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Creating a CSV file to import contacts, leads, or deals

all Sell plans

You can import your contacts, leads, and deals into Zendesk Sell using a CSV file, helping you to quickly import deal information in bulk.  If you are updating a batch of existing deals, see Updating using a CSV file.

This article covers the following topics:

Preparing your CSV file

When you create a list of customers to import, you'll probably generate this list from a user management system, using a CSV export facility. If you need to create the list from scratch you can use a program like Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice.org Calc.

 

Make sure that the file you upload is formatted correctly to successfully upload.

To prepare your file

  1. Make sure that each of your CSV columns contains a header in the first row. This will help you to identify what data you're mapping during the import. 
  2. If you are not importing data for a field, do not list it in the header row.
  3. The file must be properly formatted CSV and saved using UTF-8 character encoding.
  4. Line breaks in the header row will cause issues in the import process, so remove all line breaks from your data.
  5. Consider your file size. We recommend that you do not exceed 3,000 contacts per import. For example, if you have 5,000 contacts in your CSV file, consider dividing it into two import batches. There is no limit on the number of contacts you can upload, or the number of CSV files that you import.
  6. If you want to assign a lead or contact to a user in my account, include a column in your file labeled "Owner" that you will match to the Owner field in Sell. Owner indicates which User in your account owns a particular Lead or Contact. 
  7. If you are importing deals, associate each Deal with a Contact.  The contact can be either a person contact or a company contact.

    If your deal is associated with a person contact, the contact must have a last name. If you are importing your contact's full name, the contact's name should be separated into two columns - first name and last name.

    If your deal's contact is already in your Sell account, we'll merge your existing contact with the one in your CSV file and send you an email summary of your merged data. 

    Each deal must have a deal name and associated deal contact. If one or more of your deals do not have a stage listed, it will be placed in your initial pipeline stage by default.

     You can't assign deals to a user in your account during the import.  The imported data is assigned to the person who imports it. The data can be reassigned once the import is complete.

  8. If you add a company name to your contact, two contact records will be created in your Sell Contacts list - one for the person and one for the company.  Therefore, importing a company name with your Contact is optional.
  9. If you are importing deals, add a Deal Added column in your spreadsheet if you want to back-date Deal creation dates. This column is mapped to the Date Added field of your deals. If you don't include a Date Added column in your CSV, the date of deal creation will default to the day that your import is completed. Keep the following guidelines in mind when creating your Date Added column:
    • If your account uses the American date format with a 12hr time format, Sell will only match the date when it is written as MM/DD/YYYY.
    • If your account uses a European date format with a 24hr time format, Sell will only match the date when it is written as DD/MM/YYYY.

The following table lists examples of fields that you can include in the file.

Table 1. User import data
Field Description
first name Customer's first name.
last name Customer's last name. Last Name or Company Name required for importing new Leads. Last Name required for Contacts. 
name

Customer's full name - can be automatically split into first/last name during the import process. 

Note: Zendesk Sell categorizes Contacts as Person Contacts (Employees) and Company Contacts. The First Name and Last Name fields need to be included in each imported file - we need to know how to name your Contacts. Sell will also give you the option to import First Name and Last Name separately during the import mapping process. Company contacts do not need a First and Last name, only a name under a Company Name field.
mobile number Mobile phone number for Lead/Contact.
work number work phone number for Lead/Contact. 
email address Customer's full email address (someuser@mycompany.com). You can give customers more than one email address with additional email fields. 
company name

Last Name or Company Name required for importing new Leads. Customer's company name.

Note: If you'd like to associate Contacts with a company, include a separate column in your file that includes Company Name. Upon importing, Sell will match Person Contacts to Company Contacts, so that your Person Contacts appear as Employees when viewing the Companies in Sell. If you import Person Contacts without mapping a Company Name, these Person Contacts will be imported without an associated Company Contact.
title Customer's job title.
source (Lead) Channel from which the Lead or Deal was created. You can read more about Lead and Deal Sources here. This is a drop-down field, if an existing Source does not exist that matches your imported data, it can automatically be added to your existing list of Sources, and the mapping can be edited to modify the content to an existing Source if preferred. 
industry Customer's Industry to allow you to categorize and filter Leads and Contacts. This is a drop-down field, if an existing Industry does not exist that matches your imported data, it can automatically be added to your existing list of Industries, and the mapping can be edited to modify the content to an existing Industry if preferred. 
notes Notes concerning this customer. Notes can be added to the Lead, Contact, or Deal card as Notes or added to another field, if preferred (like Description). 
street (address)

Customer's street address. 

Note: When importing an address to a Contact, we suggest dividing the specific details of the address into multiple columns in your CSV file. This will allow you to sort or filter by these fields in Sell. You will want to make sure the following fields are separated into their own columns in your file before importing: street address, city, region/state, zip/postal code, and country.

city Customer's city.
postal code or zip code Customer's postal or zip code. 
state/region Customer's state or region.
country Customer's country. (Drop down field)
company address

Address for Customer's Company.

Note: If you’re importing different addresses for Person Contacts and Company Contacts, you'll need to create separate columns in your file that include Person Address columns and Company Address columns. Person Address columns you’ll want to include are person address (street address), person city, person region/state, person country, whereas Company Address columns should include company street, company city, company region/state, etc.
tags Specific tags added to Lead, Contact, or Deal to help categorize customers and quickly filter in Smart Lists and reports. See Using Tags on Leads Contacts and Deals for more information. Separate each tag with a comma.
owner Sell User who owns the Lead, Contact or Deal. 
website
Customer's website.
skype
embedded link to Customer's Skype account.
facebook embedded link to Customer's Facebook account. 
twitter embedded link to Customer's Twitter account. 
linkedin embedded link to Customer's Linkedin account.
fax Customer's Fax number.
description Add a description to the Customer's profile. 
custom field

Custom fields can be matched to existing custom fields (or created during import). The following custom fields are supported:

  • Single Line Text
  • Paragraph
  • Number
  • Dropdown
  • Date
  • Multiselect
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Address
  • URL

The following table lists examples of fields that are currently not supported during the import process.

Table 2. Unsupported field types for import
Field Details
custom field

The following custom field type is currently not supported:

  • Checkbox
status (Lead) Lead Status can be updated using our Leads API endpoint.
unqualified reason (Lead)  
customer status (Contact) Contact Customer Status can be updated using our Contacts API endpoint.
prospect status (Contact) Contact Prospect Status can be updated using our Contacts API endpoint.
billing address

This is an additional Address field that is available to Contacts that are associated with a Deal. 

Billing Address can be updated using our Contacts API endpoint.

shipping address  

This is an additional Address field that is available to Contacts that are associated with a Deal. 

Shipping Address can be updated using our Contacts API endpoint.

Additionally, the following suggestions should also help to keep your import under control. 

  • The import CSV data file should not contain more than 3000 rows of data (one row for the header and the rest for the user or organization data) for best results.
  • Ensure that there are no line breaks in your Header row, or the import will not import successfully. 

Sample CSV template

If you don't have a CSV file already, or you want to start from scratch, you can use our CSV template to populate your deals using a program like Excel. Download sample CSV.