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Importing leads and customers
Solution No. 701

Most new users come to the import/export tool to import a list of their leads into their Method account, so our documentation will focus on how to import leads to Method.

Some users also wish to import customer lists. While customers in QuickBooks will be automatically synced to Method from your QuickBooks file, you may have external customer lists you would like to import as well. Please see Importing customers for details on this.

Preparing your data[top]

In order for your first import to run smoothly, the spreadsheet where you keep your lead information must be properly formatted so the information ends up in the correct place in Method.

To help you with this, we have created spreadsheet templates with the most commonly-used fields for importing leads. You can download the spreadsheet by clicking these links:

Both of these spreadsheets are populated with filler data that you can delete and replace with your own information.

It is important that you do not delete or alter the values in the first row (column headers), because they correspond to the fields in the leads table, where you’re importing your information.

The following is a list of the column headers we’ve included for you.

  1. CompanyName: This field identifies the lead’s company name.
  2. Name: This is a required field for QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. It is a combination of the First Name and Last Name fields (so if Name is Bill Stickers, First Name is Bill and Last Name is Stickers.)
  3. FirstName: This is a required field for QuickBooks Online and represents the first name of your lead.
    We have provided the required fields for the leads table, but if you’re importing into a different table, you can check for required fields in that table. Please see Verifying fields for more information.
  4. LastName: This represents the last name of your lead.
  5. Contact: This is the name of the contact for your lead.
    Method automatically reates a contact for this lead based on the Name field above (so it, too, will be a combination of FirstName + LastName).
  6. Phone: This is the main phone number for this lead.
  7. Email: This is the lead’s email address.
  8. Address fields: These fields refer to the lead’s billing address.
    The three fields marked BillAddress are provided in addition to city, state/province and zip/postal code. The BillAddress fields are typically used for the lead name, street address, and suite number if necessary.

If you require further fields of information, you can add them yourself, but please see our section on verifying fields to ensure you are adding them correctly.

Once you have downloaded our template and populated it with all the pertinent information for your leads, save the template in the chosen file on your computer.

You must save the file as either comma delimited format ( or .csv) or tab delimited format (or .txt). Method will only accept these two file extensions. If you attempt to import your template with another extension (e.g. .xlsx), the import will fail!

Now it’s time to start your first lead import!

Importing leads[top]

  1. In Method, navigate to Customize > Integration Tools, and click on Go to Import/Export…
  2. In Step 1: Import/Export Menu, choose to import into a table from a file.
  3. From the Choose a table… dropdown, choose Customer Leads.  
    You must choose Customer Leads from the dropdown. Failure to do so may result in your leads being imported and synced to QuickBooks as customers.
  4. Click Choose a file to import and choose the template file you saved in the Formatting steps above. Then click Open.
  5. Click Prepare Data, which will take you to Step 2 of the import process.
  6. Leave the alignment set to vertical, and ensure First Row is List of Field Names is checked off (it is by default).
  7. All of your columns should be set to import To Existing Field. After you have verified this, click Import data. This will take you to Step 3 of the import process.
    We have titled the columns in our templates to exactly match the destination field names in Method. If you are importing more information, you will need to verify that your column names exactly match those destination fields as well.
  8. If your data has passed validation (which it should if you have followed these steps), you will receive a notification saying so. Click Begin import.
  9. Once the import is complete, you will be told how many records were successfully imported, and prompted to click Finished.
    If any errors are generated at this point, you will be informed the import is “finished, but with a few errors” and brought to a screen to address them. For more information on common errors, please see Troubleshooting.
  10. When you have completed your import, you can navigate to Leads > Existing Lead Contacts List to ensure your records have been successfully imported.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully imported a list of leads to Method!  Keep in mind that leads do not sync to QuickBooks, so they will not appear in your QuickBooks file after your next sync (they will only sync once they have become customers).

Importing customers[top]

Before you decide to import a customer list, please keep in mind that Method’s sync with QuickBooks will automatically pull your QuickBooks customers into Method when you conduct your first sync. It may not be necessary to import customer lists if they are already in your QuickBooks file!

Importing customers requires almost the exact same steps as our Formatting and Importing steps above, assuming you are using our template to import your records. The only difference is this:

In Step 3, when asked to choose a table to import to, choose Customers (instead of Customers and Leads).

Otherwise, follow the steps above to complete your import.

Verifying fields[top]

Verifying fields is an important manual process for anyone who:

  • is not working from the template we provided, or
  • wishes to add more fields to the template.

As we said before, in order for an import to succeed, a few conditions must be met:

  1. Column headers in your spreadsheet must exactly match the fields where you are importing your information.

    For example: the Customer table has a field called Phone. If the column header for phone numbers in your spreadsheet is called Phone # or Telephone, the import will not work and you’ll be asked to correct the error.

  2. You must have values for any fields that are requiredby your destination table.

    For example: in the Customer table, name is a required field. If one of your records does not have a value under that column header in your spreadsheet, the import will not work and you’ll be asked to correct the error.

  3. You must ensure that any fields marked unique contain unique values.

    For example: in the Customer table, the fullname field (first name + last name) must be unique. If you have more than one record with the same full name (e.g. two customers called Bob Crenshaw), the import will not workand you’ll be asked to correct the error.

    Because leads are unique to CRM and are not stored in QuickBooks, you are able to add CRM-only fields to this spreadsheet (not just QuickBooks fields). However, the conditions above still apply.

Our provided templates are designed to meet requirements 1 and 2 (requirement 3 depends on the data you have inputted). But if you are adding fields to our templates, or creating your own spreadsheet from scratch, it’s very important to verify your fields before proceeding with the import.

There are a variety of ways you can verify this information, but the easiest way for a new user to verify their fields is the following:

To verify destination fields

  1. Navigate to Customize > Tables/Fields.
  2. Locate the table you want to import into (e.g. the Customer table)
    If you are importing leads, please choose the Customer table for the following steps, since leads and customers both reside in the Customer table.
  3. Click Edit fields next to your chosen table to bring up a list of available fields in that table.
  4. Cross-check the column headers in your spreadsheet with the fields in this table. Ensure that each header exactly matches the field it’s intended to populate (e.g. ensure the column header for a lead’s email reads Email and not E-mail or email.)
  5. When you are sure the column headers match the destination fields, click Finished Editing Fields to exit.

To verify required fields

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above.
  2. On the Edit Field screen, there is a column marked Required. Scroll down and make note of any fields with the Requiredbox checked. These are your required fields.??
    Stock tables in Method generally have at least one required field.
  3. On your spreadsheet, ensure that the column headers matching required fields in the table have values associated with them (e.g. if Name is a required field, make sure each record you want to import has a Name associated with it in the spreadsheet).
  4. When you are sure your spreadsheet is up-to-date, click Finished Editing Fields to exit.

To verify unique fields

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above.
  2. On the Edit Field screen, there is a column marked Unique. Scroll down and make note of any fields with the Unique box checked. These are fields that require a unique value.
  3. On your spreadsheet, ensure that the column headers matching unique fields have unique values associated with them (e.g. if FullName is a unique field, make sure you do not have duplicates. If you do, you can append a duplicate with [1], [2], etc.)
  4. When you are sure your spreadsheet is up-to-date, click Finished Editing Fields to exit.


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