How to create a file with the data to be imported
To begin, you can download a sample file to see how your data will need to be prepared for import. You can also start from an existing spreadsheet if you have one and use the downloaded sample file as a guide.
Click on the "Import" button for the type of record you're planning to import.
EXAMPLE: If you want to import Account records, click on the Account menu and then select the "Import" button ⤵
Next click on the "Download Sample File" button ⤵
Depending on your browser, you’ll see the downloaded file (e.g. in Chrome), it will show in the download bar at the bottom of the screen. Click to open it in Excel.
NOTE: You might want to click on "File" and "Save As" and rename this file so that you can use it for your import file.
NOTE: This is only a sample file which contains the default (out-of-the-box) Pipeliner fields. If you have added custom fields to your Pipeliner records, make sure to add those to the file as new columns, and, if you're not using any of the default fields, simply delete those columns. Just because a column is in the sample file doesn't mean you have to use it (unless it's a mandatory field) ⤵
Preparing your Data
As you build your data for import — whether or not, you use the sample file as a starting point — keep checking your data quality. Ensure there are no spaces before and after data in any column, that email addresses are all valid (no "mailto:" in the email address, for example), that data is all in the correct column (all cities in the City column) and that your data meets all the mandatory field requirements.
You need to make sure your data does not contain duplicate records before you import.
NOTE: Every record in Pipeliner MUST be assigned to an Owner (and Sales Unit). The Owner must be a current, active Pipeliner user. When preparing your data to map to Owner, add a column named Owner and use the user's login email address rather than their name to guarantee a match when importing.
NOTE: When your data contains a column to map to Sales Unit, you need to be sure that the Owner of the record has access to (is assigned to) the Sales Unit you're mapping to. For example, if in your data is a record where you're mapping to an Owner "email@example.com" and a Sales Unit of "Northeast", Bill must be assigned to the Northeast Sales Unit or you'll get an error when importing. See this article for more details of managing Users and Sales Units.
Most data, particularly for Accounts and Contacts, is fairly simple to work with as it’s mostly just names, addresses, emails etc. If your data is a bit more complicated and contains many different types of fields, there are lots of tips in this article to help with preparing data for import.
You don’t have to name the columns in your header row to match the field names in Pipeliner but it’s good practice to do this and it makes mapping much easier!
You'll need one file for Accounts, a separate file for Contacts and further separate files for Opportunities and/or for Leads. Save each file in CSV format when it's ready to import.
Which fields are mandatory?
Each entity has a small number of system fields that are required in order to create records. For example, you won’t be able to import Contacts that don’t have a First name and/or a Last Name or Opportunities that don’t have a Close Date.
- Account: Account name, Sales Unit, Owner (note that you can just map the current importing, user if your data doesn’t contain Sales Unit or Owner data).
- Contact: Firstname or Last Name, Sales Unit, Owner (note that you can just map the current importing, user if your data doesn’t contain Sales Unit or Owner data).
- Opportunity: Opportunity Name, Opportunity Value (can be 0), Closing Date (yyyy-mm-dd), Pipeline Step (must match one of the stages of your sales), Sales Unit, Owner (note that you can just map the current, importing, user if your data doesn’t contain Sales Unit or Owner data).
By default, you also have to provide an Account name to link your Opportunity to an Account record although it is possible to change this behaviour in the Admin Module in Fields & Forms:
- Lead: Lead Name, Sales Unit, Owner (note that you can just map the current, importing, user if your data doesn’t contain Sales Unit or Owner data.
NOTE: If, as part of your Pipeliner setup, you have made any additional default or custom fields mandatory, every record in your CSV file will need to contain a value for those as well.
Which order to import records in
Depending on your data, you’ll import in the following order:
- Step 1 › Accounts
- Step 2 › Contacts — linked to the Accounts imported in Step #1, based on an exact and unique match on the Account name
- Step 3 › Opportunities — linked to the Accounts imported in Step #1, based on an exact and unique match on the Account name, and/or to the Contacts imported in Step #2, based on an exact and unique match on Contact First Name and Contact Last Name.
- Leads — linked to the Accounts imported in step #1, based on an exact and unique match on the Account Name, and/or to the Contacts imported in step #2, based on an exact and unique match on Contact Firstname and Contact Lastname
Selecting your CSV file
Importing is an easy step-by-step process using the Import Wizard. First, you select your CSV file and then you specify its properties, next you map the fields in your data to those in Pipeliner, then you preview the records to be imported (which allows you to check that your mappings are correct and identifies any invalid records) and, finally, you accept the records which complete the import.
NOTE: Once you've selected Accept, your records will be imported and, if you've made a mistake, you'll need to find and delete the imported records — there is no Undo option.
Click on the menu for the type of record you're importing. In this example, we will import Accounts. Click on the "Import" button ⤵
Next click on the “Click here to upload” link ⤵
Click on the “Upload a document” button or drag and drop the CSV file here ⤵
Locate and select the data file you've prepared ready for import. Click on "Open" ⤵
Since your file should contain a header row containing the field names, check the box “Columns contain headers." You can generally leave the "Encoding," "Enclosure" and "Separator" fields ‘B’ but if you know the exact properties of your CSV file (for example if you saved it to CSV UTF-8) you can select the corresponding format. If your file contains data to map to a multi-select checkbox field, select the separator you used when preparing your data ⤵
You can select the date format used in your file from the most common standard date options when choosing your CSV file settings.
- Auto (Pipeliner will try to map the date format for you)
- MM-DD-YYYY (HH:mm:ss) (Default)
- DD-MM-YYYY (HH:mm:ss)
- YYYY-DD-MM (HH:mm:ss)
- YYYY-MM-DD (HH:mm:ss)
NOTE: If your data contains lots of accented characters, try selecting "Western European (ISO)" charset encoding ⤵
Creating Related Records
When you’re importing Leads or Opportunities, you can now enable an option to automatically create the related (primary) Account and/or Contact at the same time.
The import wizard will check existing Accounts and Contacts and will not create duplicates where it can match your imported data to an existing record based on a match on Account (or Contact) Name AND Account (or Contact) Primary Phone AND Account (or Contact) Primary Email address.
When importing Contacts, there’s the same option to create related Accounts.
NOTE: You can map ONLY the following fields to your new Account/Contact records: Name, Primary Email and Primary Phone. If your data contains addresses and other data, you’ll still need to create your Accounts and Contacts separately in advance of importing your Opportunities or Leads.
Mapping Data to Pipeliner Fields
Now you will take the fields in your file which are located in the panel on the right and drag them to the corresponding field on the left which is all the fields you have placed on your form in Pipeliner (in this example, it's the Account form) ⤵
NOTE: If your data does not contain an email address to map to the Owner field or the name of a Sales Unit to map to Sales Unit, you'll need to leave the option to "Use current user" as the Owner and "Use default value" in Sales Unit (the current user’s default Sales Unit) checked and all imported records will be owned by the importing user (and will be in the importing user's default Sales Unit) ⤵
NOTE: You do not have to map every field from your data file to a field in Pipeliner — just leave behind those you don't want to import.
Opportunities are the least forgiving type of record to work with. Whatever your starting data looks like, you need to add in all the mandatory Pipeliner fields and make sure that the data is correctly formatted — e.g. to be able to import closing dates and sales stages correctly. Basic advice on data preparation is included in this article and you can get more information and help here.
As a reminder, the required fields for Opportunities are:
Opportunity — Opportunity Name, Opportunity Value (can be 0), Closing Date (yyyy-mm-dd), Pipeline Step (must match one of the stages of your sales), Sales Unit, Owner (note that you can just map the current, importing, user if your data doesn’t contain Sales Unit or Owner data).
By default, you also have to provide an Account name to link your Opportunity to an Account record although it is possible to change this behaviour in the Admin Module in Fields & Forms.
This is an example of a prepared opportunity file. All required information has been added and formatted and it’s been saved to CSV. This file is for import into a single Pipeline (you must prepare one file per pipeline if you are importing into more than one) and includes Open, Won and Lost Opportunities ⤵
This is the Opportunity Mapping Screen using the same file ⤵
Let’s look at each section in turn and do the mappings.
NOTE: Remember that what you see will depend on the set up of your own Pipeliner system so may differ from the fields shown here.
This section handles the fields that are required when specifying the Status of each Opportunity. Opportunities in Pipeliner have one of 3 system status values depending on where they are in your process:
- Open Opportunities are active and moving through the stages of your sales. As well as the other required fields
- Won Opportunities have been successfully concluded and live in the final (green) column of your process
- Lost Opportunities are unsuccessful deals and have a status of Lost. Depending on your tier, you’ll see Lost Opportunities in the Archive or from an Account record or report. Lost Opportunities still live in one of the stages of your sales (so you can see where they got to before they dropped out of the pipeline) and all Lost Opportunities require a Lost Reason. You won’t be able to import Lost Opportunities without a Sales Stage and Lost Reason.
As well as the required fields, especially if you are migrating data into Pipeliner from a previous system, you might want to map the dates that Deals were Won or Lost prior to them being imported and you can map those dates in this section.
NOTE: Remember to format all dates as "yyyy-mm-dd".
Here are my mapped fields ⤵
You’ll generally see these fields in the right-hand panel of an Opportunity in Pipeliner
The fields in this section are the fields you see on your Opportunity Form when adding or editing an Opportunity. The core mandatory fields like Name, Value, Closing Date, Owner, Sales Unit live in this section as well as other default and user-defined fields that you are using.
You can also map an Opportunity Created Date from your data if you need to preserve when the Opportunity was originally created. If you don’t map to this field, the Created Date will be the date the record was imported.
Here are my mappings ⤵
Accounts and Contacts
Here’s where you link your Opportunities to Account and Contact records in Pipeliner ⤵
NOTE: Account may be mandatory if using the default system settings.
NOTE: You can create Accounts and Contacts at the point of import if you have selected the options to Auto-create Accounts and Auto-create Contacts.
Your Pipeliner Admin may have enabled certain fields as Sales Action fields. If so, you will see them in this section and can map to them in the normal way.
NOTE: If a sales action field is required as part of your process in order to move from one sales stage to another, you MUST supply that data in your CSV in order to successfully import Opportunities that are past the stage at which the field is required ⤵
Here’s what will happen if you have not included these fields in your data ⤵
Here are the results of my import from the Opportunities menu ⤵
And one of the imported Archived Opportunities showing the right-hand panel with the mapped fields from the Opportunity Status section ⤵
Checking the Import Preview
Pipeliner will show you if a record is valid for import or not. While you can accept all of the records as is, is it useful to see if you have any invalid records.
Invalid records are highlighted in red. This is usually because the information in a field is not in the specified format. You can see any invalid records you may have by selecting the filter button in the upper right side of the import screen ⤵
This will allow you to filter out valid or invalid records as seen below ⤵
An example of an invalid field could be email addresses not being in the correct format ⤵
If you select an invalid record, the panel on the right will allow you to see the problem and rectify it "on the fly"— e.g. to correct the email address or select a valid dropdown value ⤵
Once you've corrected an individual record, immediately click on Accept to import it to preserve your corrections.
If you are mapping to a drop-down field, make sure you have already checked that you have added all options in the field’s properties in the Admin Module under "Fields" ⤵
If you are looking at a record and do not want to import it you can reject the record using the red "Reject" button at the bottom of the record details. This will remove that particular record from the import list ⤵
If you don't want to import a particular record or a number of records, you can select one or more records and use the "Reject Selected" button to remove the records from the import list ⤵
If you've made a mistake in your mappings, you can use the "Change Mapping" button at the top to change the field mappings ⤵
This will bring up the field mapping window you saw previously ⤵
If you have mapped more fields than the default display includes, then the import page may not show all fields at once.
To view more fields you can select the following button to show all field options ⤵
Accepting Records and Finishing the Import
You now have a chance to select the records to be imported by clicking the checkboxes on the left (or select all by clicking the first checkbox in the upper left). Click on the "Accept Selected" button to finish the import of those records ⤵
NOTE: A single click on any one checkbox will allow you to modify the data before you import it ⤵
Import Options when duplicates are found
Pipeliner will then begin to import your records. As part of the import process, it will check the data that already exists in Pipeliner and, if your importing data has the same name or email address as a record that already exists, you’ll be able to choose what to do ⤵
- Skip All — duplicate records will not be imported
- Create Duplicates — ignore the warning and go ahead and create duplicate records
- Update — data on the duplicate records will be overwritten by the incoming data (be aware that when you select this option, unless your incoming data contains all fields, data might be lost from your existing records if the field is not mapped as part of this import)
- Cancel — cancel the import so you can check the data and decide what to do
If you have any records remaining in the view that you do not want to import OR there are so many invalid records that you need to cancel and modify your Pipeliner ⤵
Once you’ve accepted all the records, the import will complete and you can then check your Pipeliner system to view the newly imported records ⤵
What if there’s a problem after the import is complete?
Rarely, but sometimes, despite all your data preparation and care, the imported data can be wrong. As long as you’re based on a user role that allows you to delete, you can remove records by clicking on the menu — e.g. Contacts — selecting All in the "List View" by ticking in the checkbox in the top left and selecting the Delete button.
NOTE: If you don’t see the "Delete" button, it’s your user role that needs amending.
NOTE: You must be the record Owner in order to delete them. If you’re not, select All and then click on the Ownership button to make yourself the Owner and, once that’s complete, you will then be able to delete them.
NOTE: Use the following order for deleting related records (once you’ve made sure you’re the Owner):
- Archive Leads and/or Opportunities — delete them from the Archive
- Delete Contacts
- Finally, delete Accounts