Do you have a list in Excel that you would like to import into Zoho CRM? If your administrator has not restricted your ability to import, the process is fairly easy to accomplish, but understanding the options can make everything go smoother.

First you may need to prepare the spreadsheet

  1. Remove any extra rows from the top of the spreadsheet, like titles or blank lines. Row 1 should be the column headers. Row 2 should be where the data starts.
  2. Make sure that there is a column for any required fields and that it is populated. For example, if you are importing into Leads or Contacts, the “Last Name” field is required. Depending on how you set up your Zoho, “Account Name” may also be a required field. You can tell which fields are required by looking at a record in Zoho. Fields with red labels are required. Any records in your spreadsheet that are missing a required field value will be skipped on import.
  3. If there are any date fields in your spreadsheet, make sure that you format all date fields with a 4-digit year (mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm). Dates not formatted in this manner will not be imported. (Get more tips below on how to clean up your spreadsheets for importing.)

Import your data into Zoho CRM

  1. Zoho Import DialogClick the module you wish to import into (e.g Leads or Contacts or Accounts).
  2. At the upper right, click the Import Leads (or Import Contacts, etc) button.
  3. If all of the records will belong to you, the select the first option to Import My Leads. If you have used email addresses to assign the records use the Import My Organization Leads. You will also want to select this second option if you are updating records, otherwise records belonging to others will not be updated.
  4. Use the Browse button to select the spreadsheet file you have prepared.
  5. Select the Duplicate Records option:
    • Skip will skip duplicate records and import the rest. For Contacts and Leads, duplicates are defined by email address or by Zoho unique ids (if you previously exported the list and are now reimporting after updating specific fields).
    • Overwrite will update existing records (defined by email address or Zoho unique ids) and import the rest. It will ONLY overwrite the fields that you map in the next screen. For example, if you don’t map State, then any values existing in the State fields will be ignored. They will not be deleted.
    • Clone will import all records in the spreadsheet, even if they are duplicates. It is not likely that you will use this option often, as you will have to later individually combine each duplicate record.
  6. Zoho Import Adv OptionsClick the Advanced Options hyperlink. From this area, you will probably only verify the Date and Time format. The Character Encoding is available for non-English languages. You can assign a pre-existing Workflow to be assigned to each imported record. You can also elect to assign all imported records to a specific Lead Source which is handy if you didn’t include a column for this in the import file.
  7. Click Next>
  8. Map the fields in Zoho to the field names in the spreadsheet. Any fields with asterisks are required fields and must be mapped.
  9. Click Next>
  10. Verify that you have not missed mapping any fields (if so, click Previous to continue mapping).
  11. Click Import.

**For more great tips on preparing your spreadsheets and getting your data ready for an import into Zoho, you can get a copy of my 12-page guide that will help you get your data in shape.

Happy importing.