Ultimate Guide & Video – Cross Filters in Reports

Here is a short guide on Cross Filters and how to use them within Salesforce.  They are a standard (but under used!) feature of Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited and Developer editions and available in both Classic and Lightning interfaces.
Cross filters are a great way to connect divided data within Salesforce reporting (and fantastic for deduplicating reports too).
Salesforce define Cross Filters as..: “Use Cross Filters to include or exclude records in your report results based on related objects and their fields.”

Normal Reports
“Normal” reports are based on one object alone (e.g. Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities) or two (or more) objects with a parent/child relationship between them (e.g. Accounts with Contacts, Contacts with Cases, Opportunities with Products).

Cross Filter Reporting

Here you can have data displayed from the parent and/or child object influenced by related criteria from another object – on this Venn diagram that would be the various intersections (but you can’t display data that is just on the other child object). n.b. The objects do have to be related!

Practical Examples

1.    Accounts cross filtered by Accounts with Contacts

This enables you to look at the accounts where you know you can target specific contacts and ignore those accounts where you have very poor data quality indeed.

This will show only show details from accounts, but more usefully those accounts with contacts – i.e. those accounts which don’t have any contacts will not show.

2.    Accounts cross filtered by Accounts without Contacts

This enables you to look at the accounts where the data quality is very poor and you need to go back and populate contact information.

This will only show details from accounts, but more usefully those accounts without contacts – i.e. only those accounts which don’t have any contacts will show.

3.    Accounts cross filtered by Accounts with Opportunities

This enables you to look at the accounts where you have made in-roads in the selling process.

This will show only show details from accounts, but more usefully those accounts with opportunities – i.e. those where you have managed to try to sell something.

 4.    Accounts cross filtered by Accounts with Opportunities, sub-filtered by (within the cross filter) Stage: Closed Won and Date Closed: “Last 6 months”

The advantage of using this particular cross filter is that you can now draw up a mailing without having any duplicates (because the account is only returned in the report’s results once despite potentially having many opportunities); the same technique can be applied to Contacts with Campaign Members.

This will show only details from accounts, but more usefully those accounts with opportunities where you actually won something within the last 6 months.

 5.    Focus your energies! Contacts with Campaign Members, sub-filtered by Type: Event and Start Date: Next 6 months cross filtered by Contacts with Tasks sub-filtered by Due Date: Last 6 months and Assigned to CEO’s Secretary

If you are using campaigns or a similar object to manage attendance, then here you can create a report that lists who is coming to an event in the next 6 months (or any other time period), and cross filter it with people that the CEO’s Secretary have corresponded with (and put on Salesforce, using Salesforce for Outlook) within the last 6 months; you can then ask those people attending events, whether they want a private chat or a coffee with you/your sales lead just before or after the event they are attending.

A shout out must go to Eventbrite for making this possible via their own AppExchange product or the more bespoke third party alternative (both of which I’ve contributed to, to differing extents).

Creating a Cross Filter

Go into your report editing screen and click on the small arrow to the right hand side off “Add” and then click “Cross Filter” (see screenshot below)

You can then fine-tune the cross filter by:

– You can’t use filter logic (“or”) on the cross filters themselves

– Defining whether it is “with” or “without” (excluding) the other object

– Filtering on up to 5 other fields within the other object, using the standard filter options

– Choosing up to 3 different objects to cross filter with

– Using these on Tabular, Summary, Matrix and Joined Reports

Video Tutorial

There’s also a 15 minute demo which accompanies this article.

Further Resources

Salesforce Help (article with a good video)

-2 YouTube videos #1 (47m 05m) and #2 (21m 12s)

Reports & Dashboards Success Community

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