A CRM is a vital tool for any successful company, especially its sales team. Housing everything from customer and prospect contact information to where along the sales funnel those prospects might be. But, your CRM is only as good as the data that is input into it.
When thinking about successfully importing your data into your CRM, the task may quickly feel daunting and seem extremely time-consuming. But, it doesn’t have to be done manually one line item at a time. Excel templates are a key resource for inputting your customer, prospect, and sales data into your CRM efficiently and accurately. There are dozens of variations in pre-formatted CRM Excel templates that can help you get the data into your CRM in bulk without letting anything fall through the cracks.
In this article, we’ll break down the value of Excel templates and consistent data when it comes to importing data into your CRM, as well as some common use cases and specific examples of Excel CRM templates you need to know.
The Value of CRM Excel Templates & Consistent Data
You don’t have to be a master of Excel to take advantage of the data sheet templates available for your CRM. Many Excel templates easily help you organize your customer and prospect information and sales data without having to use complicated Excel formulas and formatting. The templates are already set up with the specific data field headings and ready to go. Making it an easy way to import all of the data in bulk into your CRM quickly.
Using Excel templates is also instrumental in ensuring you have clean and consistent data being input into your CRM. Duplicate, missing, or inaccurately formatted data in your sales CRM can quickly mean your sales reps are having to spend way too much time sifting through data, and customers are falling through the cracks. Leading to lower sales conversion rates, lower productivity, and less CRM engagement by your reps.
Ensuring the data that is input is clean, complete, and consistent from the start means you are presenting an optimized CRM to your sales team. Empowering them to be successful and productive from the minute they first open the software. It is much harder and much more time-consuming to have to clean up the data in a CRM after the fact than it is to input the data properly in the beginning.
Common Uses & Data Sets for Sales Excel Templates
In looking at different examples of sales Excel templates, you may quickly notice some commonalities in use cases and exactly what data sets are included in the templates. You want your CRM to be your central information hub for your entire sales team to quickly access all of the data they need to do their jobs effectively.
So, when using CRM Excel templates, some essential categories of data sets will usually be included. Categories often include:
- Sales deals within each stage of your pipeline
For example, the data set for customers would include the account number, company name, contacts’ names, contact information, website, street address, etc.
Some of the templates may be focused-purpose and only include one of these categories above. While other templates may be more all-inclusive and include most, if not all, of these categories. Depending on what data sets are included, you may need to use a combination of templates to ensure you import all of the essential data into your CRM.
There will also be instances where custom fields are utilized to add additional information to the data sets within the categories above. This is especially prevalent when it comes to field sales. Some of the common custom fields of data in the Excel templates often include:
- Territory or Sales Region
- Sales Rep
- Assigned Groups or Tiers
- Sales Activity
While using an Excel template to input your data, take the time to scan the template for any duplicate or missing data, and only keep the necessary information you want to be uploaded into your CRM. You can use the Find and Remove Duplicates functions in Excel to do this. Also, look for any inconsistencies in the naming formats. For example, if you spell out the state name “New York” make sure that it doesn’t say “NY” on another line.
It is important to know that once you are ready to export your data from an Excel spreadsheet to your CRM, it will need to be saved as what is known as a CSV file, or Comma Separated Values file. A CSV file is a plain text, delimited file that is used to make it possible to share complex data between different applications. In this case, between Excel and your CRM.
So, now you know what data most of the Excel CRM templates will include and the type of file to export it in. Let’s take a look at some of the specific Excel templates you can utilize to import the data into your CRM:
Examples of Sales CRM Excel Templates to Use for Data Import
Sales Pipeline Excel Template
A sales pipeline Excel template is a good example of a focused-purpose template. This kind of spreadsheet will focus on the deals that are in each stage of your sales pipeline. It will list the deals by customer, deal amount, pipeline stage the deal is in, the projected date of closing, and more.
This pipeline Excel spreadsheet can then be imported into your CRM as a list of all of your sales team’s deals. (Keep in mind, you may need to use several different focused-purpose excel templates to get all of the data you want into your CRM.)
Sales Leads Excel Template
Another example of a focused-purpose Excel template, a sales leads spreadsheet will provide all of the information for each of the current leads your sales team has. This type of spreadsheet will usually include the lead’s name, contact info, geographic information, status, and more. It may also include the projected value of the lead and when they may be forecasted to close.
A sales lead spreadsheet can then be used to easily import a list of contacts into your CRM in bulk.
Sales CRM Excel Template
There are also more generalized sales Excel templates that can be used to import data into your CRM. Many of these will be more all-encompassing and help you organize all of your sales data that you would want in your CRM. For example, combining all of your customer data and contact information, lead data, sales activity, and more into one Excel spreadsheet.
Using one Excel template like this could get most, if not all, of your sales data into the CRM that your company wants to use. It may just take a little bit more time to ensure the information is all properly formatted and ready for import so that the data is exported properly.
Here are examples of good generalized sales Excel templates for CRM data:
- CRM Excel templates with fields for contact, lead, and communication data - From Template Lab
- Excel CRM template with fields for Contacts, Sales team, Opportunities, Lead status, and more -
Data Import Templates for Top CRMs
With the import capabilities that many popular CRMs have now, there are also some Excel CRM templates and import guides provided by the specific CRMs directly. This helps streamline the import process for that specific CRM and ensures that the data from your Excel template is imported correctly and completely.
Templates and guides for some of the top CRMs to make your sales data import as smooth as possible:
Guide to setting up and importing your spreadsheet data here
Guide and sample spreadsheet templates to format and import data here
Guide and spreadsheet templates to set up and import your data into Hubspot here
Utilize Essential Excel Templates and Clean Data to Allow Your CRM to Work for You
You know by now that a powerful CRM is a must for any successful company and a key component to long-term growth. As you can see, importing your sales data from Excel templates doesn’t have to be rocket science and is easier than you may think. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience working in Excel. The spreadsheet templates we covered above can help you get the data into your CRM and allow it to work for you.
Another important part of succeeding with a CRM is ensuring the data that is imported is clean and consistent from the start. This will streamline the information that your CRM holds, empower your sales reps with everything they need to be successful, and eliminate prospects and customers from falling through the cracks.
But it is not a set it and forget type of situation when it comes to importing clean data. You have to remain vigilant with consistency moving forward any time new sales data is input into the CRM. This will keep the system from getting bogged down with duplicate, incorrect, or missing data and causing a situation where an extensive CRM data cleanup is needed.