How to Import Data into Salesforce 

Maintaining great relationships with customers and clients is of the utmost importance for the success of any company. Customer feedback, likes, dislikes, and opinions are all vital in determining the next stage of any company’s improvement. Yet, as a company continues to grow and expand, it becomes increasingly difficult to actually manage these individual interactions because they are occurring thousands of times on a day-to-day basis. In order to keep up with growing demand, many successful companies use customer relationship management (CRM) technology to help manage these many customer interactions. 

One of the most popular CRM software that some of the largest corporations in the world use to manage their customer relationships is known as Salesforce. By the end of this article, you should be well on your way in understanding and even using Salesforce to grow your company. 

prepare data for import into salesforce

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a Software as a Service (SaaS) CRM company that helps its clients, typically business owners or large corporations, manage customer feedback data from all its departments. This includes sales, customer service, business development, recruiting, and marketing.  

In simpler terms, it is a software that takes all of the data that a company records and makes sense of it in a way that is helpful to employees. For example, Salesforce keeps a record of how customers have been communicated with in the past, what they have purchased, when their last purchase was, how much money they spent, and more all in one platform. 

Why is Salesforce so Popular? 

Now here’s the reason why Salesforce has quickly become the fifth-largest software company in the world. In the past, developing a CRM platform required months, if not years of work, plus a sizable amount of capital that could exceed millions of dollars. This is because a company would have to create and run all this feedback data on their own server. Even after a company attributed all this time and money into creating this CRM, it was still extremely hard to use and maintain as the company grew. 

All of these problems could be easily solved by Salesforce, as it is a cloud-based subscription service. It not only saves companies millions of dollars, but it also replaces the lengthy installation process and moves everything to the internet.

importing records into salesforce

How Exactly Does Salesforce Work? 

As stated before, Salesforce is a subscription-based cloud service that costs $50 per month. It truly revolutionized the way CRM is used because both small and large businesses can make use of their many products and services.

One of their services is Salesforce Sales Cloud, which enables companies to manage their sales, marketing, and customer support facets. Salesforce Community Cloud provides a social platform for employees, partners and customers alike to easily exchange data and images. Finally, Salesforce App Cloud provides a variety of development tools for the creation of a custom application. 

Although Salesforce offers a variety of helpful services for a company, it does rely heavily on the accuracy of the data that is being imported. 

Salesforce Data Import Tools

Salesforce is extremely helpful so long as a company’s recorded data is accurately imported into the software. Although it may not seem like much, importing this data is actually one of the most important aspects of CRM. It is essential that it is done correctly. Luckily, Salesforce offers a number of tools to help get this done. The two primary methods are the Data Import Wizard and the Apex Data Loader. 

Data Import Wizard vs. Apex Data Loader

Generally, the Data Import Wizard is a little bit easier and more user-friendly than the Apex Data Loader. If you are importing data that has to do with business leads, accounts, and contacts, custom objects, or solutions and have less than or equal to 50,000 records, the Import Wizard is the best option. Typically, smaller-sized companies with fewer customer interactions on a day-to-day basis would choose this option. 

For larger companies that import data into objects not included in the Import Wizard including all standard and custom objects, and have less than or equal to 5,000,000 records to import at a time, the Apex Data Loader is the best option. 

It is important to note that although the Apex Data Loader allows for a significantly larger amount of data to be imported at a time, it is limited in its ability to detect duplicate data. This can make it significantly more difficult to use unless you know for certain that data entries have not been imported into the system before. 

importing data into salesforce

How to Import Data Into Salesforce

1 – Ready Your Data for Import 

Before you can actually use either import tool, you’ll need to have a CSV file of the data that you wish to import. Making sure this CSV file is fully ready to be imported requires some consideration. 

One of the most important things to consider when preparing your CSV file is to understand what kind of data it is that you wish to import. Then, you need to know how it corresponds to Salesforce objects and their particular fields. If you blindly import thousands of records into Salesforce, you could end up with data in the wrong place or missing altogether. This would essentially defeat the purpose of having a data organizational tool in general. 

But how do you know where certain data is supposed to end up within Salesforce? Here are a couple of examples to help you understand. Say you are looking to expand your business and you decide to purchase a list of potential customers from a big data company. Those potential customers would fall under the object field “Leads.” 

If you have an export of your old clients and customers from your old CRM, this data would fall under the object field “Accounts and Contacts.” These two examples could be considered pretty straightforward for the application. The overall process of sorting your data within the platform isn’t too difficult to comprehend with a little practice. 

Generally speaking, the required field for the object “Accounts” is a name. The required field for the object “Contacts” is a last name. Finally, the required fields for the object “Leads” are a last name and a company name. 

2 – Cleaning Up Your CSV File 

Once you have successfully sorted through all of your data and figured out what needs to be where, you need to clean up your file. Doing so will help ensure that your import goes as smoothly as possible. Salesforce offers a checklist that you can go through to make sure everything looks alright before your final import. 

  1. Make sure your accounts and contacts are in the same place
  2. Delete any duplicates
  3. Include email addresses with corresponding names to eliminate confusion
  4. Clearly separate the fields in your CSV File 
  5. Triple-check your spelling 
  6. Edit the record owners

salesforce data import tools

The Final Import Process 

Once you have finally readied your CSV file for your final import, the process can generally be highlighted in six simple steps. 

  1. Choose the object that you want to import your data into 
  2. Click a matching convention to help get rid of potential duplicates 
  3. Choose your source file 
  4. Map your fields 
  5. Check your error logs, make sure nothing went wrong during your initial import 
  6. Celebrate! 

Importing your Data to Salesforce Accurately is Key 

With its vast amount of helpful services as well as its ease of use and cost-effectiveness, Salesforce has a lot of potential for businesses both big and small. The key to successfully unlocking the potential that Salesforce offers is accurately importing your data. 

If you are interested in using the Salesforce Cloud, you should take a good look at the data that you have accumulated. Decide whether to use the Data Import Wizard or the Apex Data Loader for your data set. Then, ready your data as a CSV file by accurately placing each data into its respective object and field. Do a final clean-up of your CSV file to eliminate any chances of error or data loss or misplacement. Finally, follow the steps above for the final import process. These steps will put you on your way to successfully maximizing the potential of the Salesforce software and vastly improving your customer relationships. 

FAQs about Importing Data into Salesforce:

  • How do I prepare my data for import in Salesforce? 
  • Can you import data into Salesforce? 
  • What should a developer consider before importing a set of records into Salesforce?
  • What are three considerations when a user is importing?
  • Can Data Loader prevent duplicate data?

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