Workflow – Moving Data from Spreadsheets to the CRM


Jenny is a small business owner whose customer data consists of hundreds and hundred of rows Excel docs.

She’d like to transfer each spreadsheet row into a CRM contact record. She isn’t exactly sure how the columns in her spreadsheets are supposed to turn into CRM fields.


The magic here is in the mapping. This means that for every column in the spreadsheet that’s important, she needs to find an appropriate matching field name (for contacts) in the CRM for the import page.

Though the Benchmark CRM has the most commonly used fields for contact available by default (like first name, last name, email, phone, etc), there are often rows in the spreadsheet that are unique to certain businesses or industries. Jenny can create custom fields for those.


Workflow Steps

  • View the default CRM fields and take notes of what spreadsheet columns will be good matches.
  • Create Custom Fields where needed
  • Prepare the CSV or XLS file
  • Import the CSV or XLS file into the CRM


View the default CRM fields to plan your mapping

You can look at the default CRM fields on the fields dashboard in settings.

Once there, decide which of your spreadsheet columns can be matched with the default CRM fields

  • please note that every field has a type.
  • Text fields should go to text fields. Date to Date. etc.

View your the default (and any custom) CRM fields

  1. log in
  2. from any page, click on the user menu in the header
  3. click on Settings
  4. on the Settings page, click on Fields in the Customization section
  5. In the Show dropdown, choose the record type (contacts, leads, organizations, etc.) you’re planning to import to
  6. the default CRM fields will appear. Please note the field names you plan on matching to the columns in your excel sheet. Make sure the data type for this field is appropriate.
  • if you’ve created any custom fields, they also appear here
  • inactive fields can not be used for importing – they’ll need to be made active first on customization/layouts


Related FAQs

What are the default CRM fields?

What is an active field?

How do I change fields from active to inactive?

Create Custom Fields (if necessary)

For any spreadsheet column that isn’t a good match for a default CRM field, then create a Custom Field

  1. log in
  2. from any page, click on the user menu in the header
  3. click on Settings
  4. on the Settings page, click on Layouts in the Customization section
  5. on the Layouts hub, click the record type (contacts, leads, organizations, etc.) that you’d like to make the custom field for
  6. on the record Layout page, click on New Custom Field
  7. the new field page appears. Choose the data type for this field and give it a name
  8. click Save is you’re only creating a single field for this record type. If you’re creating multiple fields, click on Save & New to save the field and make another.
  9. once you’ve Saved, you’ll be back on the record layout page
  10. drag your new fields from the Inactive box on left to any box on the right to make them Active
    1. the order in which you place the field determines its place on your create, edit and record layout pages
  11. click Save

Prep Excel or CSV File (if necessary)

  • data should be CSV or XLS
  • each column should have a header
  • the headers should be row 1
  • the data should start on row 2
  • no gaps in rows
  • no gaps in columns
  • empty cells are okay

Import your CSV or XLS into the CRM

  1. go to the contacts dashboard
  2. click on import contacts
  3. select your CSV or XLS file
  4. choose the record owner
  5. choose how to handle any already existing email addresses
  6. optional advanced options allow you to date formats, tagging and/or CSV encoding options 
  7. match fields from CRM field to CSV/XLS column headers
  8. confirm – you don’t have to use all your columns
  9. done! The import takes from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on file size