Importing contacts, leads, and deals using a CSV file

all Sell plans

You can add multiple users by importing a CSV (comma separated values) file that contains the customer data, rather than adding contacts or leads individually.  See 

The following article explains how to upload your prepared CSV file. See Creating a CSV file to upload your contacts, leads, and deals if you need to create a CSV file.

This article contains the following sections:

You'll import Leads, Contacts, and Deals separately to Sell.

For information on how Sell defines Leads and Contacts, see Leads, Contacts, and Deals In Zendesk Sell.

Uploading your CSV file

When you've prepared your CSV file, you are ready to import your contacts, leads, and deals.

To import data into Sell

  1. Go to Settings > Import. Click Import new data.Import_New_Data.png
  2. Click CSV as the file type you want to import.
  3. Select Import Leads, Import Contacts, or Import Deals & Contacts.
  4. Drag and drop your file, or click Select file to navigate and upload your file.
  5. Click Next.
    Note: Depending on the size of your file, Sell can take a few minutes to process the file.

Importing your settings and mapping

On the Import your Data page, provide additional details on how you want to handle your data.


If you’re only updating fields on existing leads and contacts by overriding existing fields with new data (empty or not) select:

  1. During the import, I want to: Add new leads or contacts and make updates to existing leads or contacts
  2. If data currently in Zendesk Sell does not match data in the import: Update all existing Zendesk Sell data with new data from the import file

Explanation of Import your Data options

  1. Add new leads or contacts and make updates to existing leads or contacts. Use this option if you are adding new Leads or Contacts while also making changes to Leads or Contacts that already exist in Sell.

  2. Add only new leads or contacts currently not in Sell.  Use this option if you are importing all new data, such as adding Leads or Contacts that have never been imported into Sell before.

  3. Only update existing Sell lead or contact with new data from the import file. Use this option when you already have Leads or Contacts in Sell that you’re working, but you have some additional data that you would like to add to their records. In order to avoid duplicates and be sure the new data is added to the appropriate Lead or Contact, you will need to select fields that are present on existing leads or contacts in Sell, so we know to match the new data to the corresponding record.

When you select an option that includes updating existing Leads or Contacts, there is a choice for If data currently in Zendesk Sell does not match data in the import. This indicates that you are making changes to your Leads or Contacts that already exist in Sell. The fields that appear on your Leads or Contacts can either have an existing value or be empty, and this indicates that you have the option for the new data from your file to override these existing field values or to fill an empty field.

You'll be prompted to choose:

  1. Update only empty Sell fields with data from the import file. Use this option to put data from your import file into existing empty fields, and will not overwrite any fields that currently have a value. 
  2. Update all existing Sell data with new data from the import file. Use this option to overwrite all field values whether empty or not with the data from your import file. 
  3. Automatically create a custom field to retain both values. Use this option to create a new custom fields (usually called Address# or 

You'll see an additional option if you are importing leads, which you will not see when importing contacts or deals:

If a lead in the import file already exists as a contact in Zendesk Sell:

  1. Do not import it
  2. Import it and create duplicate leads


On the mapping screen, choose the fields that you would like to map each column of data to. If you use the default fields as outlined above, the importer will automatically make suggestions based on the column header.


Select the correct field to map each column. Here you can also map to custom fields that are already created, or, if necessary, add as a new field.

You might find that sometimes (most commonly with a Contact import) that you have choices to make. A Contact can be imported as a Person or a Company, so if your header doesn't specify this, you'll be asked to clarify whether you want this data applied to the Person or Company Contact.


Note: If you want the data to be imported to both the Person and the Company, ensure that you have two columns in your CSV file, and it can be imported into both Contacts.

If the importer doesn't have a suggestion, such as a tag field, you can click the dropdown box to find the relevant default or custom field in your list. You can type the name of the field and the importer automatically filters the list:


When you have mapped a field, you have options to edit and ignore:


Click Edit to change your import settings. If you select Ignore, the entire column will be ignore and the data is not imported. If you accidentally select Ignore, just click Import this column to bring you back to the mapping settings. 


Reviewing your import selections

When all your fields are mapped, you can review both your import settings and field mapping parameters. This shows you all the fields that you are mapping and example values from your CSV file. If something is incorrect, return to Mapping settings to make a change or click Import to finish the process. 


Undo an import

You can reverse an import from the Import Settings page. At the bottom of the page you'll see a list of your completed imports by date.

Select Revert Import to remove the data that was included in this file from your account.
When an import is reversed, your custom fields and tags created during the import are left intact in your account.


Note: If an import containing over 1,000 entries, it can take up to 10 minutes for all data to be removed from your account.