How to Import Contacts to Salesforce | Importing Data Into Salesforce Easily

From business cards to a list of employee contacts in an organization, Salesforce users may have the need to import contacts to Salesforce. When this need arises, there is a simple clear cut way to implement the same. There is great efficiency in using the IMPORT FILE route where the records are entered one at a time. The good news is that through the HandsOn Connect which is a native data management tool, importing and updating record files is made even easier for the user. The following is a breakdown into the steps that will go into importing your contacts with ease.

How to Import Contacts to Salesforce 

Create an Import File To import contacts to Salesforce, a .csv file should be created for this purpose. In the HandsOn Connect functionality, there are columns that must be created with the following guideline. The first area is the contacts field. This has to begin with the name of the organization. One can enter the name of the organization or a specific organization Salesforce ID. Import and merge Contacts to Salesforce It might be easier to use the organization name but for those who wish to use the ID, it can be found in the URL of the record or it can be accessed by a report. Other fields that will be filled here the first name, last name, the primary address as well as the phone number. Both can be home or business. Filling these out will make it much easier when it comes to the record management later. There is also a field that will require Volunteer Type. One can fill in Volunteer leader, team captain and so on. For the values chosen, make sure to use a semi colon to separate each. There is another section where contact recommended fields are found. Here, several things will be required among them email address, age, phone number, birth date, registration status as well as the employer and title. If you wish to add on any additional information like gender, use the customize setup field regarding the contact. The more the information provided the better it will be to manage the record later; this point cannot be overemphasized.

Importing the Contacts of the Organization

  • Counter check if your file is ready for import and when you are satisfied, go to setup/Admin setup/data management/Import accounts/Contact. This is where you will begin the process of importation. follow the steps below.
  • Select the file you have created by clicking on ‘choose file’.
  • The other step will require that you leave the default as the General US and Western European ‘ISO-8859-1 and ISO-LATIN1
  • The next step is to select Contact Matching Type. This is because standard Salesforce will only consider the matching types on the record and will not look at the entire organization. This is owing to the fact hat every contact must be unique. If you are not fully satisfied, refer to the Salesforce matching type rule for more details.
  • Next, use Name and Site for the Account Matching Type. Make sure to use matching names otherwise there will be creation of duplicates. You can also refer to Salesforce merging guidelines where there are duplicates created.
  • The next step will ask you to check or leave blank the trigger workflow rules for new and updated records. If the box is checked, new volunteer registration information will be sent out to the contacts that have been created.
  • For the account type section, you can pick from various options including Non profit, business or individual. Only one choice will be required. The next step will be to map the contact fields.

Mapping the Contact Fields

Mapping of the contacts will be determined by how the columns are laid out regarding headings. The mapping will be done based on the first and the second name. However, if there is an error regarding the contact, you have a chance to correct the mistake by clicking on the drop-down button. There are instances where the system fails to map a particular piece of data that was entered and you can use the drop-down column again to make sure that corrections are made. To this effect, you have to make sure that the fields are mapped in this order. First name, last name, primary address, primary phone number and volunteer types. Once all this is in order, you can then click next.

Mapping the Phone and Address fields

This is option is very critical and it is good to keep in mind the following. You should NEVER check this box if you are only importing contacts. Making a mistake here can overwrite other fields which will not be desirable. However, if you want to go ahead and overwrite other data, you can check this box. If you are importing contacts only. it is good to ignore this part. Another element that must be in place is to make sure that the Organization Name is filled correctly in the Account field. When you are sure that these elements have been mapped, it is time to click next.

Mapping of Extra Import fields

As you import contacts to Salesforce, it is vital to make sure that extra import fields are in order. A message will appear to indicate whether or not all the fields have been mapped. If not, it is it good to follow up in this regard. Then you can click next. All the information can be attached as a note at this point; but if you wish to proceed to importation, click next.


All the fields that are correct will be imported and at this point you can click ‘import now’ to perform this task. The next section will be the ‘import request submitted’. This section will inform you a number of things including the notice that import has been completed. The expected time for import will also be known at this point. Here, you have the chance to monitor the ‘import queue’ as it performs its work. If you are finished at this point, click on the ‘finish’ tab. There is another way to access the import queue and it is through Setup/Admin/Monitoring/Import. This way you can keep an eye on the progress. Conclusion Finally, you can check if importing data into salesforce has been mapped in the right way. Check this by selecting ‘New this Week’ section. When you view the drop-down option, you will be able to see and confirm that the imported contacts and records were delivered. This is the process to follow when you need to import contacts to Salesforce. Related information can be found on¬†merging contacts in salesforce page, to achive better results.
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.