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CRM Best Practices: Use Excel Like a Pro When You Import Contacts

Posted by Wes Schaeffer | Feb 19, 2016 12:53:42 PM

Excel tips to accelerate contact imports

I feel your pain.

Ever since I’ve been in sales I’ve been a networker.

As such, I kept all of the contact information I could find on clients, prospects, classmates, alumni, etc. In 2006 I ran across a precursor to Infusionsoft that was created by a local software company and they asked me to become an affiliate of theirs in return for a free account.

I agreed but in order to begin using their software I had to export my list of 4,000+ contacts from Outlook and classify each of them as A, B, C or Personal before I could import them and begin sending direct mail and email to them.

Dude!

It took me over two weeks of every spare moment I had to get it done. I LITERALLY had my file open and was sorting and tagging this list during every conference call, webinar, and boring sales meeting during that entire time.

What a pain in the backside! I’m not gonna sugar coat this. It was rough.

But you know what? It was the last time I ever had to do it.

From that point on I truly understood the concept of segmenting lists and when I made the switch to Infusionsoft in 2008 it was a seamless transition.

If you haven’t yet imported your Contacts into Infusionsoft here are some Excel spreadsheet tips to help you bring in a clean, properly-formatted CSV file to accelerate your money-making ventures with Infusionsoft.

Most Excel spreadsheets I see clients provide me are all jacked up with various capitalizations of names, or lack thereof, which is a nightmare when you are trying to do a mail merge to add the Contact’s name to your email and direct mail messages so you have to clean up the ALL CAPS names, the “no caps names” and the “some Caps names.” Here’s how.

Insert at least one column to the right of the column you want to clean up. Here I am inserting a blank row in column B.

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_insert.png

Type the Excel function “=proper(text)” in the cell to the right of the first cell you want to format properly and in place of “text” select the cell you want to format. In this case I am beginning with “Joe Smith,” which is in cell A2, and select “Enter.” 

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_proper_formula_2.png

Now select the cell with the formula, B2 in my example, and copy it. Then select the entire column that contains the formula—Column B in my example—and Paste.

 infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_paste.png

This will paste the formula into every cell in that column, which comes in handy when you are updating over 28,000 names as I did just 10 days ago!

 infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_proper_formula.png

Select that column againColumn B in my exampleand Copy.

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_copy.png

Select your original columnColumn A in my exampleand right click and select “Paste Special” then select “Values.”

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_paste_special.png

You will now have just the properly formatted names with no formulas in Column A. You can now Delete Column B because you no longer need the formula there.

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_delete.png

But there is still a problem: you have the first and last name in one column and Infusionsoft needs the first and last name in separate columns. So let’s Insert a column again to the right of the Name Column by selecting that column and right clicking and selecting “Insert.” 

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_insert_2.png

In the top navigation of Excel choose Data > Text to Columns and follow the Wizard.

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_text_to_columns.png

 

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_text_to_columns_delimited.png

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_text_to_columns_space.png

 

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_text_to_columns_general.png

Relable the columns as First and Last. 

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_review.png

Save As a Comma Separated Values (.csv) file and you are ready to import.

infusionsoft_database_import_excel_tips_save_csv.png

If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as:

Now go sell something.

Topics: Infusion Soft, Infusionsoft Support, Infusionsoft, Infusionsoft CRM, Small Business CRM

Written by Wes Schaeffer

The Reassuringly Expensive, Ruthlessly Pragmatic pig-headed entrepreneur dedicated to discovering proven, transferable, effective tools for creating inbound sales so he can help you automate, integrate, and dominate your niche.

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