How to structure an import file

Unfortunately many softwares do not apply any format rules which makes it possible to add any type of data to any data field. The same is true for Spreadsheets. However clean and correct data is vital for you to be able to get the maximum value out of a CRM. This is especially important if you want to use a CRM for logging your communication like calls and sent/received emails. To reduce the number of duplicates in a CRM is also important.

Salesbox CRM therefore checks both companies and contacts in connection with a file import to minimise the number of duplicated companies and contacts in the system. However, there can always be situations when you get occasional duplicates after importing a file. Salesbox also apply format rules for emails and phone numbers so you can use the system later for your communication. 

Therefore, it is important to go through your file and make sure that it does not contain any duplicated information or break the import rules provided by Salesbox.

This article will teach you Salesbox CRM’s duplicate rules, format rules and how you can secure you have correct data in your cells in your file. 

We also recommend to read this article together with the onboarding instruction for the .CSV import functionality or the corresponding instruction video.

Format rules

These are the format rules you need to follow:

  • File format must be .CSV (If you import data with special characters from non-English alphabet like Nordic languages, German, Spanish etc. You need to make sure your .CSV file is of type UTF8 to avoid getting symbols instead of country specific characters)
  • Phone number cells can only include numbers, – and +
  • Email cells must only include correct email formats
  • Date values must be on format YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY/MM/DD
  • If you have added custom fields, the content in the file must correspond to the rules for the custom field. 
    • Example 1: A custom text field with maximum characters set to 20, then the text in the file cell cannot be bigger than 20
    • Example 2: A custom number field has Digits limited to 3 and decimals set to 0, then only digit numbers up to 100 can be added
    • Example 3: A value imported to a custom dropdown list, check box or hash tag must be spelled in exactly the same way in the cell as in the system

Import rules

These are the import rules you need to follow:

  • The import file can maximum include 2 000 rows
  • To connect a contact to a company the contact data and company data need to be on the same row
  • If multiple contacts belong to the same company, copy the company data to all relevant contact rows
  • First name and last name of contacts must be in separate columns
  • Only one column in the file can be mapped to one data field in Salesbox CRM, so if you need to add the same data value to both a company and a contact you need one column for each object, even if it is the same data value
  • If the system identifies any bad formats that specific row will be skipped and not imported
  • The contact inherits the type and address from the company so it is enough to map these columns to the company for it to be imported to both the company and the contact

Duplicate rules

Salesbox checks both companies and contacts for duplicates. If a duplicated object is identified the existing object inside Salesbox CRM will be enriched with additional information from the import file.

These are the duplicate rules in Salesbox:

Company rules

  • If a company VAT number from the file already exist, the existing company will be enriched
  • If a company email from the file already exist, the existing company will be enriched
  • If the company name and phone number from the file already exist on one company, the existing company will be enriched
  • If the company name, city and street from the file already exist on one company, the existing company will be enriched
  • If a company exist without VAT, email, phone or address in the file and the same name exist without VAT, email, phone or address, the existing company will be enriched 

Examples of when duplicates can appear:

  • If a company name from the file already exist but VAT number is different 
  • If a company name from the file already exist but email is different
  • If a company name from the file already exist but email and VAT are different
  • If company name without VAT exist in file but same company name exist with VAT
  • If company name without email exist in file but same company name exist with email

Contact rules

Contacts with connected companies

  1. If a contact email from the file already exist, the existing contact will be enriched
  2. If a contact name and connected company name from the file already exist, the existing contact will be enriched

Contacts without connected companies

  1. If the contact name in the file already exist on one contact without a company connected, the existing contact will be enriched
  2. If the contact name and phone in the file already exist on one contact without a company connected, the existing contact will be enriched
  3. If the contact name and city in the file already exist on one contact without a company connected, the existing contact will be enriched
  4. If the contact name, city and street in the file already exist on one contact without a company connected, the existing contact will be enriched

Examples of when duplicates can appear:

  • If a contact name from the file already exist but email is different 
  • If a contact name from the file already exist but company name is different and no email exist
  • If a contact name from the file already exist but email and company names are different
  • If a contact name without email exist in the file and the same contact name exist with email in the system

NOTE 1: To minimise the risk for duplicates we therefore recommend you to include VAT number or email on company and email and phone number on contacts

NOTE 2: An import cannot move one contact from one company to another or add a company to an existing contact without a connected company. If you have this situation we recommend you to delete the contacts you want to add a company to and then import together with the company information.

NOTE 3: The duplicate rules are also applied by Salesbox CRM when adding a company or contact manually, via LinkedIn, from WordPress, from Fortnox etc. In some cases like LinkedIn there is no VAT or email info available and then it is important that the contact name and company names are spelled exactly the same in Salesbox as on LinkedIn to be able to enrich already existing objects with more info from LinkedIn.

How can I easily secure that my file has correct data?

  1. Work with smaller files of a few hundred rows and not files with thousands of rows since its more manageable. Importing bad data just moves the problem from the file to the system.
  2. Sort your first name column and secure all contacts have a first name
  3. Sort your last name column and secure all contacts have a first name
  4. Sort your company name columns and secure the same company name does not exist more than once
  5. Sort your phone column and secure that not any phone number exist more than once.
  6. Sort your phone columns and secure that no cells include anything else than numbers, – or +
  7. Sort your email columns and secure that not any email exist more than once.
  8. Sort your email columns and secure that no cells include anything else than real email formats
  9. Sort your text columns and secure that no cells include more text than your custom text fields allow