hope was to empower Users in two ways:

  1. Provide some basics on Reports in Salesforce.
  2. Understand the types of information provided by each Starter Report.

Below is the information we shared:

Salesforce Reports Overview

Report Types in Salesforce are the building blocks of Reports. They link together related Objects for Reporting purposes.

  • Report Types are linear. It’s like clicking through records in the Related List.
    • From Account, you can click into Opportunities and then into Opportunity Products.
    • Report Types cannot pull in data from unrelated objects. For example, you can’t combine Account+Contact and Account+Opportunity information since they are non-linear, and both start from Accounts.
  • Report Types can build Object relationships using WITH or WITHOUT  or WITH/WITHOUT related records
    • If an “Opportunities WITH Products” report is created, it will not pull in any Opportunity records WITHOUT related Product records.
  • Once a Starter Report is chosen, “Save As” to the folder you’d like BEFORE modifying fields and filters.
  • To Export click on the down arrow in the Report’s top right hand corner and select Export. Depending on the size of the file, you may want to switch to “Details Only” and set the format to CSV.
  • There are standard “Filters” in Salesforce for certain objects. These include:
    • My Territories: Only pulls records for your Territory.
    • My Territory’s Teams: Pulls records for your Territory and below it
    • My Team: Pulls Records related to your Role for the team you manage.
  • Linking together Reports can be done using the 18 Character RecordID.

Starter Reports

For each of the Starter Reports, we provide the following information:

  1. Objects included (Accounts WITH Contacts)
  2. Description: This report includes all Accounts with related Contacts.
  3. Questions it answers: What Accounts do we currency have in the system? Who are our Prospects? Who are our Clients?
  4. Native filters (with a description): My Territory’s Teams, My Accounts.
    1. This will depend on your Org. We don’t have Account “Owners” so the My Account filter isn’t applicable for us.
  5. Limitations: If an Account doesn’t have a related Contact, it will not get pulled into the Report. This will not be able to pull in the Assets (services) a Customer is using. You will need to also pull an “Accounts with Assets (Customer)” Report and combine them outside the system using the 18 Character “AccountID” field.

What now?

  1. Identify common reporting requests received to identify what Starter Reports would be helpful in your organization.
  2. Find the right place to store the Starter Report guide information.
    1. Do you have a Quip page? Confluence? A PDF in your files library?


  • We found this approach helps Admins save time as well. If a modification is needed, that edit can be made directly in the Starter Report instead of having to go into Setup and modify the Report Type directly. Fewer clicks!
  • The starting field layout can be easily updated as you create each starter report to pull in the relevant fields, and place them in a natural order. Your end-users will thank you!

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