How to Export a Salesforce Report to Excel + A Better Way to Visualize Data

What is a Salesforce Report and Why Are They Critical for Sales Teams?

A Salesforce report is a tool in Salesforce that helps people organize and display their data in a way that's easy to understand. Through charts, graphs and other visualizations, it allows sales leaders to better understand the health of their sales pipeline so they can more accurately forecast future revenue and spot red flags for current deals at risk.

Salesforce reports are critical for sales leaders to clearly identify their team’s performance, progress, sales trends, and be proactive in closing and forecasting revenue. These reports help sales leaders understand their team's activities, sales pipelines, and customer interactions, ultimately improving their ability to manage and drive sales success.

If you want to know how to create a Salesforce report, check out this step-by-step guide.

And if you want to know how to export a Salesforce report to Excel, follow the 6 step process outlined below:

How to Export a Salesforce Report to Excel (6 Step Guide)l

1. Navigate to the Report

Log in to your Salesforce account. Go to the "Reports" tab and open the report you want to export.

2. Run the Report

Make sure the report is up to date by running it. You might need to click on "Run Report" or a similar option, depending on your Salesforce configuration.

3. Export the Report:

  • Look for an "Export" button, a download icon, or a similar option in the report view. This might be located near the top of the page or in a dropdown menu.
  • Click on "Export" or the relevant option to proceed with the export process.

4. Select Export Format:

  • A dialog box should appear, asking you to select the format for the export. Choose "Excel" or "Excel (.xlsx)" from the list of available formats. Sometimes, you might see options like "Formatted Report" (which preserves the report's visual layout and formatting) or "Details Only" (which exports the data without the report's formatting).
  • If you're given the choice and you need to do further analysis on the data, selecting "Details Only" might be more beneficial as it gives you raw data without merged cells or visual formatting.

5. Download the Report:

  • After selecting the format, confirm your choice. The report will then be prepared for download.
  • You might see a prompt to save the file to your computer or the download might start automatically, depending on your browser settings. Choose a location on your computer to save the file if prompted.

6. Open the Exported File:

  • Once the download is complete, locate the file in your downloads folder or wherever you chose to save it.
  • Open the file with Microsoft Excel or a compatible spreadsheet program.

The Problem with Relying on Salesforce Reports and Excel Spreadsheets

Salesforce is a powerful and vital CRM for sales organizations. Microsoft Excel is a powerful and vital tool for… well basically anything. 

There are obvious benefits to using both of these tools as a sales organization for the reasons we laid out in the first section, but there are also potential drawbacks to relying on them.

1. They are disconnected

The main reason why sales reps and leaders rely upon Excel spreadsheets is because Salesforce is hard to use and lacks visibility into data and deals. 

In an ideal world, a sales organization doesn’t have to rely on Excel spreadsheets at all, but because it provides an ease of use and visibility that you don’t have with Salesforce, sales teams revert to managing deals, pipelines, and forecasts in spreadsheets and other note-taking apps instead. 

When you’re directly exporting a Salesforce report to an Excel spreadsheet, you don’t have to worry about information not lining up… but what if there’s an update made in Salesforce after you export? 

What if you make an update to the spreadsheet, but don’t remember to then copy and paste that update into Salesforce afterwards? When the two tools are disconnected, it’s hard to know what data to trust. 

2. There is no single source of truth

When it’s hard to know what data to trust, this means that your organization doesn’t have a single source of truth. 

While Salesforce should be the single source of truth for your sales team since you’re probably investing a lot of time, money, and resources into it, that’s simply not the case in most organizations. 

This makes it much harder for managers to inspect deals and coach reps, leaders to forecast and allocate resources, and operations to tell if reps are adhering to the sales processes that they’re supposed to follow.

3. They require more manual steps to work in unison

Most salespeople revert to spreadsheets and note-taking apps to do their work because it’s easier and faster, but they still don’t have the access to automated tasks and reminders and are still forced to update Salesforce as well. 

This means that they’re essentially performing duplicate manual work and most likely letting deals and critical information slip through the cracks.

4. Lack of visibility

At the end of the day, all sales leaders want is visibility. 

Unfortunately since the tools they and their teams are using are disconnected, there isn’t a single source of truth, and there are unnecessary manual steps and errors taking place, they have very little hope at gaining visibility into their sales pipelines. 

Without visibility, they can’t understand what’s changed and why, what deals are at risk, or even what’s working and what’s broken in their sales process.

Fortunately, we have a better way for you to visualize and manage your sales pipelines.

A Better Way to Visualize and Manage Sales Pipelines

Scratchpad is the AI powered workspace that improves collaboration, visibility, and efficiency across your sales team.

Here are some key features that make Scratchpad such an effective tool:

  • AI Sales Assistant: Auto-generate call summaries, notes, shareable video clips, and even required fields in Salesforce like next steps or for methodologies like MEDDIC.
  • Command: A simple shortcut that lets you search and update any Salesforce field from anywhere on the web.
  • Deal Rooms: Automatically create and manage Deal Rooms in Slack for better collaboration and visibility into all aspects of your deals at each stage ensuring faster sales cycles, smoother handoffs, and a better customer journey.
  • No-Code Automations: Help your reps update Salesforce faster and give you and your sales leaders insights into gaps in your open pipeline.
  • Deal Spotlights: Conditional Highlighting and Deal Spotlights let leaders and reps inspect entire pipelines in one place and gives them the ability to spot gaps or missing information in a certain deal at a glance. This leads to better visibility and proactive collaboration among leaders and reps to avoid missed opportunities and forecasts.
  • Take greater command of your reports for more effective 1:1’s. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Scratchpad so if you’d like to learn more, schedule a conversation to see if it makes sense for your organization or simply try it out for free today.

FAQ’s About Exporting Salesforce Reports to Excel

How do I maintain the formatting of my Salesforce report when exporting to Excel?

When exporting a report to Excel, users often want to maintain the visual formatting and layout of the Salesforce report. To do this, you should choose the "Formatted Report" option if it's available during the export process. 

This option is designed to preserve the look and feel of the report as much as possible, including colors, grouping, and summary formats. However, it's important to note that not all formatting may transfer perfectly due to the differences in how Salesforce and Excel handle formatting.

Can I automate the export of Salesforce reports to Excel?

Users frequently inquire about automating the export process to save time, especially for reports that are run regularly. 

While Salesforce itself does not provide a built-in feature for automatically exporting reports to Excel, there are several workarounds. 

These include using Salesforce report scheduling to send reports via email, leveraging third-party tools or apps from the Salesforce AppExchange that offer automation capabilities, or using Salesforce's API with external scripting or programming tools to automate the export. Each of these solutions requires different levels of access, permissions, and technical skill.

Why can't I export a Salesforce report to Excel?

There are several reasons why the export option might not be available or not working as expected. 

Common issues include not having the necessary permissions to export reports (as permissions can be controlled at the Salesforce administrator level), browser compatibility issues (some browsers may handle the export functionality differently or block pop-ups that are required for the download), or the report exceeding export limits (Salesforce might have limits on the number of rows or the size of the report that can be exported). 

Addressing these issues typically involves checking user permissions, trying a different web browser, or adjusting the report to reduce its size or complexity.