5 Ways To Monitor Sales Progress Using Salesforce Historical Trend Reporting

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What is Trend Report in Salesforce? 

Trend Report in Salesforce

Salesforce historical trend reporting is a tested-and-tried way to keep track of the performance of one’s business over time. Sales managers use the feature to check on the overall business progress by conducting a side-by-side comparison of sales pipelines between two or more different periods. The presence of a drag-and-drop interface that calls for minimal Salesforce reporting training for users is mainly what gives this tool the edge on other data history tracking systems.

Historical Trend Reporting is still a new feature for a lot of people. It makes use of the Snapshot Reporting feature but is more focused on capturing small day-to-day or week-to-week changes happening in the sales pipeline. You can select data at up to 5 different points in time and view them in one row to check for direct data changes.

If you are only getting started with Salesforce, note that reports may time out or get lost for good if you set the prolonged duration between date snapshots. That said, you can be sure to access and manipulate data from up to three months ago, excluding the current month. You can choose whatever duration you feel suits your model and scale of business.

Steps to Creating Historical Trend Reporting

Creating Historical Trend Reporting
  1. On the panel, go to Setup.
  2. Select Historical Trending (You can also search “historical trending” directly in the search box)
  3. Click on Enable Historical Trending
  4. Select Configure Data. In this stage, you get to filter down your data sources and remain only with what you need in your reports.
  5. Click Select Fields. You can select up to eight fields. By default, all eight are selected in the Forecasting category, so your work is to deselect what you don’t need. Under Opportunities, only five fields – Amount, Stage, Close Date, Probability, and Forecast – are preselected, but you can add another three.
  6. Save your changes.

Read on for five ways Salesforce historical trend reporting can help you keep track of your company’s sales progress.

Salesforce historical trend reporting

1. Monitor Changes in Your Pipeline

A sales pipeline enables you to track the movement of a prospect as they go from being a lead to making the purchase or scheduling an appointment. Pipelines help sales managers make crucial decisions about company objectives, individual targets, and new opportunities. Sales teams can also use the pipeline system to track pending deals at any given time and estimate the productivity of different agents.

Historical reports can be used to monitor activity in the pipeline and check on the progress of specific deals over a given period. They allow you to delve into figures, dates, status, and other details that could be adding up to impact the look of your pipeline. With the help of historical trending Salesforce lightning reports, you can compare the past and present values of your pipeline and see if the trend aligns with your business goals.

2. Assess Deals Below or Over a Given Value

Another instance where historical trending may come in handy is when you want to focus on deals that fall within a specific value range. If you wish to view the status of deals worth, say, $1,000 or more, a historical trending report will help you identify all deals that cut.

3. Focus on Deals that are Losing Value

You can also create a Lightning report to focus on deals that are taking too long to close or are experiencing a dip in value. A trending report will let you filter out deals that have increased in value, leaving you with the under-performing ones. This way, you will have fewer data to play with and more apparent paths to the underlying problems.

To do this, select “All Opportunities” in the “Opportunities with Historical Trending” tab and click Create. In the “Historical Field Filter” set amount to greater than.

What you are doing here is comparing a historical amount with today’s amount, collectively capturing all deals that are shrinking in value.

4. Track Changes in Forecast Amounts

Through a trending historical report, you can get to assess the accuracy of individual team members at estimating future sales. Salesforce lets you make a comparison of two points in time of your choice with the utmost ease. All you need to do is go to the Reports tab on the panel and create a New Report. Select Forecasts on the Select Report Type tab and set up the filters to your liking. The Date Field and Historical Date tabs allow you to choose the period you want to focus on and the specific points in time whose data you want to compare.

Next, you will choose the data you want to monitor, which, in this case, is where and how the forecast amounts changed. You can play with the filters as much as you want until you find the data you want in your report. You even get the chance to create a graphical representation of your data for a more condensed and inclusive view.

5. Track Case History

Keeping in mind cases undergo distinct changes over time, you may need to review each one of them separately for more workable solutions. Observe the status field over time and point out the causes that are making progress. Pick out the ones developing retrogressively and focus on them. Also, regularly check the priority field for potential wrongful classification of cases.

What is Analytical Snapshot in Salesforce?

Analytical Snapshot in Salesforce

As you may already know, Salesforce historical trend reporting depends on data from Analytical Snapshots. Snapshots can be loosely defined as data records from specific points in time. Historical reports help you make something out of these snapshots. If you don’t know the first thing about historical trends, reporting snapshots should be an excellent place to start. These tips will help you get started:

  1. Ask your analytics partner about your “Running User” license. Salesforce Platform One, Lightning Platform, and Salesforce licenses work differently and offer different privileges to the user. For instance, users of Salesforce Platform One and Lightning Platform licenses cannot view a reporting snapshot whose user has the Salesforce license. Salesforce license users, on the contrary, can see any reporting snapshot regardless of license type. Make sure to create separate snapshots for users with the Salesforce Platform One and Lightning Platform licenses.
  2. The field mappings or a reporting snapshot will be deleted if you make any changes to the target object or source report before saving the snapshot. Note that you cannot map fields with conflicting data types. By removing or adding elements on either the target object or source report, you are effectively making the fields incompatible.
  3. Confirm that the details of a tabular source report are not hidden. Field mapping happens to be the most delicate part of reporting snapshots, and any mistakes will cripple any progress moving forward. Apparently, if the details of a tabular source report are not visible when saving it, the report won’t be available when it is time for reporting snapshots. Be sure to click the “Show Details” button before saving the source report. The button only shows when the details of a source report are hidden.
  4. Assign the field names that you can remember. You may be required to search the fields by name later when creating the target object, so it is advisable to come up with easy-to-remember names when creating source reports.

What is a Forecast Category in Salesforce?

Forecast Category in Salesforce

A forecast category can be defined as the category to which an opportunity is assigned based on its stage in the sales cycle. Salesforce gives you four standards categories – Pipeline, Best Case, Commit, and Closed – whose names you can change as you customize your panel. Note that forecast category values correlate with opportunity stage values to establish the contribution of the opportunity to the forecast amount. The opportunity’s stage at any given time is what is referred to as an opportunity stage value.

How do I create a forecast in Salesforce?

create a forecast in Salesforce

Creating a Forecast in Salesforce is an easy but fairly long process.

You get Collaborative forecasting by default, but you can overhaul this and opt a customizable route.

First and foremost, you have to ‘enable’ your sales team to change forecast amounts from their respective ends. Forecast users perform adjustments to set the amounts they expect opportunities of specific categories to have brought in by the end of a determined period or determined periods. Forecast managers, however, retain the overruling power to adjust individual team members’ forecasts. This authority may come in handy when a team member is assigning oddly low or unrealistically high amounts to opportunities.

When different types of forecasts are enabled, each type is adjusted independently. For instance, if you alter an amount in the quantity forecast, there will be no corresponding change in the revenue forecast.

Here is what you should do on the panel:

  1. Open the Forecasts Settings page
  2. Select Enable Forecasts Adjustments
  3. Click on Enable manager adjustments
  4. Click on Enable owner adjustments
  5. Select Save

With a comprehensive CRM like salesforce, you are not only improving the productivity of your sales team but also understanding your clients better and getting a view of your business from their perspective.

And now… if you want to take your salesforce forecasting to the next level… Ebsta Team enables you to track true engagement in your forecast. Enabling you to spot opportunities at risk to increase close rates.

You can request a demo here.

Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt is Ebsta's Head of Marketing, he is passionate about sales tech, puppies and efficient teams.
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