CRM Data Import Walkthrough

A step by step guide for successful data import.

Hannah Weidman avatar
Written by Hannah Weidman
Updated over a week ago

Do you like doing things right the first time? If so, read through this walkthrough!

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION - Upload CSV Templates & what you need to know before starting.

CHAPTER 1 - Organizing Your Company Data Prior to Import

CHAPTER 2 - Importing Your First CSV File into Buildr

CHAPTER 3 - Organizing and Importing Your Contact Data

CHAPTER 4 - Organizing and Importing Your Opportunities Data


Looking to successfully migrate your data into Buildr and get the most out of Buildr CRM? This walkthrough will show you what to do and how to do it every step of the way. The order of operations is very important, so we highly recommend reviewing this guide before getting started.

Click the links below to download the Buildr templates:

When importing your data, we recommend the following order for successful imports:

  1. Import Companies

  2. Import Contacts

  3. Import Opportunities

Contacts must be tied to a Company, so you need your Companies set up first. Contacts are added second because the Opportunity import will reference contacts in Buildr. The Opportunity import should be done after both Companies and Contacts are set up because they are tied to Companies and Contacts.

Let's get started with our Company imports next.

CHAPTER 1: Organizing Your Company Data Prior to Import

All your companies need to be organized in a CSV in the following format:

The names of each field is in the first row. The only mandatory field in the company import is the company name. We recommend populating as much information as possible, but if you only have the name for any given company you will still be able to proceed with the import.

The other fields are fairly straight forward, but there are a few rules to keep in mind so you don't run into any errors.

The "Type" field specifies the company's scope and relation to you. Buildr has a few default company types, and you are able to add as many custom types as you want. Make sure all of your company types are created in Buildr before attempting the import. In order to add any custom company types (like "Owner", for example), go to Settings > Company Settings > Company Type as shown below.

If you try to import a company and the type is not already in Buildr, you will receive an error with that company. Not to worry though, if you accidentally make a mistake, the importer will automatically identify all errors and show you exactly which rows require attention.

Similarly, if you have additional Industries that are not part of the Buildr default list, you will need to add the industries in Buildr before you import your companies if you want to successfully populate that field on each company. For example, if you do a lot of commercial real estate work and want to specify "Multi-family" as it's own industry, you will need to add that in Company Settings. If this is not done, you can still complete the upload, but you will need to skip this field.

If you have any custom fields that you want tied to a company, make sure the custom field is first created in Buildr through Settings > Custom Fields > Company. Then add the custom field name in an available column. Example shown below.

Once your Company sheet has its data properly formatted, we can upload it to Buildr. We'll cover the import steps in the next section.

CHAPTER 2: Importing your Company CSV File into Buildr

On your Companies page, click Companies and then choose "Import CSV" as shown below.

The upload modal will open, and you can drag and drop your CSV file or click "Select a file" to choose the file from a folder on your computer.

Once the file is uploaded, you can begin to map your fields. This is where we will make sure that the columns in our spreadsheet appropriately match the fields in Buildr.

Buildr will show each column in the spreadsheet in its own box with the first three column entries. Select the correct field to map to in Buildr in the drop-down menu (if it is not automatically correct). If there is a column that you do not wish to import, click the "trash can" icon on the right-hand side.

Scroll to the bottom of the page & click "Next" to continue to the Review stage.

The review stage will show you any errors you might have in your spreadsheet. In this example we have no errors, so we can click "Import," and our companies will populate in Buildr.

However, if there were errors, we would see a screen that looks like the following:

The good news about the errors is that Buildr automatically identifies all errors and will show you exactly which rows require attention.

You can conveniently make the changes within the importer. If the error is a formatting issue, you can simply click "Fix Formatting Errors" and the importer will automatically update the data for you. Once the errors are resolved, click "Import."

CHAPTER 3: Organizing and Importing Your Contact Data

Once all your companies are imported into Buildr, it is time to import your contacts. Download the contacts CSV template through the link in the Introduction.

The CSV template shown above has all of the default fields that Buildr has associated with contacts. You can add custom fields in the sheet if you have additional data that needs to be associated with each contact. If you need custom fields, make sure they are first set up in Buildr (Settings > Custom Fields > Contact) before importing your CSV.

Required fields/Columns:

  1. First name

  2. Last name

  3. Email address

  4. Company

(If you only have a phone number, we recommend adding the phone number to the corresponding company profile.)

The email field is required because email addresses make it easier to uniquely identify contacts. Contacts may have the same first and/or last names, but an email address will always be unique.

Additionally, we recommend using email addresses when tying contacts to Opportunities (more on that later). You are welcome to use First Name/Last Name when associating contacts with Opportunities, but email is recommended when possible.

Once your contact sheet is set up according to the format shown in the CSV template, it is time to import it. Go to Contacts and select Contacts > Import CSV. Follow the same steps we went through for the Company CSV Import.

CHAPTER 4: Organizing and Importing Your Opportunity CSV

The Opportunity CSV is the most detailed, but since you have already set up your Company and Contact CSVs, this will be very straight forward. Download the Opportunity CSV Template from the link in the Introduction.

The only thing to keep in mind is that the Opportunity CSV sheet will reference existing companies and contacts, so it is important to make sure your companies and contacts are set up well prior to importing your opportunities.

Required Fields/Columns:

  1. Name

  2. Stage

  3. Company

The Opportunity must have a name and stage, and it must be tied to a company. The name and stage can be edited after import as necessary.

Buildr also allows you to add custom stages, so prior to uploading your Opportunity CSV, we recommend adding any custom stages you may desire (Settings > Opportunity Settings > Opportunity Stages).

If you have stages that are not listed in Buildr's default list or that do not exactly match what is in Buildr, you will run into an import error. Add your stages in the Opportunity Settings first, and proceed with your import.

Just like for Companies and Contacts, you can add as many Custom Fields as you would like. We recommend setting these up before importing your data into Buildr.

Additional Key Details for Setting Up Your Opportunity CSV

The Opportunity CSV has some nuances that are very important to note for the fields highlighted in the image below:

All of the fields listed below are optional, but if you choose to use them please keep the following in mind:

  1. The Company name must be an exact match to a company in Buildr/your company CSV file.

  2. The 'assigned_to' column is someone who is a Buildr user and must have their email address. A common mistake is to input the person's name instead of the email address that they use to login to Buildr.

  3. The 'primary_contact' field is a contact that is tied to the company. This field requires their email address. Contacts are uniquely identified by their email address in Buildr because people often have the same names. So in order for Buildr to recognize the correct contact, the email address must be placed in this field.

  4. Probability is a number between 1 and 100. It represents the percentage.

  5. Project Category is the Market Sector. Just like for Opportunity Stages, what you put here must already be listed as a Market Sector in your Opportunity Settings.

  6. Like Stages and Project Category, the Lead Sources and Contract Types columns must correspond to options that are already in Buildr in your Opportunity Settings.

Once your Opportunity CSV is set up, go through the import process like you did for Companies and Contacts.

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